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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.”


Desert Rot

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His fire was a bluff of life in the withering carcass of his company. Walton stood staring at the sands around him. The dunes rose and fell with the hypnotic rhythm of ocean waves, gusts of wind scattering the nighttime sand through the air like a silver whip. Above him the sky opened in a vast display of constellations he had forgotten the names of, each star pulsing a small but vibrant light.

He had led them out here. Three hundred men wrapped in crimson robes with a sword and spear in each hand. There had been complaints of bandits in the Middling Pass; robbing, killing, raping. The Legion had been sent to quell the bandits, Walton had been placed in charge.


Taken Between The Jaws

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There in that very epicenter of the wild, Samuel Fletcher found what he had been looking for. The fact that he hadn’t been looking for anything to begin with made the discovery that much more amazing. He likened it to eating when you don’t feel hunger in your stomach: you are finally able to get that fulfillment which you hadn’t even known you needed. The body is hungry without knowing. And some unconscious signal informs you that it’s time to eat, and you contradict the will (or lack thereof) of your stomach, so you go to get some grub—and you find that that was the very cure you had been, without even knowing it, long searching for. This reservoir of hunger is The Metaphor, and to fill the subconscious needs of The Metaphor was exactly what Samuel Fletcher had been looking for.


Chasing Aliens - Maybe

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Anybody who chases weirdoes is a candidate for the loony bin.  That’s why I’m keeping my mouth shut.  Wouldn’t be good for business if people knew what I know.  But, before you whistle for the guys in white coats, let me tell you it started on a quiet afternoon with me cross-examining Marilyn Monroe in Playboy.  Elvis was wailing “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” on my Philco.

Then the door opened and the babe walked in.  I hoped she was a client the way I hoped someday I could afford to kill cockroaches with Flit spray instead of a hammer.  Right now, I’d need to borrow the hammer.


Unleashing The Beast

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The rain fell softly but persistently in vertical broken lines onto the soaked sidewalk as it had done for the last three days. The volume wasn’t substantial enough to cause flooding or disruption, but was consistent enough to soak you through after ten minutes, and consistent enough to depress the hell out of Billy. As he stood in his kitchen apartment on the third floor he sipped a hot cup of afternoon tea, looking down onto mid rush hour traffic. It was already dark. The sun had failed to break through for even part of the day, and was now gone until the next dawn. Pedestrians hurried past each other, clashing umbrellas in their desire to hurry home after a tedious day at work, unable to avoid all the puddles in front of them, soaking through footwear more suited to the office than a wet autumn evening.


Art Thief

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Lighting in the art room was dim. The overpowering smell of oil paints radiated throughout the small room, but it didn’t seem to bother Sebastian.

He spent his time painting the hours away. He stared at the canvas. A small smile slowly shaped on the young man’s face as he scribbled some words on the bottom right of the canvas.

The door flung open. “Sebastian!” a middle-aged man called, “Do you realize what time it is?” he asked, pointing to his watch.

Sebastian looked at his cellphone, which read eleven forty-two at night. “I just wanted to finish the painting for you before tomorrow.”



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In..Out...In...Out..  Jim needed to concentrate on his breathing, or he would stop.  He had never done this before.  He'd been on trial.  He'd been convicted.  He'd been to prison.  But all that was someone else s doing, not his.  All his life he let the forces around him push him around and take charge.  Today was different.  Today, Jim was going to take charge.  Jim was going to confront the man.  The man who lied.  The man who took credit for turning Jim in.  The man who did the crime Jim was accused of.  The man who stole the last twenty-three years of Jim’s life.



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The couch was leather and comfortable, The smell in the room was a pleasing combination of the couch and some other olfactory essence designed to put a mind at ease allowing the smoothest stream of uninhibited thoughts.

"So, I get to this place where I'm no longer myself, merely a sea of atoms made into the form of me, Just the other day I saw on the news scientists detected the part of the brain which creates the illusion of free will.That really hit me hard"

The one seated across from Fred took a slug from a vitamin laced bottle of overpriced colored water.His professional half-glance at the clock on the wall behind told him this session was drawing to a close.

The semi head tilt into a sideways expression of detached curiousity."Hit you in what way?.."


Pit Fight

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Nothing’s fun about being a pit fighter. Sure, at first it looks exciting because of the danger, the excitement, the glory of winning, and the money. The money! I own a cobra and a viper and there’s my condo downtown.

Before I started this I had zilch. School wasn’t for me and neither was flipping burgers. I got into martial arts and stuck with it. Still, fighting had risks. Serious injury was one of the major ones.

Like how just now that Tai fighter got his knee shattered when the Shaolin dude kicked his leg inward. There’s also the chance of being arrested. Prison wasn’t my main concern. Death was my bane.

It’s not like I was afraid to die. Just I liked being alive. From the suckle of my first breath every morning, to the joy of slamming my fist into an opponent’s face, and raising my hand in victory - life’s worth living.


The Watch

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Despite checking it only minutes earlier, I looked at the calendar on my laptop again. October 25th, 2014. I sighed. How could I have made such a stupid mistake? I looked down at the watch on my wrist. Black hands hovering over an embedded silver SC showed 4:30. I tried spinning the dial. Nothing. No more turning back now – I went too far. I focused my attention on the sound of my parents’ conversation coming through my bedroom door, waiting for the right moment.

“Bananas, yogurt, oatmeal…”


“Not the instant kind.”

“I know.”

“Bread, turkey, ham…”

“Yup, yup.”


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