Norman was a doctor. He was a doctor because he was good at fixing things, and at some point in his life he determined that the most important things that needed fixing were human beings. So he became a doctor.

He looked rather doctor-ish, in his trenchcoat, his traveling case of medical supplies and his pattern baldness. He was friendly, having the bedside manner that everyone expected of a good doctor.

The day that the sun became sick, people all over the world panicked. Some rioted, looted, killed one another, for in a world that was nearing its end, one...

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"Where am I?" asked Jolene, as she took some hesitant steps toward the elevator. "Am I on the moon?"

"You are not on the moon," was the response. The voice seemed to come from all around her. "You are on a spacecraft. The Earth as you know it is uninhabitable."

"What? Why? What happened?"

"You will find out later," it said. "Take the elevator to the highest floor."

Jolene entered the small enclosure and pressed the button marked '35'. There was no 36.

"God will ask you a series of questions," the voice continued. "If the answers are incorrect, he...

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Billy was steadfastly unimpressed.

"Can we go home now?" he asked.

"But, Billy, don't you want to see the top of the beanstalk?" Sarah asked her son. She was confused. Why didn't he like the things other boys liked?


"Why not? Isn't it cool and -"

"It's a phallic object from the a fairy tale written by the unwitting supporters of the patriarchy," he interrupted.

Sarah hated this. Being lectured by your own sever-year-old was the worst. "Billy, quit saying silly things," she scolded. "It's just a beanstalk. It's supposed to be fun. Why can't you enjoy anything in...

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The Earth hung there in the window, a massive disk of blue and white fixed against the uniform blackness of space. The sun's light illuminated the nearer half of the globe; through the clouds Jolene could see a glimpse of North America.

"What is this?!" she demanded, her fear magnified into true panic. "What is this, some kind of trick? Who are you? Answer me!"

"It is no trick," replied the computerized voice. "I am someone you know well, but I must not tell you now. There is not much time; you must do exactly as I say."

"What? Why...

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"If you say so," I said, feigning indifference. It was best not to commit to something that would go south in microsecond, which I suspected would happen with Jacob's escape plan.

"Let's go over it one more time," he said excitedly. "At 2100 tomorrow, I'm going to shank Billy in the kitchen. The guards will come running to take me away to solitary, like they did the last thirteen times."

"You don't have anything to shank with," I said, annoyed at his overly dramatic air. "All we're allowed are sporks made of recycled corn, or whatever this shit is." I...

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The warm breeze touched her face, sparking memories of his fingertips and how they would brush her hair from her eyes in their moments of tenderness. She remained standing still, her eyes closed, for some time.

Eventually she opened them and looked down the grassy hill to the town below, the tall ships in the harbour, the people bustling on the docks. He was there. Somewhere.

She could see his ship off in the distance, it's distinctive sails billowing in the wind. Glancing back down at the dock she wondered when others would spot it.

After what seemed like an...

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Dancing, the camera so close, so infringing on the intimate margin between her face and his chest, she tore her gaze from the lens. Awkward, having two camera men so near.

She turned in his arms, leaned towards him and he lifted her by the waist, and she lifted her leg, forming the shape of a four.

On the stage again, the cameras rushed with her as she leapt across the stage. When she stopped and stood to her toes, a camera met her at eye level. She looked directly into the lens.

"Oh." The man's left eye, peeking from...

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He pounded his head on the wall to the rhythm of the heavy bass. Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom.

He'd attempted diplomacy already. Repeated knocks on the door had gone unanswered. No wonder: they probably assumed it was the music.

He'd attempted passive-aggressively turning his own music up to the max. Some good that does on a MacBook.

Nor did calling the neighbors help. The RA he'd summoned had joined the party.

3am on a Tuesday morning, in finals week. Deridda wasn't getting any easier. What would Deridda do? Hey thought. WWDD. Which was about the sound his forehead made...

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