Traveler’s Guide to Idaho

A jobless southerner must escape the wrath of an enraged automaton and return home after falling through the pages of a book into a parallel universe.

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Traveler’s Guide to Idaho

Flash Fiction | Short | Scifi

Karl Spudwick doesn’t believe in Idaho’s existence. For the past five years he’s been battling Linda on her home state’s arbitrary  existence and failing. With a heavy box in hand, he treads quickly across the stony walkway and up the steps to their baby blue house with quaint windows. Linda, dressed in military fatigues, is hot on his heels.

 “Why do you get to choose where we live?” he hollers, “It’s not fuckin’ fair!”

“Not fair?” Linda she replies, “I’m the one with the job!”

“You could’ve picked any state besides Idaho. I’ll never find another job here.”

“You won’t find a job because you were stealing company property from the last one!”

Karl stops at the top of the steps and faces her.

“It was already in the trash.”

He storms into the house grumbling and spitting random slurs. He enters an office and places the box on his desk. Other boxes are stacked around the room awaiting his attention. Reluctantly, he pulls a box cutter from his pocket and slides the blade through the ugly brown packing tape. He doesn’t remember packing this box. It’s filled with pages of old yellowed newspaper all dated for July 3, 1890.

“Huh, that’s weird,” he mutters.

Karl sifts through the various articles until his hand closes on something solid. He lifts a tattered book from the depths of the box. As he brushes away years of dust and gossamer from its cover, he catches the faint smell of potatoes. The title reads: Traveler’s Guide to Idaho by Frank R. Gooding. Gooding is Linda’s maiden name.

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Killings, Willis

The original Killings was written by Andre Dubus in 1979 about a man, Matt Fowler, who is forced to confront his son’s killer. This short story is told from the perspective of Matt’s friend and willing accomplice, Willis.

Killings, Willis

Adaptation | Short | Fiction

I remember the night Matt came to me for help. He didn’t actually ask for help, it just seemed to resonate from within him. His posture, his tone, the look in his eyes, all signs of a man who was lost in his own despair and wasn’t sure of where the road was taking him. Of course, I didn’t blame him. If I had lost a child it surly would have driven me to the brinks of depression and vengeance, as well. I think, subconsciously, I knew he would come to me before he did. I wanted him to come to me. I wanted to help my friend; so we made a plan.

We sat in the car outside a bar Strout frequented. The hours dragged by as we waited for its patrons to filter out to retire for the evening. Strout was known for being the last to leave on any given night of the week. Being alone and drunk would make him vunerable, and we both agreed that this was the best time to catch him off-guard and outside of prying eyes. That was part of the plan.

Finally, Strout rounded the corner of the bar into the parking lot looking for his car. The look of surprise on his face when he found us waiting for him, guns drawn, was almost comical.

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Haeven

A psychiatric patient details the final moments before his plunge into insanity and soon discovers the nightmares plaguing his comatose mind are all too real.

Haeven

Novel | Sample | Dark Fantasy

Gate Waymen sat in the leather embossed lounge chair, artfully dodging the shrink’s attempts to engage in conversation. He had read every spine that lined the room at least a hundred times by now. Awards and certificates sneered at him, bragging of the doctor’s achievements and how he was certified to treat Gate’s condition. Aggravated pitter-patter of a bouncing pen brought his attention back to an ornate mahogany desk followed by creaking wood from an antique chair as Dr. Gode rose to a boastful pose.

“I’m sure your godfather will be here momentarily,” he said, “But we can begin this session without him if you’re tired of reading my collection.”

How many times did he have to sigh and twiddle his thumbs before the head doctor would commit to their agreement? Tick… Tick… Tick… A cane echoed outside the door. A soft rapping brought a paltry grin to Gate’s unkempt face; he nodded towards the door. Annoyed, Dr. Gode strode to the door and opened it to reveal Michael, a wiry old man wearing a very hard expression. He pushed past the doctor and took a seat at his desk, propping his feet on its glossy surface.

“Are you ready?” he said paying no regard to the slack-jawed Dr. Gode as he raise his eyebrows at Gate.

Gate nodded and gestured towards the recorder at Michael’s feet. Dr. Gode, flustered and red, huffed and puffed across the room to a corner chair and plopped down like a child who had just been scolded in a checkout line. Ignoring the outburst, Gate sate up, running his gnarled hands through greasy black locks of hair. His sleeves fell loosely down his arms disclosing many scars and souvenirs. With a heavy finger, Michael started the recorder; Gate cleared his throat.

“I remember the first time I entered Haeven as clearly as a young child remembers the searing white pain of the very first burn…”

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