An original story by Jeff Mariotte, with sound design by Mark Duggan.

Jeff Mariotte knows the road home. Or maybe not.

Once, while reeling from personal loss, he left a holiday party and began a long, lonely drive back to an empty house.


Listen to the story:


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As he set out, he found the hum of tires on familiar pavement was a measure more comforting than the Christmas songs on the radio.

But somewhere past the turn he’d taken a hundred times before, the familiar route became alien territory.

At first, a ruined farmhouse, not at all familiar.

Then, a hairpin where before lay a straightaway.

Soon, low hills swelled where flats once stretched.

Jeff Mariotte didn’t make a wrong turn, but he’d lost the road home.


“I pulled off, killed the engine, got out. I looked back toward the farmhouse, but it was gone. Swallowed by darkness. Or never there at all.

I could turn around, head back to the highway. Or I could keep going. This road would end sometime. Somewhere.

It had to.

Didn’t it?”


About Jeff Mariotte: Jeff was born in Illinois, but with a father who worked for the Department of Defense, grew up in places like Paris, Germany, San Diego and Arizona. He is a graduate of San Jose State University. He’s been senior editor for several publishers and owns a comic book store with his wife. His writing has appeared in several sci-fi and horror anthologies.

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