Samantha Koenig, the barista abducted and killed in Anchorage, Alaska.

Samantha Koenig, the barista abducted and killed in Anchorage, Alaska.

Read the news–a piece of advice given to me by a creative writing professor some time ago. So now and then, I’ll crack open the newspaper or scroll through Yahoo! and MSN to see what the world has to offer me.

A man is pushed onto the subway tracks and no one helps him, not even the photographer that snaps away pictures. The oldest person alive is now dead. The tallest woman alive is also dead. And Samantha Koenig of Anchorage, Alaska is abducted from Common Grounds, sexually assaulted, and strangled to death. Her killer then shoves her in his shed, went on a cruise, returned to the body, made her look alive, snapped pictures, wrote a note demanding a ransom, sent a text message to Koenig’s boyfriend with directions to find the note, dismembered her, and threw her bits into a frozen lake. He later committed suicide in his jail cell after being caught.

Earlier this year, my boss’s daughter asked me if monsters were real. I bit back my words because I didn’t have the heart to tell her they were. And they are not as scary as they look in the books.

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