"The water was clear," he kept insisting.

We all had been there. There were pictures, and a video somewhere posted on youtube. The water had been far from clear. Anything but clear. It was thick almost to the point of gummy with chocolate brown sediment, and tiny detritus the likes of which I didn't want to contemplate.

"I saw it," he said. "Perfectly clear. Purified. He was standing in the middle of it, and he made it clean by his presence. I tell you I saw him!"

We all said we believed him. Some even went further than that.


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"Midnight on the roof.". That was all her note had said. He smiled to himself as he climbed the stairway up to the small rooftop. Sure he'd been a bit rough with her when he'd cornered her at the party but some girls like it that way. Well she obviously had otherwise she wouldn't have contacted him again. Panting a bit he arrived at the security door and pushed his way through. She was there waiting for him as he had hoped but he wasn't alone. "Have you met my big brothers Mark and Jamie" she said as she slipped...

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My face turning a scary shade of blue, hands stiffening, heart slowly...slowly shutting down. Panic surrounds me, but no words escape my throat. There is nothing I can do now. The first time can be your last, so I've heard, and it's real this time. I want to reach for my throat, even try self-Heimlich, but my hands won't unclench themselves out of the white-knuckled fists they're stuck in. I can start to feel numbness through my feet, creeping up my legs, cramping in my stomach. A whoosh of air escaping my lungs, while my eyes rolled back into my...

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We'd been here once before. Staring through tiny holes on a weird-shaped box staring down at the bustling city below us. This time is different. This time he tells me he's ending it. No, not with me, with his fiance of merely two months who he works with at a dive bar down South. Naturally, I thought his engagement the week of my wedding was ludicrous to begin with. A Sapphire instead of a diamond on the hand of a girl with striped purple hair. She wasn't his type.

I gave my condolences, I guess that's the right word, I...

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The disco ball was turning. That was the first indication that something was wrong. That disco ball hadn't moved since 1982, when his brother put it up in his parent's attic to make room for his Tattoo You poster. The disco ball had hung for 30 years from a four-by-four, good solid wood. ("That wood ain't going anywhere, his dad once told him. That's old country wood, original American oak. Before all this," and let a wave of his hand tell the rest.)

He was up there in the attic when the disco ball turned, revealing it's multi-faced mirrored squares,...

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"Well shit, that didn't work," the conductor said.

He walked around the wreckage, pulling out passengers. Women, mostly. The men waved off his advances.

One gloriously attired woman emerged from a smoldering welt of torn metal as though she were departing at Poughkeepsie. Nary a scratch or displaced hat-feather.

"You are the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on," the conductor thought. What he said was, "Ma'am."

The day was still high above them, children kicking rocks along the tracks. The conductor scratched under his hat and wondered, well what the hell now?

A man sitting in the...

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The rock where my sister died dominated the landscape like a giant defrocked mushroom.

My parents were standing beside me, waiting for my response as I looked up at the seaweed and the striations. I wasn't sure what they wanted me to feel.

"It's cold," I said.

"We were just up on that ledge," said mom. "The tide was coming in, but the sun was setting and we wanted to watch it."

"Thought we'd just wade back to shore afterwards," added dad.

"But I lost my balance and slipped. Pregnancy does that to you sometimes, messes with your inner ear....

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His dive, performed in front of the small, half-drunk dinner party, was perfect in his mind. He'd had a few martinis at dinner, his wife looking at him strangely over her chardonnay. But he was on a roll that night. And Joyce had come with that husband of hers, Jerry, and had shot him her own looks as he went on about this and that. Sometimes the words came spilling out in a beautiful procession. Tonight, he was on.

Then the whole group wandered out to the backyard after he had told them he was going to perform the dive...

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This sludgy finger of water curling around the land. A mucky smile that hides whatever you slip inside of it. The lake never tells.

So I'm pleased you chose this place to meet, my dear. You have solved a riddle I've kept hidden behind my own smile. Come closer for a moment so I can see your face in the moon. Let's walk down to the water's edge and peer deep into eternity.

I didn't want to meet you tonight. My plan was as unsettled as a river. But you pinched it off into something definable, and I feel calmer...

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I felt I had nothing to lose. Nothing to gain either.
"Mom, I don't feel like going to school today!" I yelled at six o'clock this morning, while she yelled at me from downstairs.
For the past 3 years of high school, I never fitted in. I just had one friend. Her name was Jasmyne. But she never fitted in, like me. So we struggled our way through high school, and all we had was each other.
But today, I just could not take it anymore. I looked forward to graduation in a few months, but everyday I had to...

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