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Chivalry Was Not Dead

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It was a busy Manhattan summer back in 1983, a Saturday night in the NYPD’s 13th Precinct. The dense humidity soaked into the station house even though the air conditioning was running full blast: (that’s full blast for an under maintained New York City municipal building). The craziness from the streets invaded the station house as well. It seemed like every strange person within the confines of the command compiled with some exotic call. Somewhat like the zombies from The Night of the Living Dead movie. Then again, it was kind of a fun night.

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Higher Love

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“You know that the more times you press the “up” button . . . the faster the elevator will arrive,” said Pierre mischievously as he poked away in exaggerated fury.

“You are so silly,” answered the smartly dressed, young, blond haired woman with a coffee cup in her right hand . . . and a smile growing quickly across her face.

“NO . . . it’s true . . . see . . . the door is opening . . . right . . . right . . . . n o w,” he continued, feigning to be serious, and purposefully stretching out the word “N . . . O . . . W” to synchronize with the elevator’s arrival. “And where might I might I have the pleasure of delivering you today milady . . . Paris . . . Rome . . . forty-fourth floor?” continued Pierre as he changed his routine . . . now awkwardly trying to sound British.

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Ash of the Corvidman

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"Yes? Yes? Who is it?" said Brendan. He approached the door slowly and leaned forward as if to listen.

"Men of the King." said a voice, and his tone was stubborn and angry. "We seek but a word. Open this door, or it shall be struck down."

"Oh, okay sir." said Brendan in a friendly manner, playing dumb with the solider. "No need for any aggression or any such things. I'm just being careful, need to be around these parts. Hold on a moment and I'll fetch me keys"

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In The Mind's Eye

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Blake flinched as the earbuds were ripped out of his ears. The ambient drone music he'd been listening to reflected his flat mood and the monotony of packing boxes for a living.

He turned around knowing it was one of his co-workers whose idea of fun was to pick on the guy who wasn't one of them. He didn't want to be like them: jackasses whose horizons rarely stretched beyond beer and football. A part of him knew that boredom brings out the worst in people, but he wondered why they couldn't daydream like him to pass the time instead of acting like a pack of wolves in search of prey.

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Why Does Bobby Fly?

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When Mrs. Donna Wills went to her baby’s room to check on her one-year-old son, she fainted at the site that greeted her; he was floating above the crib, in a standing position looking down at her gurgling and smiling.  When she came to, she rushed to him, grabbed him and held him close. “I must be losing my mind. He couldn’t have been floating in the air…but he was,” she said and put her son back in his crib, he rose up, she grabbed him, and, as she did, her husband came home, and she hurried down to meet him.

“Hi, Donna,” he said and kissed her. “How’s my family?” he said and took Bobby and held him. “How’s my boy?”

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Low, Low Tide

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Driving down State Highway 86, Donelli saw a sign, “Speed Limit Enforced by Airplanes.”  He started laughing.  Only in California.  He wondered if they really did that.  He pictured a Cessna coming out of the air in front of him, touching down on the pavement with a light bar on its tail.

He eased back to sixty-five and kept it there.

He watched the signs.  There weren't many.  Lots for sale.  Cheap.  A billboard said there was an Indian reservation  ahead, with a casino, natch.  He thought about stopping in when he was done, maybe try a little blackjack.  Probably not.  He was supposed to be low-profile.  Do the job and move on.  Another time.

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Nothing To Howl At

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I stood on the back lawn gazing up at the starless night sky. The only light was the thin white crescent of the new moon. In a few nights, it would be another full moon. Would it be another painful failure for me? My mood slipped into darkness like the night. The cool air nipped at me and made me uncomfortable with my thoughts.

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Open Ransom

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What does that old woman talk about? Simon watched from the corner of his apartment building as the little ancient lady sat on the lone bench out in front of it, talking to the air.  Her rambling never grew above a certain noise level, but she kept at it for hours.  Besides a chilling echo here and there, the noise pollution had died in this part of the city along with most of the jobs years ago.  The crumbling structure had fewer tenants these days.  Simon should have moved.  He would have moved.  If only he actually had the spine to do so.

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The Third Grave

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It was a glorious morning in the town of Kirkbride. The tintinnabulation of the church bells summoned the faithful to prayer, of which I was one. Or at least I paid dutiful lip service, making the journey on the Sabbath to St. Cuthbert’s Church. I would sit at the back. My walking tweeds and leather satchel would draw stern glances from the evangelical black-suited members of the congregation who filled the front rows. Perhaps my contravention of the dress code symbolized the tepid nature of my faith.

After the service I would walk out through the back gate onto Furnscombe Moor, following the path across the heather clad moorland until it reached plateau at the base of Mount Cairndow. There at the ancient stone circle I would meet Caruthers and Dalgleish, fellow clerks at McPhee and Grimshaw solicitors. They would take a path there from the area where we lodged as neither of them attended church.

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The Old Troll and the Last Wheel of Cheese

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The boys and girls who lived in Skogville, a small village at the edge of the Dark Forest, were very smart. Or at least smart enough to know better than to wander into the woods on their own. Because every time they went to bed, their parents would tell them all about the world outside the village fence. They would tell them about sneaky little gnomes who lived in the mountains, stashing away piles of gold and gems.

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