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Carly's Mistake

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The double date was a favor for Carly’s roommate, Sara. Josh, Carly’s date, who had recently moved to the city, was a college buddy of Sara’s boyfriend, Ken. The evening went well. They strolled through Central Park to view the autumn leaves—Sara’s idea. Then they rode the subway to a Thai bistro near the girls’ apartment—Carly’s choice. The girls shared a bottle of Riesling wine. The guys drank beer and sang karaoke.

“So what do you think of Josh?” Sara asked Carly in the ladies’ room. “He’s really cute.”

“He’s okay,” Carly replied, coming out of a stall.

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My Love Was Taken From Me

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Janice Dell, a thirty-five-year-old accountant was still working when the other accountants left for the day. Harry Carson, a colleague, stopped at her cubicle.  “Hey, Janice, it’s time to go home. Come on, I’ll walk you out.”

“No, thanks, Harry, I’m going to stay for a while longer and take care of some unfinished work.”

“Okay. See you tomorrow,” he said and left.

Janice sat back and sighed. “What’s the point of going home to an empty apartment?  Everybody has somebody, but I don’t have anybody.   The bar scene is terrible, a waste of time. Match-making is a waste of time. There has to be a way. My biological clock is ticking, and I’m afraid I’ll never have a child. Oh, well, I might as well go home,” she said, turned off her computer, went to her car, and drove home.

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In Search of Mr Right

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Once upon a time, on a High Street not so very far from here, a fresh-faced young virgin looked up from the record counter at Woolworth’s, straight into the beautiful chestnut-brown eyes of Mr Right.  Flustered, colouring to the tips of her dainty little ears, she looked down again immediately and began flicking through the albums in the W rack and, when she looked up, he had gone.

Yet the image of his perfection was imprinted on her mind.  She had to see him again.  Over the next few days and weeks and months, she searched for him in all the likely places.  But her efforts were fruitless.  Roaming through the record shops, she had several sightings of shaggy Afghan coats, but none on the back of Mr Right.  Loitering with a raspberry milk-shake in yet another coffee-bar, she was afforded multiple glimpses of men with flowing golden curls, but none adorning the head of her prince charming.

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Bobby and Me (Forget Bozo)

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“Red herring.”

The waitress actually wrote a letter or two on her pad before she wrinkled her nose at me. “What?”

“Just kidding. I’ll have the crawfish etouffee.”

After she left with our orders, Bobby scowled and said, “I don’t need a clown, Mack. I need a guy who can do the job.”

I let my eyes droop and faked a yawn to annoy him.

“You in or not?”

“I’m here, aren’t I?”

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Family Home

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Mum wiped the blood from granddad’s mouth.

“Emma, grab me more tissues, will you?” she said.

I looked at granddad’s sad, tired face as I wheeled over holding the tissue box. He lay on a battered mattress in the corner. His body, tucked under a cough-stained duvet was half way to skeletal. When we found out his lung cancer was terminal mum moved him from the cabin by the pond to the farmhouse so he could spend his dying days here with us. His skin reeked of cigarettes even though he hadn’t smoked for weeks.

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The Squid

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When I walked into my living room and saw it, I thought I was daydreaming and it was just Butch, our German Shepherd laying on the sofa, but when I opened my eyes again and saw what it really was, I almost dropped my backpack and ran.

My mother was sitting on the opposite sofa, the one under the window, frozen, and a look of terror had swept across her face. Butch was nowhere to be seen. What lay on the sofa wasn't our loving dog... it was a huge, pale grey squid.

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A Deal

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Tracey and her son stand by the parked car, assessing the damage. She kneels down, running her hand over the wheel arch.

“He’s not going to like this,” she says. “We’d better go inside.”

They head into the kitchen, and take a seat at the table.

“Charlie,” she says, “what the hell were you thinking?”

“I was just gonna go for a drive.”

“A drive? You don’t even have a licence!”

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The High Place

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Winter had passed, but it was never the cold that kept John Parker awake. The etched rock provided some respite, as he surveyed the Peruvian Andes. The hollow calm of the white mountain tips filled his mind. Nocturnal arousals kept him awake through intermittent periods of sleep. Only the five of them made it here.

By the time scientists discovered high altitude was the only protection against the plague, it was too late. It started in Mali. Was it really so unpredictable? The luster of the African kings that shone so bright, now dead and forgotten corpses among the impoverished masses. Did humanity not deserve this?

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Nobody likes the Rat Squad

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NYPD Standard Operational Procedure when anyone is transferred: The next day they must report in civilian attire to Health Services Division to take a Drug Screening Test.  I was fuming about this involuntary transfer to Internal Affairs in the elevator when it reached the eight floor. Not familiar with Health Services Division, preoccupied by still really being pissed off, I followed a small group into a meeting room with about twenty seats. As I sat down I suddenly noticed these guys didn’t really look like cops.

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Confused

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Marty woke up early today.  Sleeping was a bit harder ever since Daddy went away.  Marty slowly petted his cat Ryder.  The cat purred and brushed his face lovingly and aggressively against Marty's hand.  Today was a school day.  Marty couldn't stay in bed all day petting his cat.  He lay a while continuing the petting and then stood up and searched for some clothes.  Mommy used to put his clothes out for him, but she stopped doing that a while ago.  Marty figured that she must think he's big enough to get his own clothes out.

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