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Bear Hunt

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“. . . and so the animal activists remain disappointed as New Jersey’s Black Bear hunt began at dawn today. We are live from West Milford, New Jersey. Angelina Urisdae. Fox 5 news.”

Randall Beck switched off the television, picked up his hunting gear, checked his permit and headed out the front door. Outside he paused, breathing deeply filling his lungs with the cold, crisp December air. Great weather for hunting he thought until a piercing voice disrupted his musings.

“Good morning Mr. Beck.”

A frustrated sigh escaped Randall’s lips as he turned to regard his neighbor, Margaret Cassidy, or “magpie” Maggie as he called her. Beck glanced longingly towards his battered Ford pickup that sat several feet away from him.

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Slug's Revenge

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Slug knocked back his double bourbon and looked at his watch. Death would be here soon, and he needed one more drink. He threw another five at the dancer attacking the pole in front of him and thought about his bladder. It was urging him to take a piss. He needed to get up, but those tits were perfect. How could a man walk away from something like that? He couldn’t and that was ok. Death would understand.  Girls like Miss Perfect Tits never paid any attention to guys like him. Why would they?

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Lions of Kraam

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“Leave me! You are loathsome, ignorant, maddening!” the old lion grumbled, as he trudged through the depths of some forgotten forest. A sweet peal of laughter rang in his ears.

“You know, I think you enjoy my company, you old cat!” she giggled again and flew around among the tree branches above him. “And your grumbling entertains me to no end.”

“Sadistic. Detestable!” The old lion let out a whining roar.

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Section Guards

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Sitting with his back pressed hard against the trunk, Tobias cowered, his head in his hands, as the battle between the Section Guards and the Outlanders raged wildly below. The high pitched whine of steel against steel and Light cannons screaming overhead made him want to run and not stop until he was miles clear of this godforsaken place but he felt too scared to move. This war had been going on for at least three months now and had devoured almost all of his countrymen.

He levered himself up slightly with his feet delicately balanced on the periphery of the branch above to get a better look at the carnage going on below.

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The Visit

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Thirteen foot six inches long, nine foot wide, nine foot nine inches high; one hundred twenty one and a half square feet; three hundred ninety cinder blocks. Bobby knew the numbers by heart, the result of a combination of boredom and obsessive compulsive disorder. He could count the ugly beige blocks with his eyes closed; pace the stark gray floor in his sleep.

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Blood Bank

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A Shimmering gauze of mist beckoned her through the mirror, the woods dark and haunting at night under the shadows of the trees were so unlike the daisy chain making summer days she remembered as a child. She looked down into the candle-lit cavern. Alice should have known better than to go into the hole again, but bloody-minded and contrary as always, she would never have been able to persuade herself otherwise.

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Difficult to Explain

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Jesus, I saw the vendor pick that up with his hands, his raw hands, not with the gloves like he's supposed to. She shouldn't buy that one. I could tell her, but I won't. It's best that she doesn't know, not now anyway, it would be so difficult to explain! At least she wore the purple overcoat today. Even if she gets sick from the vendor man, at least she won't get a head cold. It's just about the only weather-proof thing she has, what's she like? I should tell her about the sale in the little outdoorsy shop near where she works. She'd be able to pick something decent for the chilly months. That wouldn't be a great idea, not now anyway. Fuck, that would be so difficult to explain.

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Wedding Photograph

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She came running through from the back of the shop, arms wide.

“Daddy!”

He picked her up. He loved her smell, a mixture of coal tar soap and sugar.

“Milly!” he said triumphantly. It was their usual greeting.

She tipped her curly head to one side. “I need….” There was a pause. She liked to inject a little drama….  “a big smile!”

He pursed his lips producing a tiny tight-lipped little smirk, just to tease.

“No!” Finger-waggling, not amused. ”A real smile!”

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Four Hail Marys

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Mary is on her way to the new sandwich shop on Saint Michael’s Road, quietly obsessing on the relative merits of coronation chicken versus tuna mayo, when she spots Graham lolloping down the street towards her.  At least it looks like him, she can’t be certain at this distance, but who else still wears his thinning grey hair hanging loose to his shoulders?  He doesn’t seem to have noticed her, probably plugged into his MP3 player and off in a time-warp with the Rolling Stones, but she isn’t going to hang around to check.  She has a moment’s grace to backtrack and take refuge in the churchyard.

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Samael, the Half-Malachim

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The Nazerites, they trust me with their very lives. They depend on my command to preserve the lives of every soul behind these borders. Without question, we are the legion most equipped for such responsibility.

We hold the line, we are the only ones who can.

We are the only hope that matters, for we are the last hope. And I, Samael of House Thrandiin, lead these gifted vandun, this Nazerite platoon, into the fray yet again. Under the ever watchful eye of Omniabba, and with the endorsement of Melek Tau, our High King.

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