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Abbey

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“Pistols shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out "My God they killed them all"
Here comes the story of the Hurricane!”

Abbey was proud of herself for knowing the lyrics of the man her daddy deemed “The Greatest of the Greats.” Bob Dylan was practically considered God in her house, and it wasn’t a disturbance to sing his songs as loud as you wanted to. As she showered, the sweet smells coming from the kitchen filled her nostrils. Dinner was almost ready.

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Happy Anniversary

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They had been driving for a couple of hours. The radio was on, tuned into the local station and the interstate had been left behind half an hour ago. They were now bumping along on little more than a well-kept track, which should see them at their destination in six or seven minutes. Tony tried to remember when they had been here last - must be three or more years ago. They had spent a lot of anniversaries up here once the kids had grown old enough to be left on their own, monitored by the neighbors next door.

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Where the Bodies are Buried

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How shallow was a shallow grave?

He’d never dug one before.  The hole before him, which he’d gouged out of the sandy soil in the heat of the desert looked deep, but now he’d pushed the man’s body into it, suddenly it looked awfully shallow. Could animals or other things get down to the body? Or maybe that was the point? Just deep enough for cover, but not so deep that it took too long for the flesh to turn to corruption.

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Forgotten Memories

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Detective Greg Warren stood over the limp body laying beside the back entrance to McGregor’s Bar and Grill.  Dirty and bloody, it was hard to believe that this was once a man.  He stooped down beside the body so that he could shine his light on the man to get a better view.  The beard on the man covered the premature wrinkling of a face that had seen a hard life.  Warren tried hard to recognize the man but the dim lighting in the alley made it difficult to make out many features.

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Sweeter Tooth

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Ever since the alien invasion Jim had cycled into the village every three or four days to sell a few vegetables, buy necessities and do a bit of espionage. But when he arrived today the village was in turmoil. Two of the alien vehicles were slewed across the road outside Henry's bakery and guards stood in front, their carapaces shining in the morning sunlight.  Jim dumped his bicycle and slipped into the greengrocer's shop.

"What's up, Fred?" he asked.

The proprietor, shaking with fear, crouched behind the counter.

"They came this morning. I thought they were coming for me."

Jim grimaced. He had a lot more to fear from them than the shopkeeper.

"What's happening at Henry's?" he asked.

"I know nothing!" the quaking shopkeeper told him.

"Well at least buy some of  my vegetables. I need the cash."

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Unsavory Ambition

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In the evidence locker at the police station, a plastic evidence bag lays on a shelf marked Current. There is a label on the bag, and on the line marked Suspect is the name Robert “Bob” Schroeder. Inside the bag is a greeting card, on the front of which is a drawing of a cake that’s been decorated with these words: Congratulations from all of us! What follows are the comments that were hand-written on the card by the colleagues of Robert “Bob” Schroeder at the Caring Hands Insurance Agency.

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Chicken and Egg

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Marjorie opened the oven door and inserted a skewer into the dome of lemony sponge. “Done,” she announced.

Her husband Edward wandered into the kitchen of their tiny cottage. “Looks like a good ’un,” he said as Marjorie slid the cake onto a cooling rack. He licked a finger, pressing it into the stray crumbs that had fallen on the worktop.

“How many times have I told you not to do that!” Marjorie glared at him. Why did the silly old fool never listen?

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What is this White Stuff?

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Sheriff Barnes awoke to the voice of a radio announcer.  “Nobody seems to know where the white stuff came from.  It’s not snow, because the temperature is 81.  Also, and most important, is that fact that it’s not snow.  It feels like Styrofoam.  It’s unbelievable.”

The sheriff rushed to his window.  “What the hell,” he said, and dressed as he listened to the radio.  “What is also strange, is that Greenfield is the only town in the county that is covered by the stuff.

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The Importance of Documentation

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Just recently I had dinner with my old friend, Margaret Hanson, a retired psychiatrist in whose guesthouse I had lived during my two post graduate years at Stanford University. Although nearly 80 years old, she still had it together and always proved delightful company. I made a reservation at Le Pot Au Feu in Menlo Park, one of her favorite restaurants, now in its third incarnation: mother to son to grandson.

I picked Margaret up at 7:00 p.m., and fifteen minutes later I gave my car keys to the parking valet. As we entered the restaurant, a handsome young man took Margaret’s hand and kissed it.

“Good evening Mrs. Hanson. Grandmother sends her greetings.”

“Good evening Charles.”

The young man immediately seated us at the celebrity table, next to a door-sized window overlooking the beautiful, lighted back garden, a position that Margaret and her husband, Hans, had gradually earned over their almost 30 years of patronage prior to his death.

The restaurant still served classic French cuisine, steadfastly refusing to adopt the current, California healthy/French style of preparation that used reduced butter and cream.

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Dr. Fleming's Fatal Mistake

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It was night when Alana drove to the Brighton Inn, a less-than stellar motel that was a favorite getaway destination for Jack Warden and his mistress, Sherry Taylor.  Alana parked, waited, and watched. Finally, the car she had been waiting for pulled into the motel's parking lot and Jack and Sherry got out and went into the motel.  Alana looked in the rear-view mirror and straightened her wig, took her shoulder bag, walked quickly into the motel, and got in line behind them.  As soon as she heard the hotel clerk tell Jack that he had room 132, she went to a couch in the lobby and watched Jack and his mistress went to their room. When they got in the room, Sherry took her overnight bag and went into the bathroom, and Jack quickly undressed and got into bed. A few minutes later, Sherry appeared wearing a sheer negligee and holding a pair of handcuffs.

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