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The Monster of Jenkins County

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“Come on Tommy.  You’re such a slowpoke.”

11 year old Jerry McCutchen grabbed the arm of his friend Tommy O’Brien and pulled him toward the woods.  The two boys were standing in the backyard of the O’Brien house on a Saturday morning in mid-July.  The backyard was long, almost 60 yards in length, and ended at a small hill that dropped off into the Jenkins County woods in southern Louisiana.  The boys had explored the woods in the past and had enjoyed a number of youthful adventures while growing up in this rural community.  But for some reason, Tommy O’Brien seemed hesitant to go on another exploration of the woods.


Disquiet Teen

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Thomas was a sluggish, hulking twenty-eight year old man with slightly hunched shoulders and a slow air about him. He had always housed a disquiet teen within.  The teen was pernicious.  And though Tom should have known better, the young teen's compulsive ideas and acerbic sense of humor put him in crap situations repeatedly.

It was the teen's fault that Tom lost his girlfriend in a dart game.  Patsy had sat at the bar, drank her beer, and pulled at the long strands of her brown hair that she wore swept back from her face.  Her red nose should have let Thomas know she was cold, but he kept playing darts.  Perhaps he didn’t even notice her nose; he was encapsulated by her heavy handed application of ocean blue eye shadow and bubblegum pink lip gloss.


Bank Robbers

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The flashing red lights of the cruiser flickered with stifled intensity. They were mitigated by the earliest morning light twenty-nine year old Alan Oakley (aka “Oak”) had the great misfortune of experiencing in his entire life. He was typically a late riser, but today was very special. Sunshine, cop cars, and a wickedly fine woman driving that two-toned black and white police cruiser had him irrepressibly excited about his wonderful plan. Oak had a gun in the back, but he couldn’t exactly put a bullet in this girl here, not the one tapping almost erotically on his driver-side window. Not her . . . it was love at first sight, man.


The Revivar's Last Moment Awake

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The planet was dead, and Dionysus must revive it.

Black clouds had suffocated the sky. As the wind howled, the sand swept across the dry, barren earth. It was a dead land, nothing but sand and rocks, stretching all the way to the now blurred horizon. Smog. The air is so polluted. Dionysus knew. He’d been travelling across the planet for days. Or was it weeks? He was so old he’d lost the sense of time. Indeed, under his green cloak was the soft, pale skin of a boy. Even deeper inside, it was an ancient soul that’d existed for billions of year. One which has spent most of these billions of years asleep. He mused bitterly.

Dionysus stood here, every fiber of him filled with foreboding. He raised his hands, both of them. “Grow!” he commanded. Then a green light exploded around him. The grasses were the first to erupt from the dry sand. Right after them, seedlings sprouted from beneath the soil as the grass spawned across the earth around Dionysus. The seedlings twitched first, and then grew taller, taller until they were at his waist. The wind was bleak. But amidst its growls, he could hear whispers:

“What’s going on?” one of the seedlings asked, directing her question at the cloaked boy now surrounded by grass and young trees.


Vanity: Rage against Nature

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As we enter the seaport guided by shadows and lights used by boats and ships to enter and leave the harbor, we pass a series of boats tied to their docks, the sounds of ship horns and the clanking of channel markers fill the night air.  Leaving the seaport’s harbor, we visit the ever populated city of New York, where tall buildings and crowds of civilians move through the streets like waves in an ocean.

In this city lives a man named Jay, a 28 year old student who attended Queensborough Community College with a slim build, dark hair and metal frame glasses. He has a friend named Alexis , who he met when Jay was visiting the American Museum of Natural History to write a research paper on the Paleo- ecology of the Green River Formation. She’s a 33 year old woman who volunteers as an exhibit explainer, working at the fossil halls. Jay’s mother was staying with her friend Carl, while he was at home with his girlfriend, working on publishing his paper to a scientific magazine.


Hail to the Chief

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The inaugural ball of 2028 was the first I had ever attended. Initially, I had wanted to side-step the entire affair, leave off going. By this time everyone had come to the conclusion that I, Mr. Reynaldo Steed, was little more than a modern day Joseph Goebbels. Of course no one had ever said such a thing to me or the President personally. Freedom of speech was a right still allowed by the powers that be, that power being the President of the United States, my employer. Editorials in some of the nation’s leading newspapers and news magazines had expressed what so many Americans had come to fearfully suspect. The United States of America was being led not just by a strange, new dynamic leader who had the power to withstand not only a sniper’s bullet, but also the power to influence the world in ways that had never been considered before.


Sweet Dreams

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Adrian was running again. From both sides of the path he could feel the heat of burning rock, and with each step he could see that he was just out of reach of the hands that tried to grab at his feet. If he slowed down or lost his footing then they would have him. Fear gripped his heart with every footfall as he dared not to look behind him in order to see what was coming. And then it happened. Adrian tripped and fell. He screamed as unseen hands clamped around his legs and began to pull him down, and as he looked up through blurred vision caused by heat and sweat he could just make out someone walking towards him, and with one final scream, Adrian woke up.


The Curious Case of White Chapel Alley

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Whitechapel District, London ─ 1888

“Murder or no, I’m not going down that alley in the dark,” Constable Barnes insisted. “And you shouldn’t either.”

Inspector Cranford glared up at the man. “In-sub-ordin-ation,” he said, drawing out the word, rain running off the brim of his bowler. Having just returned from her Majesty’s service he’d been newly assigned to this latest in a series of brutal murders in White Chapel Alley.

“Begging your pardon, Inspector, no one who goes into that alley after dark has come out alive. You’ll not be getting anyone to go in there tonight. Best wait for daybreak.”

“I’ll have your pension, man!” He turned to Constable McBurn, who shrank back toward the street lamp.

“Inspector, I have four children,” McBurn begged. “We can go when it’s light and no harm done.”

“No harm done,” the inspector thundered. “Why, the rats will have been at the remains by then. This downpour will wash away evidence.”


God in Stereo

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With half an eye on the road, Rick shuffled through the CDs in the centre console of his HSV Commodore.

‘Offspring?  No.  Silverchair? No.  Metallica?  That’s the one!’

Eagerly anticipating the throbbing surge of distorted guitars and pounding drums, he tapped the volume up button on the steering wheel a couple of times.

‘Talking to myself?  That’s okay,’ said Rick.  ‘No one’s listening.’

The ever increasing beat of the music slowly caused Rick to increase his pressure on the accelerator. 


Ballads, Beer and a Bus Driver

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Nina always wanted to be a poet, but she was a bus driver’s daughter.

The sensible thing would be to earn a living as a civil servant, regular hours and a guaranteed pension.

She boarded the bus at the beginning of the B-9 bus route her father drove every day in Brooklyn. It was her super-stretch limousine that smelled of peanuts and sweat.

Her dad wore a light-blue uniform. His ironed-on transit worker patch was positioned above his cuffed and starched right sleeve.

“Watch your step, sir.”


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