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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.


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.


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.


Bone Plants

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There was once a farmer named Judas Spool, who was a lonely man with a rotten soul. This is the story of how his obsession devoured him.

Judas worked his beloved fields every day of his life. One day, while he had been busy working the land until the sun was but a shadow of a light, a fire had struck the small Spool home. And a fire was lit in the heart of Judas.

Molly, the youngest Spool daughter always loved helping her mother with supper for her daddy.  However, like most evenings, her father was late that night.


Manchineels in Spring

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“How long did you think I would wait?” Alice restlessly examined the bar’s dimly lit parking lot, each frame burning into her mind.

“It’s only been ten minutes.”

“Ten minutes is a long time for us, Sam.”

"There was a lot of traffic.” Sam opened the door of her old Toyota.

“Traffic? It’s three in the morning. It’s too early for traffic.”

“It was a joke. Learn how to take one sometime? Anyways, I’m here now so let’s just do what we need to do.”


Mama Don't Mess with Me

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Rhonda clocked me a good one on my cheek, this time cause I dissed her shitty personality.  I wisely resisted punching her out.  She was a mixed martial arts expert and I knew she could kill me with a well-placed hand breaking my larynx.

Fortunately, she felt she’d made her point, raped me, took forty bucks from my wallet and left. That’s my ex-girlfriend.  Bitch, beautiful but deadly, and I’d had enough.  Specially mad that she did the nasty and that I got it up in spite of myself.  She’s one foxy home girl, but that don’t give her call to break a rib like she did a month ago.


Cardamon and Death

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Gerry, currently the only hobgoblin in the palace of Underhill, walked alone from the dining room to his quarters on the third floor over the library. The subterranean tunnels twisted through the mountain’s heart with copper and bone lanterns to light the way. Around the second turn he realized that the blasted tunnels had shifted again and he was lost. Underhill’s tendency to move and shift at the mountain’s fancy was one of the more annoying characteristics of the Fae queendom’s palace.


The Ultimate Weapon

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Dr. Carl Dobson, a physicist, and engineer, and Dr. Celia Moore were brought to a secret military facility to work on a special project. When they arrived they were met by General Case, the commander of the facility. “Welcome Dr. Dobson, Dr. Moore, I’m pleased to meet you,” he said and shook their hands. After showing them around the facility, Case took them to their lab. “I’m sure you’ll find your lab exceptional,” he said and they entered the lab.

“Boy, this is some lab,” Celia said.

“It sure is,” Carl said looking around.


Murder in Hyperspace

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“I didn’t do it!”

The three people looking into the room weren’t likely to believe him.

Ensign Chong Hwan had been the first to respond, when a long, blood-curdling scream had emanated from the stateroom.  A Farewell Party for recently promoted Lieutenant Tobias Long had been going on in the adjoining room.  Everyone in the party room – save Hwan – had frozen in place.

Hwan rushed forward immediately, grabbed the door handle, found it locked, and entered the key code.  By the time the door slid open, Long and his girlfriend, Penny Stuart, were at the door as well.


The Broken Fairy of the Walnut Tree

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In a teeny tiny forest, in a teeny tiny land, there was a beautiful Walnut Tree reaching the stars with a majestic stand. This tree was not normal, it was a city of peace, where teeny tiny fairies lived happily and free. It’s fairies weren’t normal either, they worshipped nuts, and not just any nuts; but the Walnuts of the Tree.

Their national flag was a Walnut, with wings, very, very beautiful, teeny tiny fairy wings. Every inch of its city, was covered in nuts; swam around in NutLakes, and ate delicious NutCakes. Tiny old fairy men, with tired old wings, walked around with their NutStaffs, along all of the NutPaths. The fairies sung a long, beautiful NutSong, with big NutDrums, making a powerful NutTwang.


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