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Image by R. Loughlin

There are few things more peaceful than a quiet snowfall, the Witch Hunter decided. He was squatting in front of a small shack, leaning against one of the posts of its overhang, looking out across the dawn. The shack was in a clearing in the middle of a thick, grey forest. The snow deafened all the world around the little homestead; the clouds hung heavy over the forest and all before him seemed at peace.

The Witch Hunter let himself become part of the quietude that bonded all things together — the trees, the animals, the sky — in common…


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Image by R. Loughlin

The wind screamed in his ears as steely waves crashed at his feet. Peter stood at the edge of the trees, where the sea met the land. He had just emerged out of the dark woods after trekking along the knobby and rugged trail. He was looking at the lonesome stone structure built atop the outcropping at the end of the narrow strip of rocky beach. Out of the trees, the wind gave him a deep chill, and he shivered under his coat. He pulled his collar tightly around him.

The road behind him was long and tiring. He did…


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Image by R. Loughlin

There’s no skiing at Skiventure. More precisely, there is very little, and if there are any ventures out to the mountain, they’re on snowboards; at any rate, it’s not the point. To be fair, though, it did not start out with that intention. Several years ago, my friends planned a weekend to the Poconos to go skiing (and snowboarding) as a group. It garnered interest from many people in our circle and we booked a place off I-80 near Big Boulder-Jack Frost. With the large group, long weekend, and oversized house, the trip took on a grand scale and the…


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Image by R. Loughlin

An atom — sharp and plastic, radiating with the dull shine of polygons — spun around on the screen. Perfectly fabricated plastic homes started to fly by, the camera zipping down streets lined with perfectly and plasticly happy people. The homes transitioned into shiny, paper-thin spacecraft as a trained, professional voice began to play over the idyllic images.

“We used to think there were only 118 elements in the universe,” the video said. “But our discovery of Maeranium has changed our world. It has provided us with the energy to power our homes and fuel our starships, cleanly and efficiently…


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Image by R. Loughlin

I built the Spring House because I needed a place to store all my writing. I have been published at Midnight Mosaic and Lit Up, but I needed a place to collect my writing on Medium that isn’t part of another publication, as well as build a landing page for The Chapel on the Hill.

This is all part of the promise I made to myself to start writing more, and to take it more seriously. If I have an outlet, a proper place to collect and display my writing (that is, writing that’s purely mine, and doesn’t necessarily fit…


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Image by R. Loughlin

Ghosts stalk the break-down lanes of the highways up here. Shuffling down the pavement to God knows where. Always alone. Lost souls in transit from one miserable world to another, caught momentarily in the icy gleam of headlights then lost forever in the abyss of the road left behind. Some of them peer up into the tractor cab as George rumbles by, mouth agape and eyes empty. Hollow eyes in the hollow night. …


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2019 was the year I wrote. I didn’t write as much as I would have liked, but I wrote more than I ever have in the past, and I am proud of what I put forward. 2019 brought drastic change, and quite a bit of pain, to my personal life, but it also brought love and hope from unlikely places; I took much of that energy and poured into my writing. I ended up surprising myself more than disappointing myself, which I did not expect.

One of my favorite books I read this year was Exhalation by Ted Chiang —…


Lit Up Halloween Spooks

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Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

There is a tree that stands on a hill, naked and watchful. The stony rise lies at the head of a wide valley; a dark and ancient river flows crookedly through the plains below the tree. Grey mists wind their way around the rocks and crevices, but never reach up the hill to the tree. The tree stands alone, a sole witness to its own sour kingdom.

Only the mists and the dead roam the valley: no living thing can survive that foul land. But the dead are not silent; they do not speak, no, but they carry their stories…


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June 27, 18 —
Island of Mangoon

Dear Constance —

It’s been ages since I’ve written, and I am sure you are worried sick about my well-being and are curious about the fortunes of my endeavors abroad. Suffice to say that I am well and that the voyage has been fruitful.

When we last saw each other, I was, to put it plainly, a different man. I was full of boyish energy and the type of naïve hope only youth can buoy. I remember brimming with excitement at the idea of seeing the undiscovered world and the anticipation of finding…


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Image by R. Loughlin

On a small island in the middle of the sea lived a man in a green house. The house was perched atop a steep and rocky cliff that plunged into the churning waves below. The house faced the east, and every morning the sun washed the single room in a pale light that gently begged the man to rise from his bed. Upon waking, he would walk to the cliff edge and look out across the unbroken expanse of grey water to where the sun made the sky glow. And he hoped, desperately, to see Her. But every morning he…

Robert W Loughlin

I make words and pictures | www.robertwloughlin.com

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