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"Here you are." The woman pressed the keys on me and I felt every knot in her hands. "Now, this first set—these are the proper ones. Here's the key for the front door, the back, the master bedroom, and so on. You'll figure them out. These—" She produced a(more)
Most of the people who visited the fighting simulations were cast in the same mold: bronze-skinned, rippling with gym-sculpted muscles, their voices redolent with bravado and vanity. They might have accepted one of their own as first rank—while still trying to overtake their score, of course—but the reigning champion(more)
The French have a phrase for it—l'appel du vide. The call of the void. That primal urge to jump from a high place, to walk in front of a bus, to plunge a steak knife into your throat. We are fascinated by our frailty. The complexity of our thoughts(more)
You're looking into the mirror when you feel a distinct sense of wrongness.

You gaze at your own puzzled face and try to trace the source of the feeling, but the reason for it eludes you. Still, that deep sense of unease, gnawing at your middle. Something is(more)
It started so subtly that no one noticed at first. It might have been your friend, your neighbour, your mother... For me it was my cousin. A crooked smile, eyes like plastic, words that didn't quite make sense.

"What's wrong with you?" I demanded. He continued grinning in(more)
I died with my eyes open. They closed them eventually, but before allowing me that simple dignity, they stripped it all away. My naked body was probed by dispassionate hands and examined by cool eyes. They pulled out my guts in slick, ropy strands and jammed in something else.(more)