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Polygamy

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They lived together in a rustic looking A-Frame house down the road off the lake. There were three of them, Nancy, Cathy and Mike, all in their early sixties. They were very pleasant, even though townsfolk could tell they were from New York City; all three pretty much kept to themselves and seemed very happy and content with each other living the semi-rural lifestyle here in New England.

Nancy was a trim and fit blonde who looked dynamite in stylish but simple standard corduroy pants and sweater combinations under her tailored navy jacket. The cold, biting New England wind made her complexion even lovelier, complementing her nearly perfect smile.

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"E"

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The gas station was still just a small matchbox in the distance.

The sign just outside of Merkittsville warned her that it was the “last stop for 80 miles for gas” but she figured she had more than enough to get through.  She looked down and saw the little red gauge was still above “E.”  Besides, she did not like the look of Merkittsville or especially the men in the diner that kept staring at her.  She knew those kinds of looks.  She grew up with them.  They always started as nothing more than stares that lasted a little too long and then it was a walk over and some dumb flirty comment about her red hair and then it was her outside by her car pushing some hands away.

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Heikichi

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Heikichi always bowed before he passed under the torii gate.

“It is the home of the Kami,” his Grandmother had told him, “Show the proper respect like you were entering anybody else’s home.”

Heikichi raised his head, and winced as the early morning sunlight flashed in his eyes. He stayed on the left of the sweeping pathway up to the main shrine. The centre of the path was for the Kami itself to tread on. To walk there would be awfully rude, and yet Heikichi couldn’t help but wince as the course stones bit at his bare feet.

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Angel of Misplaced Mercy

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Doreen’s friend Kate called her a jerk who wore her bleeding heart right under the hospital volunteers’ badge.  What did it matter, Doreen thought.  First, she was helping others less fortunate, and second, it made her feel good to bring a smile to some patient’s face.  The terminal cases and those ready to cash out were most in need of a caring soul.

Like a dog.  The hospital she visited once a week for two hours had a dog.  Dogs revived patients’ interest in life, if only for the duration of their visit.  Doreen was prettier than a dog — at least as fetching as a Labrador with her long, silky hair.  Kate called her a sexual provocateur.  “You’re so tall that you’re intimidating, your breasts are too perfect, and you look like a walking baby-making machine.”

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Closing Time

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“Here’s the pitch!” the television boomed.  Ronnie Jordan sat bolt upright in the leather recliner.  “There’s the swing, and it’s a long fly ball to deep left field.”  He glanced at his watch; 4:59 p.m.  “It could be; it might be; it—”

“Shit!” Ronnie spat, shutting off the television.  He stumbled out of the door and hopped into his mother’s car.  Sirens wailed, both approaching and from somewhere south.  His first thought was they were at Del Rio’s Steakhouse, not even a mile down the road, at his mother’s place of employment...at his own place of employment.

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Easy Prey

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Sarsha awoke to the sound of the blaring alarm clock.  She rolled over and tried to make out the time, but her vision was blurry, making the clock's digits difficult to see.  She sat up slowly and swung her legs over the edge of the bed.  Her bare feet hit something cold and looking down she saw a few empty wine bottles that were lying scattered on the floor.  Thoughts of the previous night's festivities rushed into her mind.  She was not much of party girl, but as she'd just turned twenty-one, she'd celebrated her birthday with two college buddies, Rita and Sammy, and the party hadn't finished until 2 a.m.  She knew that last bottle of champagne was a bad idea as her head felt like it was made of concrete. As she turned to peer again at the clock, the red digits seemed to flash accusingly – 7:15 a.m.

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Killingspree

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She woke, cursing God for not taking her during the night; a daily ritual.

Rising slowly, opening her eyes, swinging her legs over the side of the bed until her feet felt the floor, then standing; it was all such a chore.  Not again, Lord; let it not have happened again! She sighed, stepped forward.  She took hold of the handle of her bedroom door, but hesitated.  Get it together, girl! Another sigh – one of resignation – and she opened the door.

As soon as she stepped through she could smell it.  The coppery odor she had become accustomed to.  Loathed.  Feared.  Her eyes watered, but she forced herself forward. 

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The Curl and Vampire

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She was a pretty thing to be sure, the little girl with the curl. Her cheeks were as red as blood and her skin as smooth as porcelain. And yet there was something odd about her clear blue eyes—something empty and soulless. She sat atop her throne of building blocks, legs kicking excitedly when the tin soldier-minions brought forth a new recruit. This child was older than she was, but there was fear in her dark eyes. The soldiers threw the young woman down and the girl on the toy throne stared at her. This newcomer was slim and dark, with hair that hung in her face, and thick lips that quivered.

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Will of the People

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The group was never meant to be a government.  The belief of the group was simply that any democratically elected government should serve its people first and foremost. In the UK in 2015 it was deemed that this was no longer the case.

“They’re at it again!” said Arthur quietly to himself.  He’d just read yet another story about a politician using public money to purchase something entirely un-public.  This time it was the cleaning of a moat.  “Who the hell has a moat?” Arthur was a remote worker sat in his office looking through the day’s stories on his computer. MP’s expense stories had been coming out for years. Arthur shook his head.  “No wonder no-one wants to see the news.  Politician this, paedophile that, murder something else.” 

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Death, Deceit and Mr Sanders

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So there we stood, silently. Our eyes locked on each other’s as my dead best friend lay between us. The blood from her head began to escape quicker than I had anticipated. The crimson tide’s effusive force inched far too close for comfort towards my satin heels. I took two small steps back, eyes still on the culprit. Mirror neurons fired in his brain as he followed my lead and, too, stepped back from my besties internal matters. The thick air that filled the abandoned factory infiltrated our lungs with each breath. Bounteous particles of dust and asbestos congregated in all four lungs, setting up shop for a malignant metastasis in years to come.

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