By: Cacy Ann Minter
I didn’t know where I was when I woke up. I was aware of a pressing sensation on my chest, but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I tried to look around and realized my field of vision was limited to the area directly in front of me. I couldn’t move my arms or legs, or even swivel my head from side to side. I heard voices speaking frantically, but it was as if they were off at a long distance, as if they were at least a football field away. Other than the slight pressure on my upper body, I had no sensation or feeling whatsoever, other than a kind of heaviness I figured was just my brain coping with the paralysis I seemed to be experiencing.
I could see an open expanse of sky so I assumed I was lying prone outside of my car. I thought back as far as I could remember, but for the moment was just drawing a blank. Suddenly, the hazy form of a woman flashed into my view, moving just as quickly out of my range of sight as she had entered. Waiting patiently, I saw her hover in my line of vision once more, flashing a penlight into both of my eyes. At the time I didn’t think about why that bright flash of light didn’t blind me or cause me to blink, but I would later come to know why.
Kaylee grasped her mother’s hand as they made their way up the icy stone walkway. Snow covered the edge of the path where flowers usually blossomed during the spring. She watched her step so as not to fall and ruin her new pink puffy coat. It was her first Christmas present of the year from her parents. Even though Christmas Eve wasn’t until tomorrow night, the frigid weather allowed for Kaylee to receive her coat a few days early.
While one gloved hand clung desperately to her mother, the other held just as tightly onto Bunny. Bunny went everywhere with Kaylee since she was two. The stuffed rabbit’s ears were tattered from months of teething, and his yellow coloring faded from hundreds of journeys through the washing machine. Kaylee held him by the ears and raised her arm just high enough to keep his fluffy bottom from dragging on the cold, wet ground.
By: Rebecca Laskowitz
There wasn’t much time left. Philip knew this. The entire village knew as well. What did they have? Hours? Very unlikely. More like minutes. Minutes that flew by with increasing speed as the enemy drew closer.
Philip looked at all they had accomplished. The walls were high and foreboding, but size was not enough to prevent annihilation. Strength was the key factor to guard against the great enemy, and Philip prayed to the gods that the fortress held strength.
The villages that had once stood here obviously lacked the strength needed to keep the enemy out. How many fortresses—great fortresses built with the blood and sweat of great men—had stood here before today only to be wiped away by one pass of the great enemy? There must have been hundreds, maybe even thousands, of towns that have been destroyed. Completely and utterly erased from the map.Read more
By: Christopher Brancato
To most people it was just another Monday, but this wasn’t the case for a selected few. The day started like any other for Mike Johnson. Mike would wake up, organize his attire for the day on his bed in a very civil manner, jump in the shower, get dressed, and head downstairs to read the paper over an oversized cup of coffee. Mike was glancing through the pages before approaching an article that seemed oddly familiar. The caption read “Five Car Pileup Leads to the Death of a Police Officer.” The reason why this article seemed so familiar to Mike was because Mike happened to pass by this ghastly scene as it occurred the night prior on the way home from the office, but was stricken with fear, that he impulsively continued en route.Read more
By: Amy Priddy
George woke up that morning with a splitting headache and found himself in a whirlwind of confusion. He rubbed his eyes and seemed to glare back at the sunlight pouring through the shutters. George hated the sunlight and almost everything else that morning entailed. He flopped out of bed, put on a worn out blue robe and tied it around his sagging midsection. After his wife died he had promised himself that he would work on his appearance, but the thought of actual work made him queasy. He went to the mirror and frowned at the wrinkles around his eyes and meticulously tried to rub them away with his finger. It didn’t work, of course, and his face continued to hang there lifelessly.
By: Bryan Kaminsky
Dark clouds spanned the early afternoon sky as Edward walked out of the back door of the storage room of a florist. Edward was wearing a black cloak, ripped black jeans, and a black shirt. Edward liked the color black because it absorbed every spectrum of light, and he liked to absorb any information he could obtain or observe.
He was carrying a rare plant which most people do not think of owning, growing, or planting. It was a carnivorous plant. Its appearance is similar to the ones people think of being located in jungles. It had a stem, a big mouth with teeth which could snap, and thorns. It was small though, smaller than the pictures seen of them in a jungle habitat.
Edward approached his car, a black sedan with lightly tinted windows. He owned a black car for the same reason he wore black clothes. He got behind the wheel and placed the plant on the floor in front of the passenger seat. Edward thought to himself as he did each step, “put key in ignition, start engine, move stick, pull out, and drive.” He drove seven miles to his apartment in a neighboring town.Read more
By: Akilah C. McDaniel
Imagine a nice neighborhood with somewhat quiet streets and nice neat little houses with nice, manicured little yards. Now we will zoom in on one house in particular. This house is a small red-brick one with a dark red door. As we look through the kitchen window, we will see a black woman, in her late twenties or early thirties, drinking a cup of tea while waiting for her toast to toast in the toaster. Just as she turned to get a jar of jelly from the refrigerator the toast began to burn and smoke began to float up from the faulty appliance. By the time that she finally turned back around with the jar in hand, the smoke was pouring from the malfunctioning toaster. She gasped and ran to the dishrack to grab something that would pull the burning bread from the toaster. She grabbed a fork and used it to pry the now charcoal out. But as soon as the wet metal touched the still plugged in toaster…ZZZZZZZ. LaBertha Johnson got a jolt that would forever change her life.
It was her luck that Mrs. Snooker, her neighbor, walked in the back door.Read more
By: Cacy Ann Minter
Franky couldn’t pinpoint the exact day he first saw the creature. He guessed he’d always had a feeling that something in his existence wasn’t quite right, but he never could put his finger on it. And so he went about his usual boring daily routines, battling the endless flow of commuters to his dead-end job. Franky had become so proficient at purchasing the minuscule parts for his company’s printed circuit boards that he usually only contributed about twenty to thirty minutes of actual work before surfing the web for the remainder of the day. Following another uneventful day perched in front of a hypnotizing monitor inside of his tiny green cubicle, Franky would once more fight his way through traffic, only to return to an empty, sad little studio apartment. His only company was a rat (whom he dubbed Mr. Squeakers) that occasionally shuffled about inside the walls of the tenement, much to his landlord’s chagrin.Read more
By: Courtney Lyn Blystone
The streets of Kyoto were dark and not a single lamp nor house was lit. It seemed rather strange that there would be not a single soul in the town. Kat Myamouto was on her way home in the southern corner, when a solid black figure moved passed her. It created such a presence it nearly pushed her off her own two feet. Kat was startled feeling her red hair rise up and swish against her back. The figure crept its way up to what appeared to be a stone tower or maybe a castle. This tower had many windows, and like most of the town no light resonated from it. Her jade eyes gleamed with fear as she saw another young girl her age on top of the tower. It caused a sensation of chills to creep and crawl up her spine and down her arms. She had the feeling, either this was the wrong night to be lost in a familiar city or she was being watched.Read more
By: Yael K. Miller
He was a scout.
He could have been an officer but he made his choice years ago. He had no interest in being an officer and his job as a scout kept him as far away from officers as possible and for a majority of the time. He had been in this business for a great many years as evident from the braid and stripes on the underarms of his Blue uniform.
Years ago, long before his birth, it was decided that ranking should not be so visible. It could be seen now only if a person stood right in front of another person and even then you could still prevent people from seeing the ranking. It was a good system and he enjoyed the rare occasions when he got to flash his underarms. This was one of those times.
He had been called to the Blue command tent. As he entered the camp he saw how few of them had survived. He could see the aftermath of a very recent battle. A defeat no doubt. He, of course, had been somewhere else scouting. He followed the discreet signs to the command tent – an old code that had never been broken. Or so he assumed as he had never heard otherwise and never heard about a command tent being specifically attacked.