"So, did your dog eat your homework?"
"No... You won't believe me so it doesn't matter anyway."
"You always have had a vivid imagination. Which I take pains to appreciate. Go ahead. Why weren't you able to prepare for the test?"
"I had been studying for thirty minutes - which is why I aced the radicands portion - when all the sudden there was a rumbling groaning sound from next door. I couldn't focus. I looked outside my window and across the alleyway was a huge green bass flopping about screaming."
"Uh?"

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"Now, tell me again," said the attractive blond in the black-rimmed glasses, "why do you think you're a super villain?"

Her patient sighed. He was draped across her leather couch, one hand hanging limp over its side, grazing the lush carpet as though it was soft grass.

The therapist chewed on her pencil and waited.

"How many times do I have to tell you?" he said. "I'm a scientist. I come from a long line of super villainy, and it's up to me to keep up the family reputation." He turned on his side to gaze at her. "Have I...

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Midnight on the Roof. That's where he'll be. I know Santa Claus is real. I know that because he's my Dad.

It was small things at first. I made a list:
1) A wistful smile on Mum's lips each Christmas Eve. 
2) The way she hummed "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus" without noticing.
3) The fact we ALWAYS put out cookies and beer for him before Christmas Day. And a carrot for Rudolf.
4) My last real memory of him dressed in his large red gown and hat with white fur trim telling Mum he had to go. His...

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You had me at 'Ox Bow Lake'" I sighed. Temporal Repair 202, the practical. "So we have this rift, right? And you're saying it's like God was dealing out the cards in a Cosmic Bridge Game, when this stupid 21st century chronoterrorist (I hate Chrono's) interrupted his deal."

My instructor nodded, pleased at least one of us had listened and remembered his tortuous analogies. He cleared his throat, "So, how does God carry on dealing so everyone still gets the cards they were 'meant' to get?"

We all looked at one another round the card table. We were stumped. Not...

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She opened the envelope and screamed. This luxury was purely due to the rough edge of the foil having cut into her thumb before she'd completely broken the electrical contacts just inside the ripped flap. The Army man who'd come within minutes of that first scream, had peered over her shoulder down inside the folded card and taken in the plastic, the wires and the detonator. To his credit, though he was clearly Protestant, he had paid her more attention than any man in her rather drab existence. Everyone else had vacated, but finally she was the centre of attention....

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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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She didn't look at him anymore. He knew that it was too late for their marriage. Betrayal this time was over stepping the boundary. Twice already. They passed days and nights like strangers, polite yet unemotionally connected.

Lisa did not know what to do. Never expected to be in this position. Couldn't face the future, alone. Yet knew she couldn't bear to be in the same room with him let alone in the same house.

None of her family were around anymore, she didn't want to have to move again, relocate, make new friends, go over the same lies. She...

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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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I have writers block.
Urggggg.

Okay, I should probably explain myself. I am a writer.
Well its more like I would like to be a writer.
Unfortunately, my brain does not possess this talent and I am here, stuck in a coffee shop because I heard that's where Joanne Rowling wrote "Harry Potter."

But, now that I look around I can't help but notice the clear boundaries between strangers in a coffee shop, in which only waitresses can cross. Even then, for a short period of time.
Maybe half of us here are on either our laptops or cell phones....

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My sister was called Heather. She only lived three years. I've never been told what really happened to her, only that she was taken away from us too early. I used to lie awake all night, terrified of someone coming in through the window, dragging me out of bed, over their shoulder, down a ladder, running across the back lawn, through a gap in the fence and into a van. Driven away forever.

It wasn't until I was about eight years old and settling into a new house (we'd moved four times already) that I came across a scrapbook of...

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