Meet the Obsessive Role-Players Who Live Inside the World of Grand Theft Auto

“Renegade developers co-opted this controversial video game’s source code to build a complex alternate universe where breaking character is the cardinal sin. Millions tune in to watch.”

Source: Narratively
Published: Nov 4, 2021
Length: 17 minutes (4,384 words)

She Spoke to the Dead. They Told Her to Free the Slaves.

“In 1850s Vermont, Achsa Sprague swore that the spirits who miraculously helped her walk again also possessed her with a crucial mission: freeing every soul in America.”

Source: Narratively
Published: Oct 21, 2021
Length: 19 minutes (4,900 words)

My Bizarre Reign as New York’s King of “Virgin Russian Hair”

“It was an irony that blonds for once — at least poor Slavic blonds — were the exploited, and not the exploiters. For someone like me, who had grown up in India, a place colonized and plundered by Europeans, this fact felt empowering in a way. Surely, it felt wrong too, sacrilegious even, but the writer in me was fascinated by the guilty pleasure of selling the very embodiment of whiteness: blond hair. This internal idea that I was embarking on an ambitious literary experiment made it easier to dispense with the ambiguous moral aspects of the venture.”

Source: Narratively
Published: May 13, 2021
Length: 20 minutes (5,167 words)

The Shot-in-the-Eye Squad

“As Black Lives Matter protests swept the nation, the rubber bullets and tear gas canisters started to fly. This epidemic of “blinding by police” inspired our unlikely network of survivors.”

Author: Wil Sands
Source: Narratively
Published: May 20, 2021

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

“A humble Scotsman saw something strange in the water — and daringly set out to catch it — only to have lecherous out-of-towners steal his fame and upend his quest.”

Author: Paul Brown
Source: Narratively
Published: Dec 10, 2020
Length: 22 minutes (5,504 words)

Conscripted into the Emperor’s Private Orchestra

“What do a crew of talented musicians do when forced to serve at the pleasure of a notoriously cruel dictator? They play like their lives depend on it.”

Source: Narratively
Published: Jun 30, 2020
Length: 20 minutes (5,186 words)

The Crime Victim Who’s Obsessed with True Crime Shows

“Before the shooting, watching true crime shows was a diversion. Afterward, it is no longer simply a genre to me.”

Source: Narratively
Published: Jun 25, 2020
Length: 8 minutes (2,063 words)

How the World’s Most Venomous Fish Convinced Me to Stop Working Myself to Death

“”I…Googled pictures of stonefish. I thought about the insidious nature of those gnarled, prehistoric-looking venom traps: how freaky it is to think that they’re always there, perfectly still, camouflaged in the coral. Waiting for you to hit rock bottom. How sometimes the most unavoidable pain comes from the things that are hardest to see.”

Source: Narratively
Published: Jun 22, 2020
Length: 11 minutes (2,841 words)

The Indigenous Woman Behind South America’s Biggest Male Chefs

“Patricia Pérez uses her grandmother’s ancient map of the desert to forage for plants and herbs no one else on Earth can access.”

Source: Narratively
Published: Jun 4, 2020
Length: 9 minutes (2,300 words)

The Man With the Golden Airline Ticket

“That’s what Dad’s AAirpass and ultra-elite flying status yielded for him: lifelong bonds.”

Source: Narratively
Published: Jul 22, 2019
Length: 36 minutes (9,129 words)