So there I was, cigarette in hand, pigeon in my mouth, and she starts talking to me. I'm like, lady, shut up already, will ya? If the blood bothers you, go read somewhere else, OK?

But no, she wants me to stop eating the pigeon. Or stop smoking, or something. I dunno, the sound of the bones crunching kinda drowned her out. Whatever she was saying, she must have felt pretty strongly about it, 'cause she popped a button on her blouse when she started pointing her finger in my face.

I was pretty sure the button wasn't one of...

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2070. Je regarde par la fenêtre. Les douze coups viennent de sonner à l'horloge. Sur la place, dehors, des petits chalets de toile sont montés, et regorgent de victuailles et de boissons pour les fêtards. La foule se presse, danse au son des violons, et s'embrasse et s'embrasse pour se souhaiter la bonne année.
Je tends la main vers la petite table, j'attrape mon bol de tisane et le porte à mes lèvres. Ma main tremble, ses veines sont saillantes et sa peau fripée. Les tâches qui la parsèment sont le décompte des années.
2070, le monde n'a pas changé....

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The noises that, at first, filled every pocket of air, immediately and harmoniously silenced. The overcast sky of smog and gas cracked open like chick which has been waiting weeks to hatch, the yellow feathers shined through. And all was quiet. The men did not speak, they dropped their arms, but their guns' falls were muted by this minute of peace. Even the men dared not to speak. Enemies were no longer so, there was no definition between men, just as there are no barriers between the birds which were the first to make a sound. A song which awoke...

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Two rows of terrified youth, each plastered, clingingly, to the fences on opposite sides of the tennis court. 16 bouncing 4-square balls. 16 times times 20 opponents per side: the numbers were staggering. The odds of being struck by lightning paled in comparison. You could win lotto 35 goddamn times before you'd escape a barrage like this.

And someone said "GO!"

They raced to the balls, grabbing all the resources they could muster for their side, hoarding the ammunition. When one side has only 3 balls, it's much easier to keep track of who's hunting you.

Her side had 11...

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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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The tracks screeched as the train hurtled through the curve. "Is this normal?!" she screamed, "Are we going to die?"

"It's looking likely!" he shouted back as he tumbled into the roomette. Crawling on his knees, panic leapt into his eyes. He scanned the floor, sweeping his hands over the carpet, under the seats.

"What are you looking for?" she shouted as she braced herself in the hallway.

"Nothing. It's nothing. You know, at times like these, when disaster looms, we must ask ourselves what motivates us, what grand ideas guide us in our illusory walks towards our certain doom....

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"But why are there cracks?"
"Each of them is a single stone."
"Where do the stones come from?"
"Stones are made by the Earth. These stones..."
"Why?"
"Why what?"
"Why does the Earth make stones?"
"Time and pressure."
"Not how. Why?"
"I don't know. But these stones are shaped by people."
"Why?"
"To pave the road."
"Why?"
"So we can walk on it."
"That stone is broken."
"It will be replaced."
"They have more stones?"
"They will make more."
"What if they don't?"
"What if they don't what?"
"What if they don't make more?"
"They will make more."
"But what...

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My discovery took the world by storm.

The university had sent me to South America to carry out research into unfound species in the Amazon forest. The remit was wide, almost too wide, in fact, as wide as the forest itself. After all, where do you start? And, what was I looking for?

The going was hard. Dense foliage, humidity, bugs, leeches, snakes, ants and a million other species that wanted me...for lunch. Then I saw it...nestling in the thick vegetation, it looked out at me with eyes that seemed to be on the end of sticks. I approached it...

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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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Walking briskly through the grey tainted forest, beads of sweat gathered on his forehead, gaining momentum before they trickled down his sullen face. The pale moon was high in the sky, befriending twinkling stars that seemed to swirl around whenever he tried to find consolation in their presence. From far away, an owl hooted into the night.

He didn't have a hand to hold. Lost, yet not lost, he was confused. Knowing who he was, what year it was, and where he was were all facts that he had down. But he wasn't sure of his exact location. Then again,...

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