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March 16, 2020

Shindara awoke with a start, staring wildly into the depths of the forest. The senseless void from his nightmares was replaced by the brilliant canopy of trees. A grey thrush twittered in the low hanging boughs. Sunlight splashed across his face from his perch in the knotted branches. His back rested comfortably against the trunk as fiery leaves spiraled past him in their serene dance. He vaguely recalled climbing the tallest tree in the forest and drifting off to a restless sleep. 

A feathered breeze ruffled his hair, stirring sensations in his h...

October 12, 2019

A dull ache stirred in the back of Elijah’s head. He opened his eyes and saw only blackness and a mesh of wire netting. A bucket smelling of waste had been deposited in the corner of his chain link enclosure.

Melancholy, gray light filtered into his prison through the grated ceiling. A fan spun overhead, warping the room into a melting pot of shadows and light. Through the flickers, he saw that his clothes had been stripped away.

Elijah felt panic for the first time in months. He tried to clutch his chest as an outpouring of pain set in. The handcu...

September 14, 2019

“I can’t believe we’re doing this.”

Vivian, Camilla, and Elijah whispered amongst themselves at the edge of the group. A guided tour of Bohnice’s psychiatric hospital cemetery was an unusual departure from the nights spent at the Toxic Mistress. That is not to say that Vivian wasn’t intrigued by the paranormal enthusiasts checking their equipment and setting up fixed cameras at points of interest.

The epicenter of activity centered around their tour guide, a delightful man named Hassan Sumbal. A headlamp was affixed above his forehead, allowing him...

September 2, 2019

An hour had passed since Keung Xu left Vivian at the crime scene. He couldn’t believe he was looking at the exterior of Pankrác Prison in southeast Prague. It was inconceivable that he needed someone who was locked away inside. The man in question should have been the last person he ever wanted to see again, let alone seek out for help.

Keung would be within every right to strangle him on sight for what he’d done to his family. How times have changed. Keung went through the process of checking in, passing through security, and filling out forms. H...

August 11, 2019

Elijah nervously glanced at Vivian as he followed the nurse down the hospital corridor.

“I’m beginning to have reservations about this ECT,” he grumbled.

“Don’t be ridiculous. You’ll lie down and wake up feeling better than ever.”

“I’m dead. Why can’t you accept that?”

“Haven’t you ever prescribed an ECT for someone before? It’s helpful for depression, bipolar, and a whole host of disorders like Cotard’s.”

“How do you know this is going to help me? Who’s to say this won’t make me feel worse?”

“If you don’t trust in the procedure, trust in me. Will that...

July 26, 2019

“It has to be cyanide.”

Vivian couldn’t stop shaking as she huddled outside the emergency room in the hospital. “I could smell it on his breath before they hauled him off to the ambulance.”

Her stomach quaked and she balled up her fists.

Camilla wasn’t there to assuage her worst fears. She became unstable and belligerent when she learned about Elijah’s condition. In fact, security was forced to intervene and remove her from the hospital grounds. It was unlike Camilla to lose control, but she would have done the same if Vivian was the one dying of ac...

July 9, 2019

Elijah’s expression was unreadable as he surveyed the Alice in Wonderland aesthetic of Prague’s most notorious cybergoth club. The dance floor glowed under red lights, having been transformed into the Queen of Heart’s court. Lining the dance floor were topiaries and life-sized chess pieces. Elijah stared at the king’s piece, which appeared to have lost its head.

Only a few steps away, the bar had been sculpted into a likeness of the Mad Hatter’s table. It was littered with an assortment of China, teaspoons, and sugar cubes. Different shapes and s...

June 1, 2019

A shrill noise pealed across the room. Vivian almost threw her back against the window at the sound of the phone ringing. She swiped it off Elijah’s desk and pressed it to her ear.

“Elijah?”

“Not quite. It’s Gavin. Can I have a moment of your time?”

“Hi, Gavin. And before you ask, yes, I’m going to the dark Alice in Wonderland-themed night at the club tomorrow night.”

“I’m so glad, but I’m not calling to entice my most loyal customer. We have a problem on our hands.”

“What is it?”

“I think you need to come to the morgue as soon as possible.”

“Oh there i...

April 8, 2019

Vivian was instantly unnerved by the surreal display of skinless bodies inside the museum gallery. Some were chopped into parallel sections and sealed between glass plates. Others were largely intact and posed in daily activities such as throwing a baseball, playing a saxophone, or embracing their lover. Each body, donated by the once living man or woman, was missing its skin and infused with silicone. Vivian wasn’t sure where to look first.

She examined a pair of men positioned as if they were playing tennis before inspecting an ostrich consisti...

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