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Biscuit Storybook Collection. Chapter books 2nd-5th grade. Fortunately, the Milk. Freckle Juice. The BFG. The Witches. Secrets of Droon Box Set. Joke books and cartoons that encourage reading. Jokes Stories and Cartoons I can read to you. Middle Grade 4th-8th.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Book 1. Bridge to Terabithia. Out of My Mind. As the camera pans down over the stage, the two ladies are revealed on the bed, underneath a gigantic banner showing the alphabet. It looks so real. There is a disco ball. There is a lava lamp. There are martini glasses. Dean slowly walks down the steps, and his face is now open and friendly. His sex face. He goes soft. Match made in heaven. When one offers to give him a massage, he starts laughing.

But what I love even more is the construction of the shot. The Trickster and Dean talk mano a mano. Supernatural has a tendency to give the monster a monologue in the final act. But this one is really good. The tone here is intimate and jokey, truthful and knowing. He knows the two of them. Before I knew that he would be featured in one of the greatest Triptych-of-episodes in the whole series, I hoped to see him again, based on this monologue. I, too, like his style. The fact that this whole scene is played with flashing dance-club lights and Barry White in the background adds to the fun-loving totally surreal vibe.

Almost instantly, for me, it became a classic. This kind of goofball stuff, mixed with in-depth examinations of things like our relationship to reality, is what Supernatural does best. You can almost feel them, as a cast and crew, hitting some kind of weirdo stride throughout. This is who we are as a show. This is what we bring to the table. Sam and Bobby appear at the tops of the two flights of stairs, both wielding stakes. The Trickster turns to Dean, confused, and impressed. The Trickster being impressed with Dean tricking him turns Dean on. The entire atmosphere is one of sexual possibility already and Dean is highly suggestible to stuff like that.

One cannot tell an actor to put these layers into something. This is not an aspect of Dean discussed outside of the fans. The moment lasts half a second. I just wrote a full paragraph on it. The Trickster pretty much stays out of it. I mean, come on. And look at her uplifted arms in the background. Because Supernatural is egalitarian when it comes to monsters and demons, often what that means is that Sam or Dean but usually Dean, come to think of it is put in the position of having a huge fist fight with a woman.

Or a little kid.


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Or an old lady. First of all, how much fun is it for these one-off actors, women and children and old ladies, to get a chance to do old-fashioned fight choreography, something they normally are not asked to do? And not only that, but they get to kick ass? Dean is truly hurt by these babes, and Ackles acts the hell out of it, and so do the both of them.

We should more of that in the world, not less. One of the babes punches him in the face, and Ackles does this swoon off to the side, his entire body moving with the power of the punch. Meanwhile, Sam and Bobby fight off Leatherface, and the Trickster, eating a candy bar, watches the whole thing, having the time of his life.

In a wavering moment, Leatherface disappears, and then both Babes disappear and I love their gasp-in-unison, as they waver out of sight. No detail too small. Beat up, groaning, the worse for wear, Sam, Dean and Bobby convene, staring down at the dead Trickster. And rightly so. Which is then underlined yet again by Sam and Dean stopping to have a damn near tender moment over the hood of the Impala, as they linger over silently apologizing for the mean things said during the various arguments. Both brothers take their time with it.

Bobby has disappeared into the back seat as all of this is going on. Of course. Their language is inadequate. He leaves the sentence unfinished. Going in close, Sam almost looks desperate. Dean is his big brother. Think about how Sam idolized him his whole life, issues notwithstanding. And Dean looks glamorous and bruised, serious and open, and okay with where the conversation has gone. Because Sammy is his little brother. They both look achingly beautiful. Could we just leave? Bobby will need a nice long nap after this case. The car peels out, and the camera stays on the entrance to the building.

The Trickster lies dead in the auditorium seats, and a figure appears in the foreground, staring down at the body. Bookmark the permalink. Purple nurples sound good — except for the coconut part. The slurping sound is so gross. Fer chrissakes man, put yourself away. I love the disconnect here. Luckily for my embarrassment-o-meter the rest of his tall tales focus more on his lame brother than on his own awesomeness.

Yes, me too. Stop that!! I mean, giving Sam a thumbs-up before going to bed with the Doublemint Twins. No ambivalence, or shyness. But yeah, International Man of Mystery. The finger-swipe on the lips as he turns to Sam — ack!! Stop it! The embarrassment of that finger swipe made me want to choke.

Haha, still laughing at the Awesome Movie of his Awesomeness. I like the dark, gritty and serious movies when the source comic is dark, gritty and serious. This is where Man of Steel went so horribly wrong and it seems the rest of the DC films will follow that bad example. Marvel is doing it better, though they are going a bit overboard with the giant, explosion heavy, end fights for my tastes.

I was feeling rather sad and cranky today, but this recap has really ended my day on a high note! I just keep thinking about the slow-dancing aliens and giggling. In my heart of hearts, I am not a morning person. Your comment made me think of when the last Indiana Jones movie came out. I thought it was a hoot. I had a great time, and it had much of the swashbuckling slapstick charm of the first movie. Excuse me — but so was Raiders. Raiders is one of my all-time favorite movies, but to pretend that that was some serious deep movie is to completely mis-remember it.

It was a lark, a romp, an adventure-serial — with broad characters, practically slapstick violence, and all that.

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I feel like the people who were so angry about that last Raiders were not really remembering what Raiders was actually LIKE. The same is true, actually, with the new James Bond movies. My God, so serious. If you watch some of those old James Bond movies — they barely can keep a straight face throughout.

Crack a joke once in a while. I agree! The same thing happened with the Star Wars prequels. Yes, they were bad. The s were full of big guns, big pouches, and big violence. You had people who grew up reading the comics now writing the comics…and they took it a bit too seriously.

So here is a Captain America instead. I am one of those people who saw it in the movie theatre in when I was a pipsqueak. Most specifically, the kiss in the asteroid belt pretty much launched me into puberty single-handedly. I guess I can relate to this whole thing when I think of film adaptations of certain beloved books. So I do get it. Quoyle was supposed to be a big lumbering homely giant with a gigantic chin, a feature he is embarrassed about.

If they had cast John C. So yeah. I definitely can get proprietary!! The same thing with Star Trek too — that TV show was great, but it was damn near goofy a lot of the time. Cheesy and goofy. Have we lost our sense of humor totally? I mean … what the hell. What a great discussion that was. It gives me the courage to guiltlessly proclaim that I like Lady In Red. It is the sort of romantic thing that SPN makes fun of.

Kevin Cronin sings it from the heart. And I took a little trip down the Anscombe rabbit hole. She was born in Limerick! I had a day off yesterday so I finished it up! Yeah, that Harry Potter discussion was awesome! How did you resist not making the entire thing screencaps? And the humour is allowed to breathe, you know? His face…. Unlike other monsters that seem to use Dean, take advantage of him — the Trickster enjoys these guys, enjoys Dean a little bit.

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Speight is so good! Plays it just perfect! The way Dean whips his arm up behind him, holding onto the money clip — all while keeping his eyes on Sam …. As brothers. Who have known each other all their lives. And the keepaway fight…Sam trying to go for the noserub fakeout. Bush league, Sam! S2 has some great editing, between the jokes, the montages, and letting that last shot of Heart run so long. I agree, Tall Tales feels like we have all been Put on Notice and really freed them up. The range and beauty of S2 is a gift. And Sam getting laid.

I love this season so much. Total bush league!! Nothing as silly as this. Slightly humorous characters and situations — but full-on farce? This is who we are. You should work for the CW. I could see you introducing what Season 2 had in store for the audience at the CW upfronts, announcing from that enormous stage:. It was deeply shocking and kinda haunted me all the way through to the monologue in AHBL2. Jessie, you screen capped two of my very favorite moments from this episode.

I have given up on SPN top fives. The opening teaser of the pilot, maybe? Maaaaybe also when he smiles at them before he goes to heaven? But by the time Tall Tales came, I was binge-watching like crazy. I had started being so obsessed that I had almost stopped eating and sleeping, by that point yeah, a totally normal and healthy reaction…. So I watched Tall Tales at night, while my boyfriend was sleeping on the other side of the wall. I remember laughing trying not make too much noise, because someone in this house had to get up in the morning and go to his real, grown-up job to make some real money.

Roaring with laughter silently is a very hard thing to do. I had to pause to laugh with my head buried in the cushions, wipe my tears… I love Tall Tales so much! It was such an awesome surprise. The goofy and the meta episodes are my favourite by far. When I first saw Hollywood Babylon, I was sooooo excited to see they were going there! Imagine how much I love The French Mistake. Although I think Mystery Spot might be my favourite episode in the whole series. Oh yeah, Asia, man. You know what?

Still makes me laugh and shake my head. I love everything about it Tall Tales. The hotel room. The noises. The Purple Nurples. Pursed lips and blah blah blahs. Dancing aliens. I love that the guy getting probed here is played by the same actor who was an asshole getting easter eggs shoved up his ass in Veronica Mars. Lyrie — hahaha I love the image of you trying to keep it down while your boyfriend slept in the other room!! I felt the same way as you did about Hollywood Babylon.

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And Gary Cole. The show is blatantly not real. And they admit that with these meta-moments. Not complaining but …. Lyrie-That image of you trying to laugh silently makes me laugh, too! I had a similar situation, first time through, only with my younger son rather than my husband whom I have roped into the SPN ride.

Speaking of typecasting, the lovely lady who played a prostitute twice in SPN was in the pilot of iZombie. Playing… a prostitute. Who, us? Nah—you should hear us during Hannibal, though. Was not expecting this so soon with everything going on in your life right now. Made my night to see this recap! Tall Tales is one of the best episodes and your write up made me remember how different the structure really was with those hysterical freeze frames. Sam was so perky, smiling with too much teeth. Now this is true brother behavior and I appreciate the mean spirited pokes and prods, that unfailing reflection that only you siblings can provide, right?

That leaves siblings to tell us the cold hard truth when we suck. It was mean and made me cry but to be fair, he was right and I looked awful. No one else would tell me that kind of truth. So freaking brotherly. Yay, Tall Tales!! Love this observation! You nailed it. And I was absolutely obsessed with the Trixie Belden series — no joke!! I loved them more than the Nancy Drew series.

I had every single book — I think there were, like, 50 of them?? Not Washington Irving. But Trixie Belden. Speaks to his humility — because I find him regularly hilarious. I love when he scolds Dean for political incorrectness. How about Sam wrestling with Gandhi clinging to his back? Apperenly they were caramels and very real and very very sweet. He stuffed like 16? I recently paid a visit to the Hunterian which is one of the oldest medical collections of Gross Things in Jars and honestly, I nearly ran screaming from the place.

At one point I realised I was staring at a vitrine full of pickled animal anuses. Just the snout. In a jar. You guys just made my day! Thank you! I trusted you and then saw what seems to be the half bottom of a bird in a jar. I am a sensitive soul. So happy to read this recap and to see everyone—Thanks, Sheila, for another fantastic read! This is one of the things I love about the show, too, how bendy it is. This was almost the first tv show I started watching after coming out of a self-imposed fugue state of childrearing, new jobs, and school, and it hooked me pretty quick.

I know what you mean about shaking things up. I just binge-watched the first season of Orphan Black and I enjoy the leavening of humor they throw in. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Sheila Variations. Skip to content. Where does magic come from? In terms of Supernatural : The show is a good solid show.

About Rashomon One of the greatest films ever made, Rashomon , directed by Akira Kurosawa, is a masterpiece examination of the nature of reality. I mean … Those ridiculous faces are not accidental. Her girlishness is almost over-played, but it works like a charm. It gets him. A knock on the door interrupts the argument. I repeat: dying. Bobby watches all of this like a hawk. Are you actually relating these words to Sam and Bobby back in the room? Please stop!

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Wow, Dean. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Looking like this. So far so good. So far so X-Files. For good. At all. What happened next? I also love the scene because I get to revel in this ridiculous-ness. In the meantime, Sam informs Bobby, they checked the sewers for alligators. Just in case. Mission accomplished. Here, it is ridiculous and you want to give both of them a Time Out.

Joy to the world! The whole episode feels like that. April 12, at pm. That was an awesome read, Sheila. Helena says:. April 13, at am. Jessie says:. Paula says:. April 13, at pm. April 14, at am. No, Dean, stop it!! May says:. I have laughed longer and harder watching SPN than I have watching most comedies. Humour makes everything better. May — Oh, the gif, the gif!! Always a rough adjustment getting back to the grind after vacation. Good luck!! And now those people are making movies. Seemed impossible, but I always kept an open mind. My colleagues would never agree to work with me on this conceptually flawed experiment, but Peter Goldstein had the funds to let me work toward my dream.

He gave me the money when I asked, and I did all the work: finding fresh bodies, harvesting the organs and muscle and tissue and bones, assembling the pieces, finding the chemical mixture to bring the dead tissue back to life once more. Years of work to find the perfect ingredients. I need to get them from a living specimen. I plunged a hidden syringe in his neck and sedated him.

The body would not last much longer. I needed the parts now. I laid him down on my operating table and began to work. I completed the work on the creature and began pumping the chemicals into its body. If my calculations are correct, it is mere minutes away from being a living being.

The sedative must be wearing off from Peter; he is beginning to stir. I hope he is as excited as I am about this momentous occasion. The ten ton weight pushed me off my feet and slammed me into the library wall. I felt something leaking inside as I scrabbled for purchase on the hot metal. The smell of burning rubber and the crunch of bone washed over me as more cars spun off the road, and I prayed for survival. It all came back at once. I opened my eyes and gazed at the dead and dying. Men, woman, children, all wrapped around the wreckage of the bus and half a dozen other cars it smashed along the way.

Rivers of blood and broken bits splashed down the streets and pooled in the potholes and ran through the grates. Some of them still lived, writhing, sobbing, clawing at the wreckage of the world around them. I sprawled over the hood of the bus and felt my life drain out. She was a beautiful 14 year old girl with blonde, curly hair and big blue eyes. She had many friends for she was one of the most popular girls in school.

Her greatest pleasure was fashion. She was always dressed in the newest, fanciest most expensive clothes. Just this week her father bought her a ridiculously expensive green Italian leather jacket which she wore always, everywhere. Her second greatest pleasure were horses. Just last month her father bought her a ridiculously expensive, imported german dressage horse, which she bragged about to anyone who would listen.

Just yesterday, Linda was out riding said horse, galloping across acres and acres of farmland. She was hit by surprise. Never had something so unpleasant happened to her and she wondered when someone would arrive to comfort her. Surely someone must have seen her fall, everybody always looked at her! But not today. No one saw her vanish into those tall crops on the field. She called out, but no one answered. She lay there for what seemed like hours between tall, green crops.

And when she heard the sound of farming machines approaching, she grew to hate that damn, grass green jacket. We put our daughter to bed upstairs in her room every night, and yet we found her on the couch in the living room every morning. At first we thought she was sleep walking, but she never was afraid when she woke up, thrown off by the unexpected nocturnal change of location. We tried asking her about it, but she never gave us straight answers.

My wife grew tired of it. Every morning we found her on the couch, sleeping soundly. Then my wife decided to stay up and wait for her to come down from her room. We put her to bed, closed the door, and I got into bed like normal while my wife stayed watching the living room through the glass doors of the hall. No more than five minutes after we had left, our daughter came down to the couch.

I knew because I heard the living room door open and my wife started talking softly. After a few minutes, their voices started rising. I got up and went to see what was wrong. I walked in, and my wife was standing at the bottom of the stairs, while our daughter cried and begged her not to go up them. I picked her up and held her, trying to calm her down, and my wife went up. She started crying even more then. I set our daughter down and walked to the stairs.

I walked up slowly to the top, and turned to her room. I opened the door, and the light was off. I stepped in the room to flip the light switch, but nothing happened. Then the bulb in the hallway started to flicker. I turned around as it went out.

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All I saw was a blur of black that even dimmed the darkness around me. The door slammed shut, and the wails of our daughter reached up through the floorboards as the overture to my final moments. All there was at the end was darkness, screaming, and teeth. I awake with a jolt. Gasping for air, I inhale deeply.

Dank, moldy air fills my lungs. Lying there, I try to move my arms. Slowly, I lift them from my sides, only to hit something just a few inches above them. Making a fist, I rotate my hand and knock on the object in front of me. And it sounds solid. The air is thick and putrid. I sputter and wheeze, trying to expel years of dust. My whole body moves, and my knees hit a bit too hard on the wood above me.

Trapped, like a nut inside a shell. Methodically, I maneuver my arm to reach the metal broach pinned on my jacket. I scrape and chisel into the wood. Hours go by. The stagnant air ripe with sweat and tainted body odor. I can feel wood shavings on my wrist and arm.

The oxygen in this wooden box is dangerously low. The heat and rancid air burns my lungs. The wood above my hand starts to buckle and I can feel dirt and debris pelting my hand. Mustering every last ounce of strength, I force both my hand up and the wood gives way. Dirt and rocks flood in, and adrenaline kicks into high gear. Clawing, and climbing, I make my way forward through the loose soil. My hand suddenly pops through.

Pushing myself out of the dirt and into the daylight, I survey the area. I can hear scratching and digging around me. I can see other holes where others had already made their way out. I shamble over to the water fountain in the middle of the graveyard. Still missing the top of my head and jaw where I used the shotgun…. Over a third of the population was believed to be infected, they said, and I alone breathed a sigh of relief. It started with anger, I know that much, a burning, churning rage that clawed through my belly and set my nerves on fire. I think I hurt someone.

I think I might have hurt a lot of someones, actually. Very badly. No more disgusting images, no more monstrous desires, no more sick thoughts every hour of every day. He pricks her thumb, hums as the machine processes the sample, and then frowns. I step up to the desk, grinning widely even though the horrible, whining voice of the parasite is telling me to smash his stupid face into the desk right there, in front of everyone.

Not long now, you horrible little bastard. I present my thumb proudly. The sting of the needle feels like victory, and I inhale deeply as the machine whirs. Whenever I need to use the bathroom at night, I am always filled with a sense of terror. As soon as I flush the toilet and switch off the lights, I run as fast as I could, feeling that someone or something is chasing me until I reach the safety of my own bedroom; closing the door behind me and hiding under the protection of my soft blanket.

Last night, as I flushed the toilet, washed my hands and switched the lights off, I was greeted by the same darkness that usually made me cower and anxious. A thought came to me, that maybe I could get over this feeling of dread if I faced my own nightmares. I stopped myself from running and walked at a normal pace, trying to block horrific images inside my head by counting my steps. I reached my bedroom safely. I smiled at my achievement and gave a sigh of relief. Just then, my bedroom door closed behind me.

I turned around and I saw it; the one that caused me fear every time I used the toilet at night. Reverend Pip Popoff pressed his hand down on the forehead of the elderly woman before pushing her back, causing her to briefly trip over herself. The audience cheered, eagerly eating up the bullshit laid in front of them. I sighed, trapped in line along with the rest of the idiots.

Popoff adjusted his microphone before heaving me onto the stage with a heavy grunt. He was an old man, wearing a tight tweedy suit and speaking with a fake southern accent. In his eyes were pupils of an almost solid blackness. The audience laughed. With this righteous hand, demons, I cast thee out! It was like a dream, I was floating above the scene, having a clear view of Popoff and… myself.

My body turned towards me, its eyes now bearing the same darken pupils. It gave a sly wink before walking off stage and joining my mother. As much as I hate to do it, I roll up my sleeve and stick my hand down the disposal. At these times I always second guess the wiring. Matted up chunks of black hair are all intwined in the mechanics of the disposal. I turn my head and push deeper into the disposal until I notice a smiling 2 foot figure sitting on the counter.

Why is it up there? I turn to look at the drain once more. I hear the sound of rustling cloth and quick, light footsteps. I turn my head again expecting to see my daughter, but instead the doll was standing by the light switches. I can now see the patch of black hair missing from the back of its head. I look down towards the drain with the sudden realization that I needed to pull my hand out, now. The mission was simple. Travel to Keplerf and populate it.

Easy, right? I mean, a small base camp had already been set up by probes and robots sent years ago on previous missions, all with success. The camp was pretty basic, but contained the bare essentials needed to sustain the first landing party and the planet supported life. This planet was to be renamed upon the success of mankind first setting foot upon its soil. The technological culmination in what the human spirit can achieve when threatened with extinction. This ship was to be the first of several to arrive. Its builders and designers would never know of its outcome.

They would be long dead. All told, five vessels were launched. Each with a particular mission, with the ultimate goal to colonize Keplerf. Our vessel was launched a year before the others. Our mission: ensure the arrival of the other ships went smoothly. Build wooden shelters, start crops, secure the camp from predatory animals with a fence and of course, catalog everything. Like the twelve Olympians, there were twelve of us on board; 6 men and 6 women, in stasis. No one could survive the light-year journey alert and awake. Scientists and programmers are both intellectual types; logical and analytically thinking.

A mission this critical, to save the human race, brought together the best scientists, mathmeticians, engineers and programmers the world has ever known. Computer programmers and engineers building precise machinery and software. The existence of humanity required nothing but the best of the best.

We arrived at Keplerf, precisely on schedule. The ship was pre-programmed to land without any human intervention. Funny, after light years without a single problem, that the scientists would calculate the landing procedure in meters, and the programmers would code the sequence in feet….

Was it something you ate? Something you came in contact with? You always do. But it will heat your body up, make it inhospitable for this god damn virus. You grin to yourself, thinking about the hypothetical choice your body has given this infestation: Stop attacking, or leave, or die. In any case, you win and they lose. If only these germs could grasp how puny and insignificant they really are; how could they not realize your body would fight back and that, inevitably, would win?

With that thought, you are willing to wait years, decades, hundreds of laps around the sun if you must, content in the knowledge that no plague can destroy you. And then. No more itching. No more queasiness. The germs are eradicated; a result of their own actions, nonetheless. You relax back into your natural orbit, beauty and well-being restored. You are eternal, indomitable. As you stare out into the far-off reaches of space in every direction, you wonder if they were ever so naive as to call your body their home. The waitress placed a plate of steaming enchiladas, smothered in cheese and onions, with a side of guacamole salad in front of Brian.

A sweet tea was just out of reach of his left hand. It was an old bedroom game. The scene played out in his head as a figure began to emerge in the sunset. Brian was half way through the plate; the waitress had refilled his glass of tea three times, when a patron deposited an absent minded quarter into the juke box. It was Robert Earl Keen, one of her favorites.

Brian shook his head. Keen had no idea how right he was. He glanced out the window, studying the approaching figure. It was closer now. Brian could almost make out its features. By the time he unlocked the door to his old pick-up truck, he could clearly make out the details of the figure he had been watching. The fetid corpse trudged closer and closer to the diner.

Rotted flesh dangled from crackling bones, and the white gown it once wore was now a filthy rag. Brian slid into his truck and closed the door.

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I was a doctoral research student and had received a small bursary to attend, but due to my teaching duties that week, I found myself driving up alone fairly late on the Thursday evening. At the time I was driving my beloved old Mini and had a bit of an embarrassing affectation for all things retro. I was therefore carrying a ridiculously old Nokia mobile with the battery life of a Spinal Tap drummer and absolutely no internet capability. I had pulled over into one of the parking areas of the national park at Aviemore, where I specifically chose one of the smaller car parks that acted as an access point for hill climbers — these areas permit overnight parking, are generally off the main road and are unlit, which I thought would best facilitate a quiet rest before I started driving again.

What with it being Scotland, it was raining lightly and the air was chill. I lowered my seat and pulled my coat over me, drifting off fairly quickly as the rain drummed pleasantly on the roof of the car. I woke with a start some time later. I was in darkness, slightly disorientated and vaguely aware that I had heard a thump somewhere on the bodywork of the car. I was by no means panicking, sure that it had just been the metal chassis settling as the engine cooled, and I picked up my mobile to check the time. I was cursing slightly under my breath about the fact my battery had died when I heard a distinct tap-tap-tap on the lower side of the passenger door.

I was unnerved, and I reached across the seat to check the door was locked. I certainly do, and I was quietly chiding myself for being a baby when the tap-tap-tap sounded from the rear passenger panel. I immediately shut up and stared at the back window. No movement, no shadows. A bit exasperated with myself, I switched on the engine, turning the hot air on to clear the windows.

It took an age for the windows to clear always did with my old Mini, thanks to a bust fan on the passenger side , and I sat for a couple of minutes before I began to see more clearly through the steam. My heart about plummeted to the floor when a brief movement in the wing mirror caught my eye. Something was lurking around the back of my car. I immediately switched on my headlamps, and the car park ahead of me was flooded with light.

There were no other cars, which I found comforting, assured that it must therefore be an animal I had seen in the mirror. I was restoring my seat to its normal position when something clattered deafeningly against the window by my face.

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I screamed pure instinct and immediately pealed out of the car park, a thick fog still obscuring the majority of my rear windows. My heart stopped hammering about ten miles down the road when I realised that no-one was following me. By the time I reached my hotel in Ullapool just over two hours later, I had decided I had most likely been hit by a bird, or possibly a bat, and had laughed at my skittishness.

I got out the car and stretched my legs in the bright car park of the hotel, enjoying the cool air after being cooped up for so long in a confined space. When I went to collect my bag from the back seat, I noticed an envelope tucked underneath and opened it with curiosity. You should be more careful about where you park at night. I sat in the passenger seat for almost ten minutes and wrote this while you slept. Your passenger window can be eased down by hand. I drove home from the festival early on the Sunday afternoon, determined to make the journey in one daylight trip.

I had my window checked at a garage back in Glasgow and sure enough, the locking mechanism was broken. Chills overcome my body as I hear the soft thuds of his steel-toed boots approaching. I was walking home from school, as usual. Every day or something to that effect he comes here, wherever that is. He strides, seemingly in slow motion, over to the chair he tied me to. And as always, he unsheathes that damned blade. And as always, he draws the knife, over and over, upon my exposed skin, which has long since acquired an odd pallor. Where there used to be bare arms and legs, there are now jagged, dark red lines.

He is silent, as he always is during this ritual, only allowing himself a small chuckle when his knife finds a particularly painful scar. If this were a movie, I would have overpowered him, taken his knife, and escaped. I used to imagine myself leaving this place and running away, far, far, away, and never having to look back. All I imagine now is the only possible future left for me: my corpse, lain across the floor, more crimson than pale, and drained of blood. I have long since realized that these thoughts are the only ones that hold any truth to them, and this was confirmed when, upon finishing, he whispered into my ear,.

I have accepted the fact that I will die here. Any fantasies I had of salvation were just that: fantasies. And now, they are shattered, permanently. My boyfriend is such a lovely man. He does the sweetest things like leave me little pieces of jewelry on my pillow or brings me my favorite flowers and a new dress. One day I get back to the house to find that dress and all of the jewelry he has given me were lying on the stairs with a note.

I smile as wide as possible. I quickly go into the bathroom and change into the dress which is a flowing cream colored gown that looks like a toga and the bangles made of bone with feathers on them. All lovely gifts that he had given me over the months we had been together. The last thing to go on was this beautiful gold necklace that had amethysts and jade at intervals throughout the piece. I walk up the stairs to see rose petals scattered across it and open the door to our room.

Every available surface of our room is filled with candles and it is the most romantic thing I have ever seen. I step inside and see the rose petals leading to our bed. It is only after I hear the turning of the lock and see the demonic circle painted onto our sheets that I realize that there is a fine line between romantic gestures, and preparing a sacrifice. For years, children would remember past events that could not be explained. Or dying in a car accident. Or falling off a mountain. Mind, these were things these kids had no way of knowing about. The freaky memories would be long forgotten by the time they reached school age.

The claustrophobics would panic at even the hint of a too tight space, feeling the smothering agony of oxygen leaving them without actually experiencing it. Acrophobics would choke up just looking at a tall building, their hearts beating fast at the terror of being at the top and slipping…. No one made the connection between the past life talk of all these children and the phobias they later exhibited until scientists studying epigenetics, past memories and other things passed down through DNA, became all the rage. The truly irrational phobias. They struggled to understand it, to scientifically explain it.

One day, a geneticist who I bet had been toking one too many joints, had an idea. He designed a machine that measured the energy of a dead body in a whole new way, and was disturbed to find that energy only left the body when it had completely decayed or burned or whatever. A portion of that energy traveled right on into the next body, the most viable fetus it could find, and that is how scientists discovered reincarnation and death memories. Which leads me to my biggest fear.

Many claim trypophobia is not a true phobia. What makes this fear so strong in some and non-existent in others? Imagine what happens to the carcass decaying underground in a box, the maggots and worms making food of it. Imagine a sort of lingering consciousness as your body is consumed around you and you are unable to move in your death. Your death memory transfers into a new body. The thing is though, you may have forgotten all about your former death, but the phobia still lingers. It started simple with army grunts like me.

Each time one of those monsters would pop-up we would send jets and tanks and try to hurt them the best we could. Still most of the time a couple of town would get flatten before they went back to the sea. Despite our best efforts we were considered supremely incompetent and not enough to prevent the possible extinction of mankind.

We needed better weapon, our first really big success was with the robot suit. I can remember being so happy the first time I saw one those damn critter beaten to a pulp. I think that was 30 years ago. But of course we are not fighting mere animals here, they adapted to the big guys and eventually we had to find something new once again. The first thing the eggheads did was to create some Frankenstein like creature.

I think they piece the thing together from all the remains they had gathered over the years or mashing DNA together. Worked really well at killing them, at least until the beats decided to stay hidden for a while and the thing went berserk from the lact on action and tuned on us. Before too long we had to turn half of south America in a nuclear wasteland in order to transform the damn creature in a pile of ashes.

It just needed something with a better brain, a human brain to be more precise. The brain was the only human part they needed, the rest could be altered. They started to ask for volonteers. I remember the first time I saw one, I wondered which monsters I had to shoot. The Irony is that back in those days they actually had a human shape. They were not so bad, but in order to keep winning, they had to become more brutal, stronger and more savage. Nowaday, they easily do more damage than the monsters they are supposed to fight.

The worst thing is that they truly are our only good line of defence, but we always need more of them. One day the brass will probably start to just snatch us up in our sleep. The fields have been barren dust for nearly a year now. And they fed us for weeks. But the meat eventually ran out, as it always did. And once again, our stomachs clawed away at themselves, with nothing to eat for days, days that were churning into weeks. The children cried as I butchered the poor creature, but their tears dried as our small house finally smelled like cooking meat again.

She was weak, getting weaker. And my son was stronger—he just needed some food. My husband was long gone at that point. No guidance. No help. No forgiveness. I begged God to answer me, to tell me what to do. He was silent as the night sky, silent as the slowly dying world around us. I pulled out the large cooking pot. And the cleaver. There was no use in delaying the inevitable, stretching her timeline out, letting her suffer, needlessly collecting the dead until everything was dust.

I had decided to use the threadbare pillow on her. To walk into their small room in the dark of the night, as they tried to sleep off the pain of their empty stomachs, and put it over her face, pushing down, guiding her to some kind of final sleep. Lead her to the endless dark where there was no pain. My hands shook, one on the knob of the door to their room, the other clutching the pillow. I whispered a plea—. I opened the door to find the job had been done for me.

My child. My eyes welled as I looked upon the horror of my bloodied daughter. There is something out there- the most atavistic of human fears. Some people say that this fear of the unknown is something that is relevant for evolution. Fear of the dark kept the early man from stepping out in the night, saving him from the big cats lurking in the shadows. The night time jungle used to cast shadows into the hearts of the bravest men. Many who foolishly stepped out, never returned or lived to tell. Most people today think that the fear of the dark is an absurd idea, and feel brave and invincible in their cozy urban electrified homes.

I should know better. You see, I am old, quite old. I commanded the beasts back in the time when it mattered. This task had been entrusted to me, and for millennia, I ensured that a fear of the dark stayed in humans, using my pets for the purpose. I did not enjoy this, but I feared that if humans strayed out too far in the dark, something much sinister would get them. I continued instilling fear in their hearts, for their own good.

My days are coming to an end now, and I can no longer strike fear in you. I feel sad for all of you, for what I was saving you from is sinister and dark beyond your imagination. I had never been sure what to expect when my wife cooked. She was always on blogs finding recipes that, in all honesty, were above her skill level. Not trying to be rude, but there we are. How extravagant! Mind you, Mrs. Darville and I had been seeing each other secretly for months. I had been wondering if she knew about us. Darville would have to run out the back door half dressed.

She had even gone as far as to get a tattoo of a bear on that little behind after the nickname she gave me. It always gave me a smile. As I went to wash she opened the oven and I smelled an aroma so sweet, so succulent it was as if it snared me by the nose and pulled me back to the kitchen. The kind of spark that Mrs. Darville had used to lure me into her bed with ease.