• Man standing on beach wreckage as a storm blows in.

    Esme pulled a deep breath in through her nose and blew it out slowly with pursed lips. She heard the baby retch behind her. Her seatbelt slid over her as she unbuckled and made the awkward climb into the Toyota Sienna’s middle row. Esme flashed a quick, grim smile at her son Matty, but he ...
  • Man standing on beach wreckage as a storm blows in.

    Lightning pain wrenched her from a terrible dream, a nightmare painted with a sudden plunge and screaming terror. But consciousness was worse. Much worse. She tried to drag air into her ragged lungs and cried out, though all that sounded through the haze was a raspy squeak. She felt an invisible grip around her torso ...
  • beer bottles

    Who could have guessed an unexpected encounter at a local bar in a lighthearted discussion about horoscopes would lead to the sudden disappearance of Maureen McKinsey? Maureen was spunky and outspoken. She established friendships with her sharp humor and winning smile. Born February 29, 1992, she chose not to celebrate her birthday on February 28 ...
  • snowy mountains on a lake

    Arvid knew it was a risk stopping in the human town. It would only bring trouble. But months on the forest trails alone, drinking his homemade berry and root wines, left much to be desired. The constant itch in his mind was soothed by another pull from the thick green bottle the barkeep sold him ...
  • Island Castle

    Nia’s cab stops at a dead end, where a sidewalk to the left leads to the castle. After getting her bags from the trunk and seat, Nia thanks the driver, who tips his hat and drives off. Nia starts walking towards the castle underneath a canopy of palm trees and twittering birds. Nia takes no ...
  • Laptop

    “Nothing yet about Nick?” Jason asked Kristen through his cell phone. He knew he was calling her too much, but he couldn’t help it.  “We’re looking for him, Jay. No leads yet,” his partner said calmly. Jason paced the hallway outside of Nick’s apartment. If Kristen knew he was there, she’d be aggravated, but he ...
  • messy room, from the ashes

    Jason wasn’t shocked to find Nick’s apartment in disarray. His friend wasn’t known for his housekeeping skills, and if something happened to him inside the apartment, no one would ever know based on how chaotic it always was. The smell didn’t help either. A mix of crusted dishes, dirty laundry, and sweaty man permeated the ...
  • Taxi

    Jason stared at his arms, watching the water run over the pink scrapes and scratches zigzagging over his skin. His brain quickly flashed to Tara running her fingers across the flesh of his arm, the memory making him stumble back against the shower stall tile. With a swift turn of the faucet, Jason ended what ...
  • feature-image-a-set-of-wooden-stairs leading up to a marble door

      Several Years Ago Forbidden. Denied. All his life, he felt a calling; something told him to seek out the knowledge hidden deep within the city. And then the voice started speaking, several years into running after the calling. The High Rulers’ Archive has the answer. And maybe it was unwise to follow a voice ...
  • rain and water droplets

    Warley looked at Jason for a long moment, waiting for him to continue. He gave the young detective a sympathetic, almost fatherly look when he didn’t. “Jason, we’ll figure it out. We have your statement. We’ll process everything on you from last night. Go home and rest. There’s no reason to hold you here. Not ...