Runner Rob Krar. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/The Denver Post)

This week, we’re sharing stories from Elizabeth Van Brocklin, Brian Merchant, Christine Fennessy, Peter Schjeldahl, and Gabriella Paiella.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox.

* * *

1. Lockdown: Living Through the Era of School Shootings, One Drill at a Time

Elizabeth Van Brocklin | The Trace | December 18, 2019 | 14 minutes (3,698 words)

What’s an active shooter drill like? Hear directly from 20 students and learn “what they see, hear, and feel during what has become a routine experience in American schools” — read excerpts, or listen to the audio of their conversations.

2. Click Here to Kill

Brian Merchant | Harper’s Magazine | December 17, 2019 | 30 minutes (7,522 words)

Unsurprisingly, you can order a hit on someone using forums on the dark web geared to undertaking any heinous task for money. Some of these sites are known scams, designed to fleece the hit orderer for whatever amount they’re willing to pay. Others are, sadly, for real.

3. Rob Krar’s Never-Ending Race

Christine Fennessy | Outside | December 16, 2019 | 25 minutes (6,438 words)

Rob Krar, an accomplished ultramarathon runner, has struggled with serious depression for decades. In leading ultramarathon camps with his wife, Christina Bauer, he’s discovered that more than a few of his campers battle depression and that while running for 100 miles can help keep the dark times at bay, being among those who understand helps even more.

4. The Art of Dying

Peter Schjeldahl | The New Yorker | December 16, 2019 | 37 minutes (9,282 words)

In this long, kitchen-sink essay, long-time New Yorker writer and art critic Peter Schjeldahl reveals that he is dying of lung cancer. He poignantly looks back at his life and career, and his history as a smoker.

5. ‘You’re My Present This Year’: An Oral History of the Folgers Incest Ad

Gabriella Paiella | GQ | December 16, 2019 | 12 minutes (3,053 words)

Oh please, like you didn’t think it.