“We have found your tent, Miss,” the man at the door said. My tent? I couldn’t believe my ears. Didn’t he know? “Good thing you had the label sewn in.” Of course, my thoughts flew right back to that day, only two weeks before. It was a hot, sunny day, …

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Andrea hoisted herself onto a stool and leant across the counter. She grabbed a menu from the stack and flipped to the all-day breakfast. She could never decide between pancakes or scrambled eggs in places like this. The Appetite Plate had both, but she wanted one or the other, without …

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Needle In The Hay is pleased to announce the following entries selected for the MYSTERY OF THE CELLAR DOOR Short List. Congratulations to: Alayna Cole – Guilty Daniel Mac – Cellar Door Dakoda Barker – Unlocked Rebecca McDowell – Birdcage Lauren Clark – Macabre Manor Rebecca Hadland (Sylphien) – You …

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So here it is everyone, the long list for our first ever major award. Seventeen stories have been selected, each one vying for a $1000 first prize. We see some familiar faces, and some new ones as well, as well as plenty of interpretations on a theme.  The long list …

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It was time to get rid of the wallpaper. Gordon wasn’t sure why he had put up with it for as long as he had. He’d lived in the house for 10 years, and the wallpaper had come with it. It had been the first home he’d looked at, and …

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Mr Türöffnung clenched the steering wheel at the nine and three o’clock positions as he eyed the red light. None of this ten-and-two-o’clock crap. That was for hacks. Even through the closed windows, the winds howled. At least it wasn’t raining. The overhead power lines swayed while the stars and …

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Jenny Bowers never thought she would be the type of person to freak out over a sock. But sure enough, she was paralysed with fear when it appeared during the tidy up of her messy bedroom. A man’s black sock that had been sitting, hidden, for over two months while …

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Blood dripped slowly onto the floor. Sy watched, mesmerised, as another crimson droplet formed, swelled and detached, becoming elongated in its path through the air. It hit the growing pool with a little splash spraying myriad smaller droplets around it. His fascination grew with each new drop. A rough tongue …

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Maya walked into the old, abandoned house. Debris was cracking underneath her boots as she advanced carefully. Maybe this was a mistake? The house was only a few miles from hers, and stood a bit apart from all the other houses. People avoided it by all means, and rumor had …

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You wake to an itch on the back of your left thigh. You try to move your hand, desperate to scratch the irritation. Your arm feels heavy. It’s stuck to the dirt. Dirt. Why are you lying on dirt? You open your eyes. You are met with absolute darkness and …

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The door closed with a bang and the blanket of darkness encased them, wrapping them tightly in her grasp. The air was cold and heavy like an underground cellar, the lights and noises from the carnival were gone. No turning back now. Riley nudged Abby forwards, but the other woman …

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  “This famous linguist once said that of all the phrases in the English language, of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, that Cellar Door is the most beautiful.” Donnie Darko. 1. Mr. Leiano sat looking at the steadily dripping tap. The droplets would land gently …

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We had been standing around the yawning hole in a shared reverie. My eyes were tracing the way the dirt splattered carelessly around the edges and the walls fell away sharply towards the centre. I shuffled closer to the rim, reflexively wiping the sheen of sweat that coated my upper …

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  She rapped urgently at the door. There was no rush, other than to escape the howling southwesterly. He opened the battered wooden door so slowly it groaned under the duress and came face to face with the desperate looking young woman. Her frizzy burst of orange hair covered most …

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The red wood tables sit with angular indifference in the fifth floor restaurant.  The setting’s spines and surfaces mark out the avenues of movement between the opposite bar and entrance to the kitchen as the staff glide gracefully between them. Waiters and waitresses in perfect white garments pulse from chef …

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It isn’t relaxing, it’s boring. My brother has taken away my perfectly good PC and left me with this monstrosity, which has no internet connection, no art software and a broken spacebar key. The mouse has a ball in it for goodness sake, a ball which needs cleaning! This is …

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By James F. Troschke 1 Senior Warden Vincent Robinson liked his job. He understood dealing with deluded and sometimes violent schizophrenics wasn’t for everyone, and that’s why he liked it even more. It made him feel special, because he could help them. He could make them feel like valued members …

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