Note: the places and times in the titles are meant to give a sense of "grounding" to the tales. To put each scene in a particular spot in time and space.
Gilboa, New York 7:16 Am
I awoke to see the Man Who Was Only Bones disappearing through the door that led to the hall. I tried to reach out to him but my arm was just a hollow tube of skin, my hand just an empty glove.
Murfreesboro, TN 2:39 PM
Tiny cubes of my husband’s bones hovered like bumblebees against the blue summer sky. I tapped one and watched it spin slowly, marveling that the bones were still suspended three days after I’d taken them out of him and cast them into the air.
Avon, CT 9:13 PM
As I sat upon the grassy hill, enjoying the warm night breeze against my bare arms, I was quite surprised to see a second moon emerge from behind the familiar single orb. I was even more startled to see the two of them blink.
Ypsilanti, MI 3:07 PM
I looked up from my book at the sound of soft crackling. On the couch, the shell of my wife’s old skin- a papery, translucent thing like a cicada shell- was slowly splitting up the back.
Gardner Lake, Norwich, CT 1:37 PM
I rowed the boat out onto the lake until I could see the roof of the sunken house dimly outlined against the tea-dark waters below. Leaning closer, I could just barely hear the soft piano music coming from inside it.
Natchez, MS 1:23 AM
After five hours of frantic digging with shovel, trowel and my own torn fingers, I finally reached the coffin and yanked open the lid. Inside, as I’d feared, lay not my brother’s corpse, but a bloated pale maggot as long as a man.
Yale Peabody Museum, New Haven, CT 2:34 PM
I picked up the chunk of amber again, not sure if I’d seen right. And there it was entombed next to a pair of winged termites: a perfect replica- no longer than my thumb nail- of that strange man that had been standing on my back porch last night.
Pameacha Pond, Middletown, CT 4:15 PM
Two eyes the color of lemon drops peered up at Timothy from the murky, soup-green water below his floating feet. He turned to ask Marcus if he saw them too, but found only a few small ripples where his brother had been.
Jupiter, FL 6:05 AM
I often see him out of the corner of my eye, standing against the wall. I have never seen his face because every time I turn to look directly, he vanishes.
Great Cypress Swamp, Delmarva Peninsula, DE 6:55 PM
“Is it my turn now?” asked the yellow-eyed thing as she stretched out a veiny, six-fingered hand from among the duckweeds and pond slime.
“Yes,” Melinda said, smiling as she slipped the glove of human skin off her own clammy, fungus-blue hand and rolled it lovingly onto her sister’s.
Jefferson City, MO 7:14 AM
Mr. Alexander lay in his bed with eyes closed and arms resting peacefully at his sides. Cautiously, I pressed my ear to his chest and heard the faint buzzing of the insects that had completely hollowed out his body.
Lynn, MA 5:23 PM
I rested my head against the cold, damp stone of the ruined root cellar and looked out through the collapsed wall at the hemlocks as they swayed back and forth. It took me a few minutes to realize that there was no wind.
Apex, NC 3: 17 PMI was playing with a couple of those transparent floaters in my vision, making them dance and dart around. I made one land on my dog’s back, only to watch it enfold her in a transparent chrysalis and dissolve her in seconds.