Penpal
11:43:33 PM 03/09/17 by Skill Flea
Footsteps
This is long, so I apologize for that. I've never had to tell this story with enough detail to actually explain it all the way, but it is true and it happened when I was about six years old.

In a quiet room, if you press your ear against a pillow, you can hear your heartbeat. As a kid, the muffled, rhythmic beats sounded like soft footsteps on a carpeted floor, so as a kid, almost every night—just as I was about to drift off to sleep—I would hear these footsteps and I would be ripped back to consciousness, terrified.

For my entire childhood I lived with my mother in a fairly nice neighborhood that was in a transitional phase—people of lower economic means were gradually moving in, and my mother and I were two of these people. We lived in the kind of house you see being tra...

01:16:36 PM 01/08/17 by Skill Flea
Have you ever forgotten your phone?
When did you realize you’d forgotten it? I’m guessing you didn’t just smack your forehead and exclaim ‘damn’ apropos of nothing. The realization probably didn’t dawn on you spontaneously. More likely, you reached for your phone, pawing open your pocket or handbag, and were momentarily confused by it not being there. Then you did a mental recap of the morning’s events.

Shit.

In my case, my phone’s alarm woke me up as normal but I realized the battery was lower than I expected. It was a new phone and it had this annoying habit of leaving applications running that drain the battery overnight. So, I put it on to charge while I showered instead of into my bag like normal. It was a momentary slip from the routine but that was all it took. Once in the sh...

04:57:58 PM 09/02/16 by Skill Flea
I work at a gas station in rural Pennsylvania. It's a boring job, but it's pretty easy and it pays all right. A few weeks ago, this new guy started; I'll call him Jeremy.

Jeremy is weird. He's about 25 or 26, and he hardly speaks, but he's got the creepiest laugh I've ever heard. My boss and I have both noticed this, but it's never been a problem, so there's not much we can do about it. Customers have never complained about him, and he's always done his job fairly well. Up until a few weeks ago, anyway—that's when things started going missing. Employee theft can be a problem at any business that sells consumer goods, and there's only one person working at a time at this gas station (it's a pretty small place). About two weeks ago, my boss started noticing that we were short on motor oil. At first, ...

04:56:41 PM 09/02/16 by Skill Flea
Have you ever had an experience that suggested someone else was in your house, and just thought “I don’t wanna know” and left it? Sometimes, fear of the unknown just seems like the preferable option than facing a real, concrete danger. Normally it’s nothing, though. One time, the beeper function of my wireless housephone went off, when I was the only one home. It could only be called from the living room. Another time, I swear someone took some change from my desk. They’re all probably just slightly disconcerting tricks of the memory.

But what would you do when something truly suggestive happens? Would you run, or just ignore it, like I did?

Last Monday was a normal day. I got up, brushed my teeth, changed into school clothes… All little parts of my morning ritual. It seemed like it woul...

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