Trees of Eyes


I bought these few pages at a local trader’s tent for the equivalent of $.25 USD. It was the only thing there written in English. I don’t know what any of it means, but the fact it names the missing explorers and ruined village is troubling.

June 29th, 2016

Let this be a journal of our last moments. I know we won’t make it out.

June 30th, 2016

They took Jane last night. This morning, the trees have her eyes. All the trees; every knot hole, every space, every interstice, is stuffed with her eyes. Two eyes copied into thousands. I don’t know how. Nothing makes sense. But they’re staring at us. We’re being watched. They follow every one of our movements, as if they didn’t already know what was going to happen.

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Death Looking into the Window of One Dying


As Andrew got sicker, he’d point to perceived smudges on our bedroom window. Nothing discernible to him. Not at first. But the decline in my partner’s health brought with it a growing realization. “It’s a face,” he told me. “It’s someone’s face.”

I saw nothing.

I sat with Andrew through it all. Every sleepless night. Every shriek of terror as nightmares tore through him. Every sobbing declaration that he wasn’t ready. In the mornings, the smudged face would be there, ever clearer to him. He was terrified of it. Still, I saw nothing.

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Found the Bees


I followed the sound of buzzing. The deeper into the woods I went, the louder the sound became. It was dark this far in; there were remnants of structures from industrial-era factories long neglected and choking with trees, vines, and countless other plants. Judging from the level of growth, no one had been here in a very, very long time.

The buzzing persisted. It became hard to walk through the underbrush. I spotted, or rather felt, a swarm of insects. They flew by my ear, paying me no attention, save for one. He flew into the back of my neck and instinctively stung me. I pulled his writhing body off my neck and studied him. It was a bumblebee, fat and covered with pollen. More streaked by. They were going in the direction of the sound.

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Bits and Pieces


Fingernails were the first to go.

No pain accompanied the loss; the victims went to sleep one night and simply woke up without fingernails. The events occurred in Donglu village, located in China’s Shandong Province. There are limited medical resources, so few sought treatment. The affected went about their lives.

Teeth came next.

In Pinellas County, Florida, between November 3rd and 16th, 19 people checked themselves into local hospitals and reported they had woken up with jaw pain, bleeding gums, and missing teeth. They were all wisdom teeth. No one could explain what had happened.

On November 20th, 82 people in Lahore, Pakistan woke up without arms and legs.

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Eavesdropping through an IP camera


A couple years back, there was a software flaw in a few webcam brands. Whenever they were active, they could be accessed by scanning the Internet for a particular open port. Once the port was found, anyone could tune in without the user knowing they were being watched. And millions of people used these webcams.

The companies quickly released software hotfixes, but no one, aside from a few tech-savvy folks, updated their webcam software. So even today, they broadcast everything they do in front of their computer to anyone who’s voyeuristic enough to watch. People like me.

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There was something unbelievable about the stuffing my grandmother made every Thanksgiving. It wasn’t just good – it was beyond amazing. Every morsel of meat and bread and vegetable was flavored to perfection. The meticulousness and love involved in the preparation process shone through with every bite. We’d eat until we were stuffed (pun intended) and still felt great afterward. Hell, we even felt invigorated, which was the last thing one would expect after Thanksgiving dinner.

Our family had been trying to get her to tell us the recipe for years. She wouldn’t even give us a hint.

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An unaired episode of The Food Network’s “Chopped!”


I’m chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s personal espresso maker and latte-foam artist. Yes, that’s a real job. With benefits, in fact. Great health and dental.

One of the perks of my occupation, aside from hanging out with GZ and getting to eat many of my weekly meals at his outstanding restaurant, The Lamb’s Club, is the access I enjoy at The Food Network’s studios and associated properties.

GZ is a pretty big deal over there, which I’m sure you know if you’ve watched the network for more than a few hours. Aside from Chopped!, which is his best-known show, he’s building a new audience with the Saturday morning feature, The Kitchen. His personality fits so well with whatever he’s in, though, and it’s just great to be a part of it.

I’m totally fanboying right now. Sorry. I hope that doesn’t sound disrespectful in the face of what happened.

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