The Engraved Mammon Cuff

Ten years ago, I was doing all right for myself. Having my father’s legacy behind me helped bring in clients, I had enough money to live comfortably and I enjoy my work.  

At the same time, twenty six year old Anthony Brekke was enjoying his life too. He was working his dream job as a firefighter. He’d just gotten married to the love of his life, Heidi Shaw, about three months prior. They’d just moved into their first house and were looking into adopting a dog.  

Their life seemed ideal until the fire that burnt down the home of an elderly widow named Martha Church. Martha was nearly eighty seven when the fire took place, the cause appearing to be a short in the wiring near the bedroom. She and four of her six cats did not make it out of the blaze, the old place went up like a matchstick.  

Continue reading The Engraved Mammon Cuff

Beelzebub’s Silver Spoon

The year was 1987. This wasn’t a trinket I picked up myself, I was a child and more focused on climbing trees and playing with my friends than solving mysteries. All I’m about to tell you comes from the personal testimonies and news articles my father had in his notes.

By all accounts, the Jones seemed to be perfect. They set the bar for most idyllic family on the street. The mother Deborah stayed at home, the father Daryl worked at the bank. They’d just had their son Mark two years prior. Their eldest child was a sixteen year old daughter named Heather. Heather was an overachiever in every sense of the word. She had the best grades of her class, was the captain of the debate club, and was already entering pageant circuits. She’d gotten the silver the year previous in the Rose Little Princess Pageant.  

But I believe it was getting ‘only silver’ that broke the floodgates for something that had been building up for some time.  

Continue reading Beelzebub’s Silver Spoon

My Brothers and Sisters Lived in a Secret Room

Growing up, I knew that my family’s arrangement wasn’t normal. As I got older, I even had an inkling that it might be wrong. But it was all I knew, and I won’t let myself feel guilty for not doing anything about it for as long as I did.

I was the only biological child of my mom and dad, I found albums stacked away in a corner of the attic. The beginnings of baby books. A picture of an ultrasound, sometimes even a happy card announcing ‘It’s a boy!’ or ‘It’s a girl!’ in blue and pink lettering. Mine was the only one who had pictures of a squishy faced infant with tangled red hair and fat lil cheeks.

My first sibling arrived when I was about four. I’d made the horrible mistake of asking Santa for a baby brother when I sat on his lap. My mother burst into tears when she heard me and I knew I’d done something horrible. When we got home, mom told daddy about it and he told me to go play in my room while they talked about it. I knew that it wouldn’t be right to ask Santa for that again.

Next week on Christmas Day though, I woke up to hear a baby cry.

Continue reading My Brothers and Sisters Lived in a Secret Room

The Witch Coffin

I know people that would literally murder me if they knew I put this on the internet. But I don’t see many other options. If I go straight to the cops odds are I’LL get blamed for what happened to my friends and get thrown straight in jail for a multitude of reasons. And I know at least one of them is alive and I need to find them.

I’m a smuggler. I… come into possession of objects I shouldn’t have and sell it to whatever fat cat wants a new piece for their mantle. The Witch Coffin is probably the biggest thing I was gonna try and sneak into the states, but that was because it was a specific ‘request’. The Witch Coffin was discovered in eastern Europe, and to be honest I’m not sure why the buyer wanted it so damn badly. But hey, me and my crew were gonna get a mil and we figured we might as well try, right?

Theft itself went off without a hitch, but the next day I got picked up for being spotted at the scene. That’s all they had, but I still got kept in lock up for three days. Glad they let me out without a fight in the end but the moment I got back to the hideout I knew something was wrong. I could hear the flies buzzing.

Continue reading The Witch Coffin

We Killed Bobby Tanner

It was me, Jessie Bates, Hunter Gilch, and Gabrielle Edison. We are the reason that Bobby Tanner never returned home that Friday night ten years ago, why every year his parents send out a plea asking for their son to come home. It was us. The senior class rejects.

Continue reading We Killed Bobby Tanner

Nearly lost my temper at work yesterday.

For a bit of background, I work at an insurance company. I’m not exactly changing the world, but it pays well and it’s usually pretty chill. Except for yesterday, which I just really need to rant about. It was a bunch of little things that stacked up to my… almost explosion.

The water cooler was dripping nonstop. Citrix servers had gone down and that was the main program I use for work. I had a pounding headache from the bright lights in the office and my skin was all dried out from the artificial air. And for fuck’s sake, Barbara would just not leave me alone.  

Continue reading Nearly lost my temper at work yesterday.

My Daughter’s Coming Home

When I first saw I was getting a call from an unknown number, I thought it was another sales call. I only answered it on the off chance it was from my friend Irma, I knew she’d gotten a new phone number.  

“Hello?”  

It was quiet except for someone breathing on the other end. I frowned but tried again. “Hello, is someone there? Or is this another robot telling me I’ve won a cruise?”

I heard a quiet laugh, followed by a sob.

“Hi mom.”

Continue reading My Daughter’s Coming Home

Wrong Turn Highway

“Listen, the kids are tired, how about I take them home while you go home with your sister when you’re ready?”

Amanda snorted but I caught a glimpse of amusement in her eyes. “Like you’re mister innocence over here, trying to be a good guy,” She replied. But she didn’t object. “Go, you’ve endured my family long enough. I think Audrey’s about to revolt anyway. Do you have Donnie’s cold meds?”

I lifted them from my pocket.

“And did you take some of the leftovers?”

I laughed. “Amanda. I have enough leftovers in the cooler to feed your whole family all over again. We’re fine.”

My wife smiled and kissed my cheek. “Drive safely!” She said.

Continue reading Wrong Turn Highway

The Worst Way to Die

Everyone has a way they’d absolutely not want to die.

I remember my mom telling me about when she almost drowned as a kid. Since then she’s been afraid of deep water and would rather walk through fire than drown. My kid brother’s terrified of getting cancer. He saw it take our dad. It was slow, painful, and we went through every moment of it with him.

I had a strange one. See, I’m scared of snakes. Always hated them. Especially pythons. Those fuckers can swallow a crocodile whole. I’m not the size of a crocodile. I would be lunch. I cried when my mom read Jonah and the Whale for the first time. Imagining being inside the belly of a beast gave me nightmares for weeks. So that’s how I wouldn’t want to die.

Being eaten alive.

Continue reading The Worst Way to Die

The Worst Kind of Monster

I’m the worst kind of monster out there. I’m confessing now that I did not hurt those girls, I did not torture them, and I did not kill them.

But I did bring them to the one that would.

I met Edward Clancy when I was seventeen years old, he was twenty six. When we dated, he was sweet. Sex was always a bit strange, with how he’d insist on gagging me and tying me up, but it was a fun game, at least at first. After dating came marriage, when the game stopped being fun.

He started beating me.

Continue reading The Worst Kind of Monster