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Black Veil

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Haven Thornton-Mills stood in the obscure shadows outside the upscale Rosewood Resort, her refined features set in a stony mask as she watched her husband of twenty-seven years emerge through the extravagant brass doors with his latest whore draped across his arm. His boyish grin and swaggered stride left no doubt in Haven's mind what had just taken place behind closed doors. Brett embraced the woman who appeared half his age while the valet attendant brought his car around, a car which damn near cost Haven a fortune.

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Out of Work

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What he thought he knew, and would come to know, was he would never be enough. She was dissatisfied with him, and he was out of work. He was careful, tentative, around her. He worried about being good enough. He hoped when he got a job it would be better. It was late at night, after a party, and she said,

I don’t think Adverb likes you.

Really?

Do you care?

Actually yes.

I watched you together, and she was trying to get you to see her point of view about something.

Gosh yes, she was going on about Split Infinitives.

She got into bed, and turned out the light, and he felt her anger toward him.

We’ll never have any lower cases at this rate, he thought.

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Forger's Folly

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Long ago, there was a little island kingdom plagued by a great menace.  It was not the menace of conquest, or death, or disease, or famine, which every kingdom must deal with.  It was a plague more elusive and cunning than any of these combined, and put the land in a crumbling state of unrest.  The land was, quite simply, plagued by lies.  And at the heart of these lies, was a Forger.

The Forger believed only in lies.  He believed them because they brought him out of his squalid beginnings and let him wander the land as he pleased.  He had no name of his own, as names were his specialty and found no reason to have one himself. 

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Final Thoughts

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This place is so dimly lit. One small flame quivers pathetically from a dirty candle stub atop a table fashioned out of an old computer box. I guess I’ll have to get acclimated to blackness now.

I can’t believe this is happening to me. Why was I such a sap? I’ve always believed if I did good things, then good things would come back to me, but I would hardly call this karma. What an idiot I am. Why did I ever stop and attempt to have a conversation with him? Why did I feel the least bit of pity for him? I guess I’ve always been this way though.

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How Exactly Do I Get Out Of Here?

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I paused my wandering long enough to lean against a wall.  I decided three things as I closed my eyes to think.  Firstly, 30 minutes of maze was more than enough to cause hallucinations.  Secondly, my arrival here provided plenty of bafflement.  Thirdly, Ben's Breakfast Brunch was truly a bad idea.  I restrained my racing mind from contemplating a fourth point.  No more thoughts, I reflected sourly, concerning food.

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Penalty Time

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Shea O’Brien was tired of listening to Kirill Sholokoff ramble about his prowess, all the girls he’s had and all the ones that still want to get with him.  Kirill smiled that gappy grin floating on gray stubble beneath his tall, charcoal hair, acting as if he had magical powers.  The guy was a major-league crime boss.  Yeah, he got pussy.  What’s the shock?

Kirill drifted into Russian with Anatoly – stocky, balding, brown goatee – and Vlad – slim and blonde – on either side of him in the booth.  Shea sat in a wooden chair on the opposite side of the table pretending he didn’t understand, but the Bureau had trained him for deep cover, making certain he was fluent in Russian.  The trick was not to let on to Kirill and his goons that he knew their language, so Shea had made an art of achieving a disinterested affect, even though his ears were constantly pricked.

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Sensible Living

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When I saw the blood, only one thought raced through my mind.

I am witness to a murder.

The killer didn’t see me at first.  He slit the old fellow’s throat with a knife much longer than my forearm.  Dressed in black shoes, black pants, black coat, black hat and black gloves, the man appeared nothing if obvious as if this were all straight out of some old noir film.  Only in reality, when your eyes see this sort of thing and you take it all in and the signal hits the brain, something happens. 

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When The Table Turns

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“You smell like vanilla, but you taste like salt.”

That’s what I told him. But I assure you, I am not a rude woman. I’m a wonderful wife, honestly. If anything, I’m strict yet understanding. But cross me and the next thing you’ll cross is Death himself.

Living amongst humans isn’t easy. These human-led kingdoms still aren’t used to elves roaming their lands. At least not with rights. The human heart will always be ignorant and controlling, but at least they’re making progress… if you call being forced to allow elves to have rights and own land and hold jobs “progress.”

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Camouflaged

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Thwack! The snowball bounces off my shoulder and lurches me forward. My hands clutch the grocery bag as the knit cap I’m wearing catapults into a snow bank. I push my glasses up with a mitten-covered thumb. Left hand on not-so-narrow hip, I survey the neighborhood but see no one. Sun breaks through hazy clouds, and I squint against the reflective glare as my teeth pound out Beethoven's Fifth. Cap retrieved, I walk on booted heels as fast as the slippery sidewalk allows.

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Fishing with Dynamite

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The explosion was more of a thud than a bang.  The water spouted medium high with abrupt splashing.

“Hell!  What the hell?”  The small guy had been taking a nap in the morning sun.  He had driven all night while the big guy slept.  Even though it was just a thud, the explosion woke him from a deep slept.  He thought for a moment he was back in Iraq.  He reached for his gun.  He didn’t have one now.  “What the hell?”  There weren’t such big lakes in Iraq.  It wasn’t Iraq he remembered.  He was in Missouri or was it Kansas?  Didn’t matter as long as it wasn’t Iraq!

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