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Section Guards

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Sitting with his back pressed hard against the trunk, Tobias cowered, his head in his hands, as the battle between the Section Guards and the Outlanders raged wildly below. The high pitched whine of steel against steel and Light cannons screaming overhead made him want to run and not stop until he was miles clear of this godforsaken place but he felt too scared to move. This war had been going on for at least three months now and had devoured almost all of his countrymen.

He levered himself up slightly with his feet delicately balanced on the periphery of the branch above to get a better look at the carnage going on below.

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Wedding Photograph

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She came running through from the back of the shop, arms wide.

“Daddy!”

He picked her up. He loved her smell, a mixture of coal tar soap and sugar.

“Milly!” he said triumphantly. It was their usual greeting.

She tipped her curly head to one side. “I need….” There was a pause. She liked to inject a little drama….  “a big smile!”

He pursed his lips producing a tiny tight-lipped little smirk, just to tease.

“No!” Finger-waggling, not amused. ”A real smile!”

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The Visit

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Thirteen foot six inches long, nine foot wide, nine foot nine inches high; one hundred twenty one and a half square feet; three hundred ninety cinder blocks. Bobby knew the numbers by heart, the result of a combination of boredom and obsessive compulsive disorder. He could count the ugly beige blocks with his eyes closed; pace the stark gray floor in his sleep.

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Blood Bank

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A Shimmering gauze of mist beckoned her through the mirror, the woods dark and haunting at night under the shadows of the trees were so unlike the daisy chain making summer days she remembered as a child. She looked down into the candle-lit cavern. Alice should have known better than to go into the hole again, but bloody-minded and contrary as always, she would never have been able to persuade herself otherwise.

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The Imp, The Shade and Cerberus

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The dead cried out, some with remembrance of former lives lost, others with fear for the retribution to come. Ignoring the wailing specters, the imp Deil trudged through the warped corridors and caverns of the Underworld, wringing his clawed hands all the while. Head down, tail and wings dragging, Deil presented himself before the dark lord, Hades. Cringing and stuttering, the imp gave his report.

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Jimmy The Shrew

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The bedroom was filled with a silvery darkness, save for the small pool of light spilling in from under the door. Most of the care homes elderly residents slept quietly, while the hushed whispers and soft footsteps of the night staff drifted down the empty corridors. Although there was no need for anyone to check on Albert at this late hour, the old man was woken by someone tapping on his door. At least it wasn’t another bad dream that that was waking him up, he thought groggily as the knocking came again, louder this time.

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Four Hail Marys

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Mary is on her way to the new sandwich shop on Saint Michael’s Road, quietly obsessing on the relative merits of coronation chicken versus tuna mayo, when she spots Graham lolloping down the street towards her.  At least it looks like him, she can’t be certain at this distance, but who else still wears his thinning grey hair hanging loose to his shoulders?  He doesn’t seem to have noticed her, probably plugged into his MP3 player and off in a time-warp with the Rolling Stones, but she isn’t going to hang around to check.  She has a moment’s grace to backtrack and take refuge in the churchyard.

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Samael, the Half-Malachim

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The Nazerites, they trust me with their very lives. They depend on my command to preserve the lives of every soul behind these borders. Without question, we are the legion most equipped for such responsibility.

We hold the line, we are the only ones who can.

We are the only hope that matters, for we are the last hope. And I, Samael of House Thrandiin, lead these gifted vandun, this Nazerite platoon, into the fray yet again. Under the ever watchful eye of Omniabba, and with the endorsement of Melek Tau, our High King.

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The Ice-Cream Man

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Maple street. The middle of July. An ideal Saturday afternoon with temperatures at a fairly comfortable 80 degrees, the air permeated with the tantalizing smell of a barbecue or two around the neighborhood. Boys played pick-up baseball at the nearby recreational dugout. Girls played hopscotch and giggled at boys they fancied passing by on bicycles. Neighbors waved to each other as they passed on the chalk-laden sidewalks, and the trees were exuding the pleasant song of birds perched upon their branches. This was it. The perfect summer day.

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Back in The Day

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The eyesore arrived at our house on the evening of November 22nd, 1963, when I was eight and Joey was eleven.

At school that day, the loudspeaker crackled to life, and Principal Edwards announced that President Kennedy had been assassinated. I’m not sure any of us third graders knew what that meant, but we figured it was bad – especially when Mrs. Green let out a howl and dropped her head in her hands, shoulders shaking with each loud sob. The second that happened, all of us girls and a couple of the boys cried, too. About an hour later, Mama came to my classroom to get me. Her eyes were red and puffy.

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