Laura Presley is a firm believer that magic is real and birds are not. She lives and works in Ohio with her husband, their brood of wildlings, and their excessive number of rescue animals.
From Cradle Came Flame
Hope is the last inch of her. She lays it at the altar with an addict’s trembling hands. They’re an hour from the rest stop's poorly staked fence, her clothes sweat-soaked from struggling through the forest: the path no longer has so much as a mention, its every memory erased after a dozen lifetimes. Ivy climbs the stone pillars, hiding prayers carved in dead languages to gods whose names have never known English. Underfoot, spiders hurry away. The air is heavy and dew beads every leaf, although beyond the trees the day carries the brisk, crisp edge of autumn.
Reading Recommendation: 5 Books Perfect for Spooky Season
Not only is October obviously the prime month for all things creepy and crawly, it's also the first month that fall really feels like it's settled in. Wrap up in your favorite flannel, pour yourself a cup of pumpkin spice, and get lost with one (or all!) of these book recommendations:
Three of Swords
Your truck's exactly where you said it would be. The doors are unlocked and there's half a Marlboro on the driver's seat, a burn in the fabric you'll be pissed about later. You were right: it’s an easy job. I'm hidden from the casino’s main entrance and employee lots, tucked safely away from the security cameras or valets. A snatch and grab, so to speak. If I'm efficient, I'll be fine.
- Runner-Up in New Worlds Challenge
Race Report: Ode to Laz 2022
It’s a hot summer Saturday, and the Stairway to Heaven is killing me slowly. For the first time in my life, I know what a fighter’s corner feels like. There’s an impressive wealth of supplies laid out beneath our canopy: fresh socks, bandages, a chest full of ice and calories. It seems like an impossible amount of emergency prep. It is. Everything here is meant to keep me moving indefinitely.
Race Report: The Barkley Fall Classic 2021
I am alone, and everything hurts. Hurts is an understatement. I don’t know how far I’ve run, or how long I’ve been out here. I don’t know where ‘here’ is. My hands are crammed under my hydration pack to keep the weight off my collarbones. My thighs shriek with every uphill step.
10 Unique Pipes That Double as Home Decor
There's no gentle way to say this: the majority of mainstream cannabis pipes are absolute eyesores. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Nearly every corner store has a case packed full of gaudy glass pieces, their surfaces swirled with neon colors and embossed with 420 emblems. No big deal if you're a twenty two year old still fueled mostly by Four Loko and 7-11 snacks, but - especially in the era of Alexa family drop-ins and Zoom live classes - some of us would prefer a bit more... subtlety.
Stations of the Cross
“Que onda, niñita?” The boy isn't much older than Jorge. His face is handsome, still soft beneath the shadow of his first beard, but Lace has seen him passing pills and powder at the corners. She knows that behind his back there's a gun, the same way she knows that Los Zetas gave it to him.
Every time I lace my running shoes, I think about Ahmaud Arbery. To summarize the Arbery case: in February 2020, two white men, Travis (34) and George (64, a retired police officer) McMichaels got into their vehicle -- Travis with his shotgun, George in the bed of the truck with a .357 Magnum -- pursued the unarmed Arbery (25) through their neighborhood, and blocked his path with their vehicle.
Your Go-To Guide for Creative Gift Giving
If you're here for advice, congratulations: you're dangerously close to becoming a last minute holiday shopper! Maybe it's part of your annual tradition, or maybe 2020 just got the better of you. I'm not here to judge. But before you start panic buying, remember -- contrary to the commercials and crowded displays, nobody actually needs a budget bath set that smells like rubbing alcohol and plastic. And unless your loved one requested one, for the love of all things holy, do not buy them an electronic toothbrush.