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Valentine Inc

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Susie Adams was a short girl with a fair bit more than she’d like around the middle, although at age fourteen she still lived in hope that her growth spurt was coming on any day now. She also had a particularly nasty case of asthma that caused her to miss school days and left her with too much time on her hands.

It took her six months to hack into Valentine Inc., the world’s premier dating site. As Valentine Inc. had gradually taken over as almost the only means of dating, many people had tried to game the system, but Susie had two advantages over the multitude: a brilliant brain that spent too much time cooped up, and a father who worked for the company and kept his password taped underneath his desk.


The Rooms are Wrong

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Wasn't it just daylight outside? Or maybe I'm thinking of earlier... The house seems to have changed or am I imagining it? Did someone slip me something? I....feel wrong. This house feels wrong. Walking down this corridor I'm trying to remember what's the same and hold on to that. The wallpaper is a sickly yellow color with a bland floral print. Definitely not with the times. And the ceiling is an off white. Like it's dimmed by the environment. Like it wants to be brighter but can't. I guess even houses sometimes wish they could be what they're not. There's no light. Except the daylight peeking in from the rooms on the left side. Oh wait, there's no daylight. What am I thinking of? But how can I still see? It's storming now. There's the puttering of rain and I hear restrained thunder. It's powerful but not out of control.


Death of an American Cockroach

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“If God loves us so much, why did he create roaches?” Debra mutters to herself as she edges closer to the bathroom, clutching a rolled-up Daily News.  She had slipped into her pajamas when she  spotted  The Thing; that dirty creature with the six hairy legs and the swishing feelers and the gold flecks on its penis-shaped black-brown head.

It was in there.

She pushes open the door and gasps.  Now it’s perched on the white plastic toilet seat.  Debra is certain she’ll never again make a number two or two and a half in the bowl. 


The Vanishing Girl

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The wind howled in the night while smacking up against the house, which made me get out of bed and shuffle over to the window.

I stared directly across the street at my neighbor’s bedroom window and shook my head when the outline of a teenage girl popped out at me. I would be lying if I said this hadn’t happened before, which begged the question if my neighbor was keeping her prisoner in his house.

Rob repositioned himself in my bed. “Come back to bed.”

The girl continued standing right where she was while tears rolled down her cheeks.

“In a minute,” I said.


George Must Die

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Officer Collins came out of the interrogation room and quietly closed the door. He shook his head and sat down at his desk. Officer Taylor sat at the desk that abutted to Collin’s.

“Well?” Taylor asked.

“They gave it up. Finally.”

“What was the play?”

“George must die. That’s what they said.”

“Just like that, huh?”

“It seems they’ve been carrying a grudge and thinking about this for a while,” Collins said.


Strange Visitor

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As always when he got back from the hospital Henry stood on the doorstep trying and failing to find the right key.

The house was familiar, had been home when he was a child and now seemed almost to resent him for going away or for coming back at all. That was why the key always seemed to skitter away from his hand, hiding amongst its identical brothers and sisters until he was cold and frustrated enough for a point to have been made.


Serial Killer

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The Summer of 1979.  I lived in a small town just north of Indianapolis, called Indianola.  Many of the people in this town had lived in Indianola most of their lives.  My family had resided on the same street since before I was born - a tree-lined boulevard with large lots, most of the homes set back at angles from the street.  At age 21, I had known every neighbor on our block for years.

It was a typical Indiana summer – hot and humid – with frequent nighttime thunderstorms. What made this summer unique, and uniquely frightening, was the presence of a vicious serial killer.  Details about the murders were sketchy, and much of what people “knew” was likely random speculation. 



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Every night. Every damn night it's the same. Well sometimes not. I don't really know anymore. I've lost my head as they say. This house has become my prison. To think of all the potential I saw when I first laid eyes on it. When WE laid eyes on it. I had a wife and a good life. Or so I thought. We were newly weds and this was our first home purchase, possibly our dream home! It was quaint and humble but nestled in a lightly forested area which gave the illusion of seclusion. Like a little cottage you see in those Kinkade paintings. It was still part of a neighborhood sure, but not like the ones I had grown up in. Clones of each other with uninspired architecture all the way down the street. Any red blooded American's dream but my worst nightmare.


Campbell goes Viral

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“Campbell, face it.  You sent that tweet unwisely.  Someone thought it was funny.  Not ha-ha funny, but over the top bad.  Then you got a thousand shame-on-you tweets when it went viral….”   I was sympathetic.  Sort of.  The poor woman was dead before age 30 because of one dumb mistake.

“More like 11,000 shames,” Campbell said.  She slurped her vodka gimlet and the tears started again. 


The First Chronicles of Vassi

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In the beginning there was time. Erebus was the keeper, and he kept it from the start. Though time was all he had, meaning was missing in the swirl of his endless thought. Erebus could not govern all things that he planned to create. It was therefore in his thought to create beings to govern his creation. Erebus then formed Primitus, focusing atoms of light into fusion exploding in silence across the multiverse. Primitus was the first spark in the mind of Erebus and with this creation, light came into the vacuity. Primitus became the overseer of stars and galaxies. Each star begot its place, and Erebus felt his darkness lessen further.

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