Hey, it’s Claire. I’ve been here all week, waiting for the mysterious bridge jumper. Yesterday I met him.
Recap: Mystery man appears on an abandoned train trestle several times a month, leaps two-hundred feet into a rocky gorge, and promptly vanishes until his next jump. Locals don’t recognize him. I saw him make the jump myself last week.
Continue reading Vanishing Jumper: Part 3
Hey, it’s Claire. I’m in Depressingly-Nowhere County, PA investigating that mysterious bridge jumper Hank emailed me about.
The bridge is a train trestle, built in 1911, that runs a nauseating two hundred feet over a weedy, rocky gorge that’s impossible to easily access unless you’re one of those weirdoes who loves hiking into weedy, rocky gorges full ancient Genesee Cream Ale cans. The trestle’s been closed to all traffic for over a decade. It’s basically the kind of rusty old death structure you’d associate with dangerous teenage dares and mid-Pennsylvania industrial decay.
Continue reading Vanishing Jumper: Part 2
I’ve received word of a man who leaps to his death from a train trestle in rural New Jersey at least once a month.
The man has been seen taking his suicide dive—a two-hundred-foot drop into a rocky gorge—by more than a dozen witnesses in the last year.
He is currently unidentified. Witnesses describe him as approximately thirty years old and six feet tall. He’s Caucasian with curly black hair that three people have independently referred to as “marvelous”. He wears a gray sweatsuit and blue sneakers.
Continue reading Vanishing Jumper
An update about the two ethereal bodies floating in my house, dear strangers.
(Read Part 1 and Part 2)
The first body’s face, looking upward, could be seen through the hole I’d cut in the hallway floor. The second body, looking downward, was mostly hidden directly overhead in the ceiling. Only its ghostly nose protruded.
I Sawzalled a new hole, cutting a wide oval and revealing the second face. It was a woman this time. Like the man below, she was bald and lacked both eyebrows and eyelashes, and even if they hadn’t shared their strange hairlessness, they resembled each other enough to be relatives.
Once the plaster dust settled and my eyes felt clear, I stood on my stepladder, craned back so I could look straight up, and examined the woman’s face.
Continue reading Hovering Body, Part 3
An update about the hovering body in my hallway, dear strangers.
(Read Part 1)
As I described in my earlier report, the body is nonphysical—I was able to reach my hand through his torso—and is pressed face-first against the ceiling, the way an ordinary body would lie facedown on a floor. Because he’s so close to the ceiling, I was initially unable to see his features.
My solution was to Sawzall a hole in the ceiling, cutting a circle around his head, so I could see him through the floor of the hallway above. This was messier and more challenging than expected, but after I cut a crude hole in the ceiling, I walked upstairs, coated in plaster dust, and finished the hole from the upper hallway.
Continue reading Hovering Body, Part 2
A disembodied man is hovering in my brownstone’s second-floor hallway.
The hallway is narrow and long, with a grimy plaster ceiling and a hardwood floor covered by a lichenous carpet runner. Two wall sconces provide a modicum of light in the hall, but the man’s form floats in the gap between the sconces and is somewhat difficult to see.
I’m mostly certain he’s a man. He floats face-up against the ceiling, straight as a plank. From below I can see the back of his head, which is bald, but none of his distinguishing characteristics. He is nude, as many ghosts are—an essential, lingering self without ornament or clothes.
Continue reading Hovering Body
[Read previous report here]
Hey, it’s Claire. Here are the highlights of my interview with Melissa _________, the woman who’s been pregnant with a male fetus for twenty-six trimesters.
ME: Congratulations, I guess!
HER: Thank you. I feel very blessed.
ME: What’s your son’s name?
ME: Most mothers I’ve known start to feel very “get this baby out of me” by the end of the third trimester. How’re you feeling after seven years of pregnancy?
HER: I worried a lot in the first year, but once I understood he was healthy and safe, I made peace with him staying inside. My hormones reached a wonderful balance. I have a permanent pregnancy glow. I’m not in any discomfort. I think a lot of mothers would love this experience. I’m always with my baby. He doesn’t get sick, he’s never alone. He’s growing up in a perfect environment.
ME: He’s not really growing up, though, is he?
Continue reading Seven-Year-Old Fetus: The Interview
Hey, it’s Claire. Here’s a weird one. By “weird” I mean creepy AF and just the kind of thing that makes me dread-love my job.
I met a woman named Melissa who’s been pregnant for seven years. Twenty-six trimesters to be exact. I heard about her from an anonymous tip on The Blackboard and drove out to meet her in an office park where she works payroll.
She’s unmarried and wouldn’t talk about the father except to say he was a full-time fantasy footballer and no love lost on either side. She’s 49% pretty and looks right at the tipping point of “don’t ask about her due date in case she isn’t actually pregnant”. Picture a mousy thirty-year-old woman with a shopping-mall haircut and the beer belly of a middle-age man.
Little backstory here. Her coworkers like her OK and she’s a payroll whiz, no professional complaints whatsoever, but everybody thinks she’s crackers. Not dangerous crackers but sad crackers. Because she announced her pregnancy to everybody twenty-five trimesters ago, and there was an office baby shower and everything, and then no baby. She grew a paunch and then nada.
Continue reading Seven-Year-Old Fetus
I thought I had a bat in my apartment last night, which was weird and exciting because I thought bats vanished during winter (do they hibernate or what?), but anyway here’s what really happened and it’s totally more exciting than a winter bat.
I’m in my bed tent, and it’s late, and I’m playing Carly Rae on my earbuds and reading Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft for the godzillionth time. And suddenly this thing lands on the outside of the tent and it’s all like, “Fluttery, flappity, look at my wings I’m super awkward.”
I unzip the tent and jump out of bed and it’s GONE. My apartment’s small. My roommate Katey’s room is up the hall and her door is shut (she had that boy over again) so whatever landed on my tent’s got to be in my room, the hallway, the bathroom, or the kitchen. I checked them all with a flashlight. Nothing! No sign of the thing.
Continue reading Super Weird Thing Outside My Bed Tent
I received the following letter via paper mail. I don’t know the sender, who identifies herself merely as “An Old Woman”. I’m giving the message special attention for reasons I can’t discuss in detail. Suffice it to say the envelope was marked with certain runes that very few people outside of the society would know and understand.
Dear Mr. Mahoney,
I’m an old woman now. At least 94. My exact age is unknown because my birth parents abandoned me in infancy, and because I have no trustworthy memories of my childhood. I believe much of what I remember about pre-adolescence is imaginary. I have no memory of willfully imagining it all—only a deep-seated instinct that most of it is lies.
This morning my granddaughter, who is seven, asked me where I was born. This is what I told her.
I was found inside a hive hanging from a tree branch: a newborn baby covered in live bees.
Continue reading Baby in a Beehive