She sat with her feet upon the wall. He looked at her, "You seem nervous." She stayed silent. He took out his camera and took a picture. "You know, you look like Dorothy, with those on." She sighed, "When's the last time you've seen the Wizard of Oz?" He looked down. She's never been the same since her parents died. Her father was a firefighter, but he didn't die of a fire. Neither did her mother. They died of a car. A car with one passenger. One intoxicated passenger. He went up to her and whispered, "I know it hurts."...

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Lange onboard sweating it out, Lange onboard getting cold grits, Lange in his bunk in those pitiful few hours to himself when he could think on his home, on the vast seas between him and it. Reciting lines--fragments--from those books his sister Rachel used to read aloud. The carousing above over and only flatulence angry growling left over.

And when the crew came alongside the _Steadfast_, and murdered the husband in plain sight of the wife and the girl, whom they took below, Lange mopped blood and chummed the sea with the husband's body for the sharks. It was then...

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It's ringing. Ringing. Ringing. Ringing. STOP it from ringing!

Karla never wanted to hear his voice again. Never wanted to hear that damn ring of the public phone at on the corner of East and Cherry. Never wanted to wait again; to see if he'd call, usually he wanted money. Always for drugs. Drug money. Meth money. That idiot, he was killing himself, and now he wanted their son. Brian wouldn't even look at Gray when he came to the lobby of their high rise, his dad was always high, red-eyed, and stumbling. They used the pay phone in case...

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She stood there, covered in nothing but a crimson gown, shivering against the cold.
The rain fell down in a perfect arc around her, as the doorway spared her from the worst of the elements.

Glancing out, she caught my eye, and there was only one thing to do.

Or so I thought, but as I crossed the road, running to escape the never-ending sheetm with my coat over my head, I failed to see the bike that was heading, at speed, towards me.

A scream, a crumpling of flesh and metal and a release of the reason I crossed...

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Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway. Like it had been ever since the Chinese industrial 'revolution', it was smoggy and grey. She stared off into the limited distance, trying to peer beyond all the smog.

"Where's mother?" A voice came from behind her.

"Oh, you know the answer to that, Chang'e," she replied. "Go ask dad. I'm sure that he'll say what he's always said."

"What's that?" she asked.

"You're so forgetful..." the girl mumbled.

"But you are too!" said Chang'e. "I bet you don't even remember what father said to you...

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Kelsey was afraid to go out at night. Afraid of big, bad Bromley. When she told people she met online that she left in Kent, they always said she was lucky to live in such a nice, leafy Home County, nestled away in the undergarments of England's green and pleasant land.

But Kent had a dark, nasty side. That side was called Bromley. Yet another drive-by? Really? People didn't associate Kent with gun crime, or compare it to the LA ghettos, but Kelsey did.

Her friend Marie had also had enough of it. But Marie wasn't so scared.

"Kelsey, let's...

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