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Muscle Man

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"Let me ask you a question?"

 

He never waited for a reply, just asked, and then without a pause answered his own query. It was the verbal equivalent of a toddler tugging at your sleeve.

 

He paused to examine the hood of the muscle car he was buffing, checking whether the sheen was even. The deep rumbling throttle sounded a little like his raspy chortle, carnal and immediate.

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Photograph

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My new Iphone 7 is gorgeous. Not that my last one wasn’t, but the sleek newness of this one outclasses the old generation by a substantial margin. I couldn’t stop smiling at my mom. She said a new phone wasn’t in the budget for this month. Next thing I know, I’m unboxing the latest Iphone.

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A Voice From Beyond

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“Why are you asking me to do this?” I asked Jackson.

“Because I saw how you cried at Ingrid’s funeral, Bennie.”

It’s true. I was devastated by Ingrid’s death. She was so young, only 38, and had so much promise. She was also Hollywood star beautiful. We were never lovers but the best of friends.

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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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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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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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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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