12 Nudes by JWGoll

I once got lost in the Badlands of North Dakota. I was working the wheat harvest as a hauler with a crew that ran fourteen combines and we were working our way up to Regina from Topeka, Kansas. One of the drivers, Mitchie Vanderbush, dared me to go camping there after he saw I slept in a tent. The rest of the crew stayed in cheap motels but I was trying to save money to buy a Linhof 4×5. He told me the place was haunted and said most people that go in don’t come out. “You stay in there three nights,” he said, “and I’ll split my bonus with you.” Most of the crew thought it was funny, but the foreman had some choice words when I informed him I was leaving early. He said I could just haul my ass up to Canada at the end of the season if I wanted my pay.

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Insomnia by Liam Silveira

I had trouble sleeping through the night in high school: insomnia. But I hated the label.

It is a stupid and hateful prejudice that words are truth-bearers. I remember those torturous dark nights spent shifting beneath my blankets: the desperation of those countless hours I spent tossing and turning. I felt like I was lost in a thick mist. I tried everything: supplements, meditation, exercises. But nothing brought me any nearer that gentle foretaste of death. Insomnia: what nerve it must take to reduce it all to four digestible syllables.

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