Are Ghosts Safe for Children?

By Chef Rukatofan

//Source.

I live in a house at the top of a hill, in a woody, quiet neighborhood. Everyone mostly keeps to themselves out here, it’s not the neighbor community that suburbs usually have, but that’s just fine for me. Today, I’m watching my sister’s kids while she is in the hospital. I’ll change some names, all except the name of the ghost… which somehow I feel would be a bad idea. Not sure why.

There’s always a spot on our driveway where, whenever I walk down to the mailbox, or take the trash and recycling up or down the hill, I always feel like someone is watching me from the other side of the fence. I would just assume it was a neighbor, watching out of curiosity or something since no one really talks to each other on my street.  Continue reading “Are Ghosts Safe for Children?”

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I Made a Book to Remember the Passion of my Dead Wife

By Chef jklimerence

//Source.

Death is a weird fascination. It is a tricky sticky thing that seems to dart down and snatch reality right from under our feet, always when we least expect it, even though we know from the beginning to always expect it.

I, myself, never saw it coming. I chose a career in writing, in structuring entire worlds and divining the future of my characters, but even I could not see death’s lecherous caress, her pale fingers claiming what she desired. It felt as if I’d shut my eyes to fall asleep and opened to them to a world turned upside down and set on fire by some invisible madman. When the bones of my wife finally turned up, I truly did want to drench every last inch of this evil existence with kerosene and set it aflame with my anger.

Continue reading “I Made a Book to Remember the Passion of my Dead Wife”

A Cult Shoveled My Driveway

By Chef Dectrek

//Source.

I’ve never liked getting help from others. It always felt like pity. Like someone was trying to rub it in my face that I needed them even for the briefest moment in time.

So you can imagine how tough it was when my husband died and all the neighbors wanted to offer me their condolences. Denise would come over and say “Laura, it’s such a shame about George. How are you going to manage raising little Susy all by yourself? I’ve still got Drew and we can barely keep up with our five little ones considering how involved they are at the school. Anyways I brought you a casserole. Just put it in the oven for 30 minutes and no more or else it will burn…” It’s funny how I always left it in ten minutes to long. I guess I’m clumsy.  Continue reading “A Cult Shoveled My Driveway”

The Schoolhouse in the Forest

By Chef JRHEvilInc/Joel R Hunt

//Source.

//This is part of a series. Click here for part one.

I’m writing this because I need to make sense of what’s going through my head. I’ll admit it; I’m scared. And I know that if I close my eyes and try to sleep, my mind will be making monsters out of every creak of the house and every howl of the wind. I’m in that state where I don’t even want to make a noise, because part of me is worried that, if I do, I’ll hear a reply.

I know I’m being irrational. If I just get all of this written down I’ll see how ridiculous it is and I’ll be able to move past it. It will become impossible to deny that my fear is based on something absurd.

Ockham’s Razor. The true explanation is often the simplest.

That puppet is not watching me.

It started yesterday morning.  Continue reading “The Schoolhouse in the Forest”

I Took a Walk for Seven Years

By Chef theoddcatlady

//Source.

It was August 9, 2010. I was thirty eight years old. My oldest daughter Avis was twelve, and the younger pair, Joanne and John, were nine year old twins. I’d been married for fifteen years. I worked at an insurance firm. And every Sunday, while my wife and Avis went to church and the twins went to my mother’s house, I took a walk.

It was a clockwork sort of arrangement. My wife knew never to push me into going with her, I was an atheist and set on staying that way.

Of course, given what’s happened, my views have changed.  Continue reading “I Took a Walk for Seven Years”

The First Parents

By Chef JRHEvilInc/Joel R Hunt

//Source.

//This is the first of a series. Click here for part two.

“Mum, don’t worry about it. It’s just a splash, she won’t care.”

Mum doesn’t listen, already whipping the cloth off of the table and folding it over her arm.

“No, no, I want everything to be perfect,” she says, running a finger over the table to make sure the stain hasn’t gone down to the wood, “She deserves a real family meal, something nice. She doesn’t want to come home to a… a… warzone!”

“Good choice of words,” mutters my brother with a smirk. Mum shoots him a look, then turns to me.

“Fetch the fresh tablecloth, would you? It’s in the linen closet.”  Continue reading “The First Parents”

The Stairs and the Doorway

By Chef Unxmaal

//Source.

//Some parts of the beginning have been cut down, resulting in a shorter total run length than the original.

I don’t feel like I’m a nosy person. No more nosy than the next guy. I just have what my Ma would call an unhealthy amount of curiosity. I was the kid who climbed to the top of the big oak, just to see what was in the crows’ nest. I was the kid who dug a hole in the backyard so deep that I hit groundwater because I was convinced there was a cave under our house, and I wanted to see it. To see.

I never felt like a scholar. In high school, I kept my head down and did enough to get by, pulling off B’s and a few C’s. I wasn’t interested in learning, because learning wasn’t interesting. Uni was different. I took mainly core classes, math-English-history-science, but they were fascinating. For one thing, nobody cared if I showed up or not. It was entirely up to me to succeed, so I did.

In exchange for my education, I worked security and did some light maintenance duties. Maintenance was a no-brainer. I’ve always been handy, and most of the fix-it jobs were the type that could be solved with a liberal application of WD-40, or elbow grease, or both. Security was a different story. Security gave me super powers. Continue reading “The Stairs and the Doorway”

There are People Outside my Windows: Complete Edition

By Chef Nickbotic

//Source.

//This series contains several references to “you guys” and your “comments,” from its original run on nosleep. Much of this theme has been removed to better fit papaslenders. The Complete Edition also trims a bit off the endings to flow better as one read.

This started with my child. She was the first to see them. I feel bad for her; she was the first one to experience the terror my wife and I would soon feel for ourselves. It began about a week ago, and I don’t know what to do.

Me, my wife Kimmy, and our 6-year-old daughter Anna live in a modest 4 bedroom house, in a place where we are victim to semi-regular blackouts. Only lasting for a minute or two most of the time, they are more of a minor inconvenience than a true problem. We’ve been dealing with them for close to three years now, and have learned to live with them. On the plus side, being subject to somewhat frequent power outages has afforded us a relatively cheap mortgage. But that’s neither here nor there. As I said, this began about a week ago. Anna came into our bedroom at about 1:30 in the morning and nudged me awake. I had to look at my phone to see the time, because the clock on my nightstand read a steadily blinking 12:00. We must have had a blackout.

“What’s wrong sweetie?” I asked, my comforting tone thankfully overpowering the irritation in my voice due to being woken up.

“There’s a man outside and he won’t stop looking in my window.” Continue reading “There are People Outside my Windows: Complete Edition”

Penpal: Chrono Edition

By Chef 1000Vultures/Dathan Auerbach

//This story has been made into a novel, which you can buy here. The chapters were originally posted as separate stories, what follows is the order they occured in. If you would prefer to read them in the order they were posted see the Complete Edition. The chapters will also be uploaded individually in the future, should you wish to wait for that.

Chapter One: Balloons

When I was five years old I went to an elementary school that, from what I’ve come to understand, was really adamant about the importance of learning through activity. It was part of a new program designed to allow children to rise at their own pace, and to facilitate this the school encouraged teachers to come up with really inventive lesson plans. Each teacher was given the latitude to create his or her own themes which would run for the duration of the grade, and all the lessons in math, reading, etc., would be designed in the spirit of the theme. These themes were called “Groups”. There was a “Space” group, a “Sea” group, an “Earth” group, and the group I was in, “Community”.

In Kindergarten in this country, you don’t learn much except how to tie your shoes and how to share, so most of it isn’t very memorable. I only remember two things very clearly: I was the best at writing my name the right way, and the Balloon Project, which was really the hallmark of the Community group, since it was a pretty clever way to show how a community functioned at a really basic level.

You’ve probably heard of this activity. On one Friday (I remember it being Friday because I was excited about the project and it being the end of the week) toward the beginning of the year, we walked into the classroom in the morning and saw that there was a fully-inflated balloon tied off with string taped to each of our desks. Sitting on each of our desks was a marker, a pen, a piece of paper, and an envelope. The project was to write a note on the paper, put it in the envelope, and attach it to the balloon which we could draw a picture on if we wanted. Most of the kids started fighting over the balloons because they wanted different colors, but I started on my note which I had thought a lot about. Continue reading “Penpal: Chrono Edition”

Fat Camp: Complete Edition

By Chef Pippinacious

//To read the parts separately, or go to the source, click here.

I was an addict. I denied it for a long time, came up with excuses as to why what I was doing was ok, convinced myself that I wasn’t hurting anyone, so it didn’t really matter, all the typical justification that are shouted up from the depths of a downward spiral. When Mom noticed, she attributed it to Middle Child Syndrome and said it was a ploy for attention. Dad shrugged it off, figuring there were worse things. My sisters were too busy being perfect to comment.

Dad was right, in a way; it wasn’t like I was selling myself on street corners for meth or anything. There were definitely worse things than eating myself sick constantly. What had started as comfort eating to deal with a combination of poor self-esteem and bullying slowly morphed into a need, a craving, an itch I couldn’t quite scratch.

I couldn’t look at food without feeling the urge to shove it in my mouth in a vain attempt to fill the emptiness that churned in my gut. And when I did give in, there was such a rush and the desire was quieted, even if only temporarily. I felt so guilty, knew I was doing wrong, and that just made me want to do it more. I was caught in a vicious circle of self-hatred perpetuated by the only thing that could make me feel any better: eating.

It got embarrassing fast. I tried to be discrete, eating normal portions in front of others, but then gorging myself behind closed doors until I felt like I would vomit. I couldn’t look in a mirror without wanting to cry. My face was becoming rounder, my clothes became harder to pull on, tighter, and my sisters started asking if I was “retaining water”. That was their idea of tact. Mom was even more blunt.

“You’re getting fat.” She said over breakfast one morning. Continue reading “Fat Camp: Complete Edition”