Galen (joined over 10 years ago)
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Glad to have this back online for the decade anniversary.

Stories


In her rear-view mirror, she saw Gene turn. He looked at the bush, at her, at the bush again, and then felt his pockets. Phone, wallet, ke...

He bolted for the bush. Heather slammed her hand against the ignition and turned the key. Grinding metal. The car was already on. She floored it and turned for the bush. No clear plan had formed in her mind but she could see Gene sprinting. The bush arrived and the car rose up to meet it, bouncing over the rockery and screeching up the hill. Grinding metal again. The wheels were spinning. Smoke...

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In the scheme of things, it wasn't a permanent state I was after. Just long enough to get on stage, dance for two minutes and fifteen seconds, and get off.

Five pounds, what did that even look like. I dragged the scale into the kitchen and got out a can of beans. 1.3 lbs. A gallon of milk. 8.33lbs. Two boxes of fish sticks didn't even move the needle. A giant bag of shrimp. I mean, GIANT. Boom. Five pounds.

I needed to shed a GIANT bag of shrimp in a matter of days. I eyed the shrimp, their gray...

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He set the plate before her. He watched her eat it clean.

"Where have you been?" he wanted to know.

Instead he said, "It's good to see you again."

She nodded at him, said something about being tired, bouncing around too many places, too many people. But he only heard, "I've spent every free moment with him, letting that stranger come inside me."

So his response probably sounded non-sequitur to her. "When's the last time you had a weekend to yourself?"

"A while. I don't know how long."

"Four weekends," he thought. "The weekend before that we went to the...

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It comes from fearing science.

In America of 2025, the faithful had won. No one believed in evolution. No one believed in vaccination. No one believed in soap.

The foreign countries had taken to calling them "Potatoes" because they were white under the thick film of dirt that comes from refusing to wash.

The potatoes were in a panic. Some potato, venturing beyond his or her front door, with a long lost telescope discovered in a storage room, had pointed it at the sky and seen something move. Watching further, the potato did a bit of empirical deduction and derived...

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From the edge of a hole in the ground, lying on his side in a pool of his own blood, Jim looked around for his arm.

Eventually his glazed eyes drifted down the side of the pit, down to the bottom, where a mess of body parts mixed together like a good gumbo.

"Is that my arm?" Jim thought about thinking.

His ears rang, buzzed, sounded like being tumbled in a wave, with the adrenaline rush of wondering if you'll break the surface or if this is it.

He looked to the tree nearby, to wear a squirrel was peeking...

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The bird landed. Crunch. The baseball bat followed quickly after. Another sparrow came too close and the burly man pivoted, keeping his hands close to his core, pounding the bird into deep left field. Children scampered behind him, scooping the carnage into banker's boxes.

75, 76, 77. 77! That's $19.25!

At a quarter per sparrow, the money wasn't great, but for a handful of the invasive species, one could get a loaf of bread.

The initiative had been welcome by ecologists and nationalists alike. "An English bird has no place in American habitats," one said. "An English bird has no...

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Away.

He'd escaped.

And not in the usual way.

Home from school at 7:30pm, another long day of detention for crimes uncommitted (who ever did anything really deserving detention – and when has detention been worse than the alternative. Questions he wrestled with with his head on his desk) – home long after sunset, he pressed his head against his pillow and cried.

The tears awoke the empathy of the waters in the room. His fishbowl grew stormy. A glass of water shuddered with tsunami. The poster of the ship on the wall erupted in gale and he could feel the lash...

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Two rows of terrified youth, each plastered, clingingly, to the fences on opposite sides of the tennis court. 16 bouncing 4-square balls. 16 times times 20 opponents per side: the numbers were staggering. The odds of being struck by lightning paled in comparison. You could win lotto 35 goddamn times before you'd escape a barrage like this.

And someone said "GO!"

They raced to the balls, grabbing all the resources they could muster for their side, hoarding the ammunition. When one side has only 3 balls, it's much easier to keep track of who's hunting you.

Her side had 11...

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The bird landed. A thunder clapped. A dog barked and the bird opened a pocket on its vest.

Peering through a telescope, the yellow bird surveyed 360 degrees of the town square.

All along the square doors slammed and windows shuttered.

All but the doors of the saloon, which are more like shutters, really. Do saloons even have doors?

The bird shook its feathers. Focus.

From beneath the saloon shutters rolled a woman in pantaloons and suspenders and a blousy black turtleneck. She held in her hands two baskets, their covers carefully latched.

Kneeling in the street Liza double and...

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They were trapped for seven days, four storeys down, in a subway car.

Just the two of them.

Midfight, mid-breakup, mid-life-altering-altercation, the lights had flickered. Then gone out.

In the darkness Jake had offered a tentative "Hello?" and chuckled quietly.

Cooper had shouted back. At the moment they realized the darkness would not abate, that help would not come, that they were trapped, they'd retreated to opposite ends of the car.

Cooper flipped the emergency switch and forced open a door. A rotting stench flooded the car.

Doors shut again they studied the opposite end of the car.

On the...

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