Narratively

Human stories, boldly told.

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The Heroines of Halifax and The World’s Greatest Explosion

[] Just after 9 a.m. on December 6, 1917, 35-year-old nurse Clara MacIntosh was lying in bed, willing herself to get up. Just as she readied herself to start the day, the windows in her bedroom imploded, coating her bedsheets in glass. A distant blast reverberated alongside gusts of cold as the front door flew off its hinges, and the maid downstairs...

The Secret Society of Lightning Strike Survivors

[] The Jack Britt High School girls’ soccer team was playing on a muggy evening in Fayetteville, North Carolina, when the sky grew dark. It was on September 30, 2015. Shana Williams Turner, a 46-year-old teacher in the school’s special education department, was supervising at the gate that leads to the field. She watched as the weather started to turn. ...

The Author Unpacking an Unhealthy Obsession

[] Editor’s note: This article contains discussions about suicide Last year at Narratively, Candace Opper wrote about an obsession with her middle school crush who died by suicide. Opper was fixated on his death and wasn’t quite sure why. But her Narratively story was just the beginning. In her new book Certain and Impossible Events, Opper dives deep...

Her Best Friend Was Her Secret Stalker

[] Editor’s note: This article contains descriptions of rape threats. “hi my little bitch ..get naked orelse I gangbang you.”   It’s 4:36 a.m. and 19-year-old Utsa Chatterjee’s screen is glowing from a private message she’s just received on Facebook. Even though it’s early in the morning and Utsa is barely awake, she is not surprised. In recent...

Editors’ Picks: The Best Narratively Stories of 2020

[] The Renegade DIYers Demanding Dolls as Diverse As They Are Story by Amelia Merrill  Kristen Washington and her “Mini Kristen” doll. (Image courtesy of Kristen Washington) American Girl has long epitomized a particular vision of childhood perfection. Armed with pots of dye and webcams, today’s teens are pushing the brand to embrace their underrepresented...

King Chaos, Queen Cricket and One Long, Strange Year in a Roadside Homeless Camp

[] The moment Cricket’s life flips upside down begins with a spark, and a gasoline generator. She is lying on her bed, playing with her cell phone in the 1991 Allegro Bay mobile home she shares with her boyfriend, Chaos. The lights go on. Then she hears him scream, “No! No! No!” She jumps up, looks outside and sees fire. It’s 10:30 p.m. on October...

The 10 Most Popular Narratively Stories of 2020

[] It’s been a loooooong year and it’s safe to say everyone is ready for a little distraction. If you need a break from the news cycle as 2020 comes to a close, curl up with one of our top 10 most-read stories from the past 12 months.   1. The Deadliest Marksman’s Cold, Brave Stand Story by Michael Stahl Häyhä shooting at the Simo Häyhä Sniper Competition...

The Obsessive Life and Mysterious Death of the Fisherman Who Discovered The Loch Ness Monster

[] Sandy Gray was fishing in the peat-black waters of Loch Ness when he discovered an unusual animal. It was a sleety Saturday in March 1932, and the animal was a large, elaborately colored bird with a glossy green head, a fan of coppery-red plumes, and a dark-metallic breast. Sandy spent much of his free time on the loch (the Scottish word for “lake”)...

The Writer Taking on the “Troubled Teen” Industry

[] It’s three a.m. when two hulking men barge into your room and aggressively wake you. They demand you do as they say. You are told to follow them into a car, and at this point it’s evident that you have no other option. You pile into a black SUV without saying goodbye to your family and have no idea where you are going.  This is what thousands...

The Renegade DIYers Demanding Dolls as Diverse as They Are

[] In her parents’ kitchen, 15-year-old Teddie fills a stockpot with water. She places the detached head of an American Girl doll (whose neck strings allow for such blunt dismemberment) atop a towel in a bowl, pours a small amount of warm water in the neck opening, and steps back to wait. Once the vinyl is heated enough to melt slightly and become squishy,...

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