Cedar Grove Park had been there since before we were born; now it looked like we were going to outlive it. Just another old-school roadside attraction bound for the bulldozer. But for everyone of my generation, the name Cedar Grove Park conjured up a parade of decrepit, indelible images. Firetrap arcades and ancient rides that smelled of rust and vomit, the racetrack that roared like war and raised a cloud of gasoline and oil-smoke thick enough to blot out the sun. Then there was the zoo. Everyone said they remembered it but no one could call up a clear picture of what they’d actually seen. Instead, we were left with partial impressions, like sifting through the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and finding only a patch of striped fur, a piece of dusty wrinkled skin like old leather, a single huge eye filled with pain and hatred and no understanding.
––from ‘The Last Ride of the Night’, Midnight Street: Ghost Highways
The children have started to disappear. At first I tried to comfort them but they don’t seem to hear me, so I’ve stopped trying. I can tell which one is going to go next because of how the others move away when it starts to happen. The others don’t watch anymore, but I did, the first time. The last thing to go was the eyes. After that I never looked again.
––from ‘Faces of the Missing’, Supernatural Tales, No. 26
There in the house across the road, the green window was blazing bright. He stood staring, unable to believe what he was seeing. But there it was. Surrounded by the darkness of night, one small square of sunlight. Human figures passing quickly across the frame and then disappearing. He stood still, afraid to breathe, waiting for them to reappear. When they did and he saw how small they were, he knew they were children. And what should have felt frightening, a rip in the fabric of the world, instead felt peaceful, almost comforting. All that mattered was those small bodies that flickered back and forth across that bright green space like moths flying in and out of a light.
––from ‘The Sea In Darkness Calls’, Darkest Minds
It was a photograph of his father, younger and smiling with the ocean at his back, a woman’s body standing close to him. Where the woman’s face had been was a jagged hole where someone had taken a sharp object and gouged it out. The boy stared at the hole for a long time until he could see something slowly coming into focus, like an object in deep water rising toward the surface at a tremendous speed.
––from ‘The Professor of History’, The Six–Fingered Hand
The surface of the earth here is cracked, millions of cracks as far as the eye can see, spreading outward in all directions like a spiderweb or a bullet hole in a sheet of glass. The horizon is a flat line. Not a single telephone pole or power-line, not a single tree or bush. Nothing but a flat line all around us in every direction, nothing for the eye to hold onto. Hard to tell the difference between the earth and the sky. Maybe there is no difference. A long time ago, millions of years ago, maybe billions, this whole area used to be covered by an ocean. Miles of saltwater over our heads, vast and terrible creatures moving all around us through the cold and dark.
—from ‘Writings Found In a Red Notebook’, Shadows and Tall Trees, Vol. 6