The alien craft exploded invisible to the human eye. The inhabitants had exited over an hour ago, running amazingly fast past the animals lying lazily on the sun scorched land who barely gave them a glance, such was their speed.

Marsha's mom said a second rosary just before going to bed after the long and happy day that was Marsha's wedding. She had never believed that her plain yet loving daughter could have made such a good match. Tom was not only clever, strong and good looking but he was such a homely man, loved helping with the farm, crops...

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Once in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway. She was hoping to catch a cool breeze as well as a paying customer as the slinky dress billowed behind her. Cigarettes were sexy again, and with lung disease the least of her worries, she inhaled with abandon. Another night, another John...

But tonight was different, because as she bent to tap the ashes from her cigarette, she saw a green cloth protruding from behind the fake potted plant near the doorway. Curiousity getting the better of her, she pulled aside the leaves to find the...

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Hard to think now, gazing into her eyes as we lay side by side, that we'd only met on the train an hour ago. I'd been standing at first. She sat with a mother and two small kids, chatting away; she'd been so gentle, loving, playful with them. Occasionally, she'd look out the window. Several times she caught my eye in the glass, and smiled at my dimmer reflection. When the family got off at Bristol I sat down, the carriage empty now. We chatted about our lives, her boyfriend, my wife and grown up daughters. A generation gap meant...

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"Come here," I whisper loud enough for her to hear me.
She gives me a look and laughs, tilting her head up to the sky.
"Kay"

The bark of the palm tree leaning over the ocean against my hand is hard but smooth.
Like the shore's winds blew away every crack and bump.

"Here," I pat my lap as I prop myself against the tree.
Mocking a shocked look, she kicks the sand up so it sticks against my wet foot.
I stare down for a moment as she comes to settle on my lap.
Her hair smells like salt...

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Rudolph ran as fast as his four legs would carry him. He had run out of fairy dust over a remote forest, and unfortunately it was deer season.

The celebrity found it hard to blend in with his shiny nose. In fact, it was damn near impossible. His snoz glowed like a blinking beacon, one the hunting party was only too glad to follow. He heard a voice, not far off, call, “I see him over here, boys!”

Damnation, but they were close!

Rudolph searched the area. Could he pull the ol' mud over the nose trick again? No, who...

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“You’re looking down in the mouth.” Teddy had said. Earnest waited. He knew more was coming. More was always coming. Teddy sidled up to it.
“Bill and I were just saying… ‘Ernie is looking *decidedly* down in the mouth.’ he said to me.”
Earnest, who *decidedly* didn’t like anyone, least of all Teddy, calling him Ernie, sighed and waited some more.
“You need a pick me up. A tonic. Bill and I both use Blinko-wide-awake(TM)… and you can get 5% off. Just tell ‘em I sent ya…!”
“Are we done he…” Earnest started to say.
“Remember, that’s Blinko…!” his work...

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I held it at arms length. A scruffy business card in battered Russian. Something like “путешествие во времени”
(“puteshestviye vo vremeni” in my mother tongue. It had been a long time. I was rusty.)
“So, you’re telling me th…”

“That time travel is possible. Probable. Inevitable. Yes.”

“Ok, old man. I’ll give you a beer. Spill…”

“Well, Sonny… that would be a waste of good beer.” The ‘old man’ smiled. “Yes, yes. I know what you mean.” He shrugged.

“We know the universe is expanding, right? And that expansion is accelerating, yes?”

“Dark energy.” I snorted.

“Precisely, and no one...

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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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The drop all went wrong. I told Marsha not to get the police involved but she was too scared to think straight. Joshua had been a special baby after five failed IVF attempts. It wasn't his fault that his parents were so rich or stupid as to allow a nanny to look after him without checking up on her properly. She seemed so nice when they met in the park, soothing the baby during his bouts of excessive screaming. Autism. She seemed to instantly recognise the shrill pitch. Told us it ran in her family. He wasn't really a baby...

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Rose wished she'd never agreed to that picture.

The look, the provocative stare, running her hands through her hair like that? That wasn't her. How did she expect to be taken seriously as an author when her picture looked like an ad for those 1-800 numbers, the ones they put on late at night with the skimpily clad women.

Maybe she could play it off. "I write humor; it was a joke!" she'd claim. The truth was, authors got paid almost nothing to bare their souls to their readers. It didn't matter if it was humor, scifi, or even detective...

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