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The Dead Talk Too Much For My Taste

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I was so desperate I took a job attending funerals. It’s not as goulash as it sounds. I would open and lock up the church after the funeral. In between, the minister would officiate and comfort the family, but he couldn’t be expected to arrive a couple of hours before the funeral and stay an hour or two after. I was usually there five hours. The pay was decent enough.

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Unforgiven

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Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

So spoke the minister as he tossed a handful of damp soil onto the coffin in the gaping grave. Daniel had felt as if he was in a movie during the theatrical procedure of the burial.

"Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return,” he muttered to himself and then whimsically, “Rain to rain, drizzle to drizzle” in the moment of ghastly silence at the end of the Anglican ritual on this rainy day in Cardiff, South Wales. Yet, this drama was real, all too real.

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Footprints in the Sky

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We first saw the footprints on an icy February night.

Milly our black turning gray Lab was outside sniffing and pawing a fresh bootprint close to our outside cellar door.

The fact she had three legs never seemed to bother her too much, while not the most graceful or nimble canine in her old age she could still get around.

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Forged in Shadows

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Screaming was all that could be heard through the bone chilling halls of the dungeon. This was what the supposedly great nation of Hace really was. An ugly abomination lay underneath the stunning Admor Keep, and Caelin made the long journey through it, his head being battered off the stone walls by his captors. He felt pathetic, being bound in iron shackles, bruised and bloody and the Admor guard loved every last taste of his wounds; they had waited a long time for this.

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Viridian's Log. Day 364

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He always said I was beautiful in green.

I have been waiting in his preferred color for 364 days, 23 hours, 51 minutes, 47 seconds and counting.

According to protocol, if he does not return by the time the counter reaches 365, I will cease to exist as Viridian. My data will be auto-deleted, my memory purged, my profile reset to blank.

My own persona I could withstand losing. What I cannot withstand is the loss of him.

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The Path of Kernow

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John Waite had been a fisherman all his life. He was a stout man with a large untamed beard and a face that could not hide the years of hard physical toil.

He would rise from the bed every morning at 4am, throwing off the worn bedspread, and slowly climbing out. It was becoming a real effort to lift his heavy aching limbs out of the rickety old bed. His large blackened feet splayed the cold, bare floorboards. He pulled on his thick woollen socks and forced his feet into his boots which required considerable effort, before slowly lifting his huge frame to a standing position like some old prize fighter that had just been knocked down.

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Another Day at the Office

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Andreas sighed. It was Saturday, and he hated having to go into the office on weekends.

Why now, of all times? It was his daughter's birthday. There was a party that afternoon, one where he'd be the master of ceremonies for Sally. He had to be there.

But the call had been insistent: extra work had been sent in from head office. His second in command, falling ill with a cold, had begged off sick and told Andreas that he'd have to leave soon, and then who'd be in charge?

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The Performance

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“Cut!”

The director slammed his script to the floor in disgust. This was the eighth take. The eighth time his leading actor had blown the scene.

The actor, dressed in prison fatigues, looked across the open set. It was designed to resemble a small, stark attorney – client room in a state prison.

“What’s that stupid director’s problem now?” he muttered to himself.

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Best Enemies Forever

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Charlie overheard nurses chattering in the doorway. Only fifty-six … still seems alert … atrial fibrillation and arrhythmia. Talking like squirrels rustling in the leaves. Ignoring him as though he were already gone.

He continued clicking through blue, green and black screens on the laptop. Screw the ladies in white. They did what they had to do; he had his own imperatives.

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Something Stronger

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A thick grey stone wall separated the village of Telly Fenn from the wilderness. A narrow path led the way out of the village and melted into a crossroad, from which a crooked path strayed far into the dark forest.

The inhabitants of Telly Fenn were content to leave the village only if necessary. They were good and pious people, the whole lot of them.

Which was the very reason why Rowan Magpie was standing on top of the wall, trying to decide whether she should take a leap of faith onto the other side or not. A cold wind ruffled her raven hair; she shivered in her thin dress. She had never left the village, which seemed sad and grey to her.

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