Frank hated the idea, but a mother in his support group said it had been helpful.
So he set it up in Jessica’s old room and attempted to steel himself.
When they discovered Frank’s emaciated body, his frozen smile was still fixed on the flickering hologram of his daughter dancing.
Ran Walker is the award-winning author of seventeen books. He teaches at Hampton University in Virginia.
She had attempted to ignore him, hoping he wouldn’t approach her as she stood alone in the aisle of the bookstore. He was the persistent kind, though.
After approaching her, he mustered a polite smile and blinked twice.
“Excuse me,” she said by way of introduction, gently fanning behind herself.
Ran Walker is the author of seventeen books, the most recent of which is PORTABLE BLACK MAGIC: TALES OF THE AFRO STRANGE. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University.
The owners complained they no longer had the time—with marriage, kids, and life in general—and could no longer afford to operate a business with such slim margins, but when the time came to officially close its doors, none of them could bear to let the old bookstore go.
Ran Walker is the author of seventeen books, the most recent of which is Portable Black Magic: Tales of the Afro Strange. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University in Virginia.
The first time the beast came to the village was by accident. He had simply lost his way.
However, once he learned the townspeople were willing to feed him one of their own each year, gradually incorporating more festivities and rituals into his visits, the beast vowed to keep returning.
Ran Walker is the award-winning author of seventeen books. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University in Virginia.
Those who could run, ran.
Those who could hide, hid.
The rest of us hunkered down to fight, fists squeezing chair legs, staplers, keyboards, wastebaskets, anything we could find.
As the loud popping sound drew closer, we exhaled slowly and did our best to prepare for what was to come.
Ran Walker is the award-winning author of seventeen books. He teaches creative writing in Virginia.
The other owners at the dog park eyed Stonewall curiously, attempting to make sense of the dog’s ticking movements. Ian welcomed the attention. Only another skilled horologist would understand the complex automatic movement, and only someone who’d buried one too many beloved dogs would understand his need to build one.
Ran Walker is an award-winning author of sixteen books. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University in Virginia.
Wallace sat on a bench in the garden, a bag of Skittles in his hands. The EnChroma glasses were a gift from his grandchildren. They’d asked him to identify colors he was only recognizing for the first time.
Now alone, he sat gazing at the English violets, lost in purple.
Ran Walker is an award-winning author and creative writing professor who lives in Virginia. He can be reached via his website, ranwalker.com.
Ken believed our scoutmaster when he said adding dry leaves would give the stew a nice “hickory” flavor.
We couldn’t stop Ken in time to keep all of the leaves out, but when we won first prize for “Best Camporee Meal,” no one mentioned the secret ingredient to the judges.
Ran Walker remains perpetually amazed by what you can do with fifty words.
Now a time-worn 22-year-old, after ten successful years hunting monsters under beds, Tommy was washed up and ostracized, no longer hero but villain.
His insatiable appetite for monster flesh and increasing expertise in the slaughter had brought his prey near extinction.
A protected species, the last monsters cowered in zoos.
Alison would like to give thanks to Ran Walker, who made her think about those poor monsters under the bed in a different light.
Editor: This story is a follow-up to Ran Walker’s “Hunting Nightmares.”
Two unexpected things happened after Timmy killed the monster under his bed: (1) he ate it (and rather enjoyed it), and (2) he took to hunting the monsters under the beds of other neighborhood kids. After all, someone had to do it—and he’d already developed a rather insatiable appetite.
Ran Walker is the author of sixteen books. He serves on the creative writing faculty of Hampton University in Virginia.