[STORY]: The Ballad of the Body

This past year, I threw my hat in to compete in the New York City Midnight Madness Flash Fiction contest. Authors were asked to write a very short story (under 1,000 words), that contained certain criteria. For my first year competing, I did alright. Only the top five out of every group would proceed to round three — I was number six.

Since I’ve been eliminated, I am now free to share the work I contributed. This is the entry from the first round. The criteria my group was given was:

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Story Time: Bombtrack.

I consider myself among the fortunate few that I can say I’ve only ever had to experience one bomb threat in my life. It’s not an event that I care to repeat, but it’s something I can tick off of one of those Facebook life event pissing contests, or try to one up someone’s story at a boring party.

[DISCLAIMER]: This is how I remember everything happening, some of the details might be a little fuzzy or mistaken — please feel free to contribute and correct me at will.

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Story Time: The 3:45 to Otherside, NC [HALLOWEEN 2019]

You know the medical condition when you have to get up every hour, on the hour, to take a leak? You know, and there is no explanation for it, and the only medical advice that anyone will give you is “stop drinking before bed.” When you have to get up each night and respond to urgent body demands, there is no such thing as a restful night’s sleep — it’s only a game of “I wonder how many times I can remember getting up and taking a piss?”

Last night’s record was five.

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Story Time: Sylvia

Even as a grown man, there is no name that sends the needles of dread traversing up my spine more than “Sylvia.” I’ve never seen her, but I am painfully aware of her — I know people who have claimed to have seen her, but never for myself. I consider myself fortunate to that degree.

To those who know of Sylvia, you know exactly where I mean when I say “Janesville Mountain.” To those unfamiliar with the cluster of sleepy mountain villages that I called home, picture a secluded road along a mountain pass obscured in shadow — it’s one hundred miles through pine trees and thin air from Pittsburgh, more than two hundred from the Philadelphia direction. It’s the kind of road that you hold your breath when you drive on it, that you turn up your radio when the sun is setting, and you opt for the extra length of the Interstate when night falls.

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Story Time – Behold, The Wicked Wind – Halloween 2018

Behold, The Wicked Wind
By: A.P. Miller

Wolf Rocks, Appalachian Mountains – Halloween, 1910.
Bad magic usually comes with a few rules: utmost faith and keeping your mouth shut about what you had seen is usually chief amongst the unwritten regulations to be followed. Keeping that in mind, the long line of people waiting to get inside of the cabin was much longer than should be, if everyone had been abiding by the rules. The night was thick with unseasonable humidity, a bad moon had cast a wicked glow over everyone that was waiting, and a dense mist was rising from the stream that flowed nearby. The combination of cool grass underfoot and the beads of sweat pouring from the brow was a tad disorienting.

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