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The Cat Next Door

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My husband, Mike, hated the cat next door, but that wasn’t surprising. My husband hated lots of things….and places….and people. We had sounded so good together, Michael and Grace. I’m sure he hated me, too, and regretted our marriage. His only pleasure seemed to be hitting me when we discussed anything. That was arguing with him. It was embarrassing for me, but no one knew. I think no one knew.

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The Storm

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The middle aged woman had tears in her eyes as she looked at the downed white ash tree. The 80 year old tree had dominated her family's Adirondack cabin at Sacandaga Lake for years and now it would be gone, the victim of a harsh upstate NY storm. In truth, the old tree had been diseased for years and her husband Bob had pestered Ann to have the tree cut down. But she couldn't do that.

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Last Love

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I do not see myself as a decent person. I realize that the notion of right and wrong is something relative. It all depends on the concrete situation, since something you consider good can be unpleasant or offensive for someone else under different circumstances. There is no universal good. I, in particular, think that it’s of primary importance that things should be good for me, even if it might seem a bit egocentric. Yet this principle has never failed me. Actually, one can be selfish only to a certain point.

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That Old Feeling

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“Hey Bernie, look at this!” Marge wheezed as she picked up the thick piece of glass from the thrift store shelf.

Bernie used his cane to join his wife. “Yeah, what about it? It’s just a paperweight,” Bernie said dismissively as she pressed the glass in his hand. “Hmm. Heavy. I like the way the swirled blue mixes with the red. Reminds me of playing marbles.”

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Shipwrecked at Sea

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From the crow’s nest at the top of the mast, Jake spotted dark clouds gathering on the horizon.  He called down to the deck to inform the captain that they were headed into bad weather. He quickly climbed down the rope ladder from the crow’s nest and headed for shelter.  The ship turned sharply away from the approaching storm, but the storm was moving fast.  They couldn’t outrun it.  Jake hoped to get below deck, where he expected to find his brother Justin and cousin Elan; but the storm struck.

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Not Good Enough For Jamie

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It was midnight when Kerry Ford was rushed into the emergency room unconscious because of a drug overdose. Doctors and nurses tried to save him, but Kerry was gone. A doctor went to the waiting room to his mother, father and older brother, Alan, who stood when they saw the doctor. “I’m sorry. We couldn’t save him,” the doctor said sadly.

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That's Not My Wife

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I’m just a junior detective.  I don’t know much, but I know the area around Hollywood Road, the hilly Hong Kong street that runs down to Connaught Road.  Strange things turn up in that half-kilometer area crammed with antiques stores, coffee shops and tourist dives.

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The Calling

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About Twenty-Five years ago, Tommy worked in Brooklyn. His supposedly “confidential and secret” office was located on the top floor of an old five story nondescript but still active Catholic High School built in the 1950’s.

Access to the office was through a rear fenced parking lot. The “confidential and secret” office had an unremarkable dedicated entrance. The top floor’s individual offices and its staff were segregated from the entire school. The offices consisted of two person dorm rooms once utilized by the Catholic Brothers who previously taught and were housed at this school. Lusty tales of guilt ridden and eventually forgiven sodomy would be revealed if these walls could talk.

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Caterpillar

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It all piled up inside of me.  I couldn't fight it anymore. My soul was torn to pieces by sorrow, and my mind poisoned by fear. Days were filled with darkness and nights were without stars. My friends became my enemies. People's looks were full of judgment and animosity. My life turned into a sad, drunken stain on the book of humanity. I couldn't stop dwelling on my murky past. Even the spirits couldn't cure my sickness; they would only make it worse with time and increasing dosages. I made a decision to end it all... Nobody would shed a tear over me.

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The Yutz and The Putz

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*Preface*

“The Blob” was a 1958 Science Fiction movie: The film stars the then unknown but soon to be iconic actor, Steve McQueen. The plot depicts a geometrically expanding red amoeba type alien who crashes to earth from outer space in a meteorite and begins to engulf and digest humans. The creature’s vulnerability to coldness is discovered and it is finally shrunken and contained. It is then transported the to the Arctic, where it is parachuted to a perpetual frozen and arrested existence. Conventional wisdom says while the “Blob” alien is not dead, it “has appeared to have been stopped.” To this, Steve McQueen replies with the now prophetic last line in the film, "Yeah, stopped as long as the Arctic stays cold.”

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