Deputy Harland had to hold his mouth to keep the vomit from flowing out. In all his days with the department he’d never thought he’d have to hold back vomit at a crime scene.

Not in Mechanicville.

Upstate New York was home to mostly misdemeanor level criminals the past few years, and most of the violence in the region had come from domestic disputes or bar fights come election season. But this, this was different, and Harland knew he was already in over his head before the Coroner’s van pulled up. Continue reading


Once he crawled to the peak of the hill, Tag could see what came next. Another hill. And there was one beyond that. He could hardly breathe at the sight — or maybe it was the altitude — but Tag knew he had a decision to make. Go back to way he’d come, and admit that he had failed, or keep crawling towards those many hills.

Tag decided to keep going. He’d have to crawl in either direction, and the reward for making it to the Goddess’s home would be much greater.


With the gust of wind, Autumn had come. It was about time, and made Gina feel immediately hungry.

The wind itself was chilly, invisible, empty. But the smell is what pushed Gina over the edge into believing that seasons had finally changed. That things were going to get better. That her stomach would soon be full again.

The smell was dirty, of sweat and muck, and it felt like a stain was invading her nostrils. She lived downwind from the Farm, and the smell was the best part of her year. Usually, the scent was cheerful and soapy, a clean sensation that washed the senses. This time of year, though, when the Farm was in full harvest, the delicious smell got Gina excited for things to come, and hungry. Continue reading


The sun set. To Bill it was like watching a cup of coffee being dumped out in a sink. The warmth of the day evaporated fast, and the feeling that anything was possible suddenly died.

With the darkness came a sense of fear, an anxiety that flooded Bill such that he could hardly breathe. He didn’t sleep a wink, and by morning he was hopeless.

Then the sun rose again, and he steamed coffee and took the first sip of the first day of the rest of his life.