Stories tagged mystery

Swashbuckling in the Dark: Prologue

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The night sky was scorched red with fire; the once peaceful night now had become a living nightmare. At first, it had been the distant booming of cannon fire, but now the terrified screams tore through the night. Louder still was the ringing in my head and the sound of…

Swashbuckling in the Dark: Chapter One

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I immediately jumped from my stool and knelt to help clean it up, glad to have any distraction from the strained conversation. He was at my side in the same moment, using a cloth to soak up the spilled ink. I went for the compass at the same time he did.


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HE feels the town before he sees it, the vibration of the train's brakes telegraphing its presence up ahead in the gathering evening. Outside the warmth of the carriage, lights amid the darkening fields and lanes grow more frequent, plush commuter houses reduced…

The Unwelcome: Chapter 2

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"I was alone on the driveway in the middle of the darkening woods."

The Unwelcome: Chapter 3

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“Follow me,” he said. “They’re on the other side of the island. There’s nothing on this side. People—normal people—don’t live around here.”

The Unwelcome: Chapter 4

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Something had woken me, but I wasn’t sure what—all I knew was that I had been pulled from sleep by something loud and sudden, and now I was lying awake, alert and unsettled, in the otherwise silent room.

The Unwelcome: Chapter 5

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My voice sounded as empty and useless as I’d felt the night before, seeing her, bloody and battered, in the bathroom across the hall from my room.

The Unwelcome: Chapter 6

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I picked my way down one of the stone staircases, where the broken stone urns wept weeds and shreds of bird’s nests onto the landings...

The Unwelcome: Chapter 7

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“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” “Saving your life,” said the man. “Probably.”

The Unwelcome: Chapter 8

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There, just below my knee, was a dark brown leech, fat as a battery, with a cuff of blood seeping out from its burrowing head.

The Unwelcome: Chapter 9

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“We hear things all the time over here,” she said. “Coming through the trees, coming from that place.”

Prisoners (edited)

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This cell the sole certainty, all else steeped in mystery. Why should we be here?

Wait What?

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Our mutual introduction happened in one of the classic ways, nearly a year ago. Like the song in South Pacific I saw her across a crowded room. Subtle glowing beauty. Calm. Holding her head proud but not saucy. Side view gave me delicate features peering

Wait What? (revised)

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“You confused me. Thought you liked me, then you got all stuffy and acted like a jerk. Didn't hit on me. Didn't give me a chance to reject you. I seriously considered something might be wrong with you.”

Tired of Dying (1)

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“Oh yeah. Jump's bad. He played hoops, though. Two three years behind me in school. Bad then, but he played hoops. Bro had game.”