Three men, total strangers to each other, sat in the buffet-car of the Bangkok express as it hurtled through the night toward Kuala Lumpur.

“Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?” One of the men, an Englishman, waved his hand towards the silver-washed jungle as the Frenchman nodded in agreement and only the Australian remained silent, confident and knowing.

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I smiled as I watched the lady scold herself for being so scared when that stupid black cat had jumped in front of her in that dark alley. That smile turned into a grin when I realized she hadn’t noticed me standing right behind her.

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Peter None

I was dancing in the studio alone, practicing Wendy’s part for our upcoming school play, when the music suddenly stopped. I was about to fix the sound system when I noticed that a dark shadow continued to dance just beside my reflection in the mirror, which surely wasn’t Peter Pan’s.

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Kidding Aside

“Wow, your kid’s all grown up!” I said smiling and waving at the little girl who was grinning at me from the sofa. My friend, who I have not visited for years and who suddenly looked like she had a stiff neck, carefully asked me, “You see her, too?”

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The Worst Prank

When the basketball team I’ve placed a $100 bet on won in the last minute of the game, I jumped out of my seat in celebration and chest-bumped my best buddy who was also rejoicing beside me.

Realizing what just happened, I abruptly stopped smiling and gaped at my late prankster of a friend who exclaimed, “I finally got you, man! You thought I was still alive, didn’t you?”

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The Plea

The little girl kept on crying, pleading and muttering, “I don’t wanna die, please, I don’t wanna die…”

I sighed at the sight of her and wondered how to let her know it’s already too late.

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One night, I received an email of a cartoon GIF with an animated boy crying and tearing blood.

As I was just about to delete the email, I noticed little drops of blood on my keyboard.

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Happy Birthday

On the night of my son’s fifth birthday, the government men silently carried their equipment into his bedroom. Reminding myself that this was necessary, I placed a shaking hand over my mutilated face and discovered that the thirty-two-year-old crater where my right eye used to be was still capable of producing tears.

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