You’d thought nothing could overpower the smell of cattle on a warm, wet night, when the scent of money imbued the still air for miles around the feedlot. But something had spooked the herd. Lowing echoed as hooves thundered away from the southeast corner, bringing a peculiar, fruity scent along with them.
I don’t notice the difference in beguiling flattery coming from your mouth right off. You always turn to wheedling me when you want something. I’ve learned to shut down the listening part of my brain when you get going. But tonight, the shadows have grown long across the prairie, yet still you haven’t given up asking. I can’t imagine you’d want to visit the corner store with your friends this bad.
An obsessive amateur ghost hunter seeks a ghost caught on security footage in the company basement. But the ghost in question wants more fun than a mere budget hunt.
An abusive husband hunts down his hard-of-hearing wife and corners her in her mother’s barn. With the help of her hearing guide dog, she must face off against him when he opens fire on them both, threatening to drag her back to the home she escaped.
Rhythmic, echoing creaking drew me across flat empty plains to a flat, empty house. An untidy row of windows stared out from the house's weathered flanks at the setting suns blazing orange and purple across the sky. My favorite kind. Next to the house stood a tall, tall tree, beneath the branches of which creaked … Continue reading The Hopeful Wanderer – Call to Launch
No path ahead, no path behind. Just four flights of concrete stairs embedded into a hillside invisible beneath a blank blanket of snow. These, for some reason, just damp, not buried along with everything else. Upward, the pale hill sloped into the pale sky. Downward, more snowy hills rolled away into infinity. It felt like … Continue reading The Hopeful Wanderer – Open Me
When I left a labyrinth full of unsettling creatures, I went out through the wrong exit. Ahead, a simple wooden gate, twice my height with a neat pitched roof, blocked my way forward, more wooden fencing stretching to either side. Almost as if to keep those strange cave creatures from getting out this way. Although … Continue reading The Hopeful Wanderer – Longing to Leave
A deep groan sounded through heavy fog as I inched my way up to a lane of thin ice running through a frozen lake. Though I was on the lookout for travelers along this lane, I also watched against any misstep that would send me plummeting below to a shivering grave. Several such lanes of … Continue reading The Hopeful Wanderer – Forth
At the bottom of a lake long dried up, my hazy gaze rested hopefully on a cloud building in the distance. Dust rose up around my plodding feet, settling on my cracked tongue. The size of this lakebed desert must have grown since the last estimation. I didn't have enough water to get back; I … Continue reading The Hopeful Wanderer – Buried Tracks
Without a breath of air to stir them, a plume of snowflakes rose up from the drifts coating the mountainside. Where the morning sunlight had not yet touched, deep blue shadows crept beneath a forest of firs. Nothing moved but the flurry of flakes, whirling around each other, the whole cluster angling upward along the … Continue reading The Hopeful Wanderer – Preservation Efforts