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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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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Until now, she'd never thought of herself as pretty.

She'd never thought of herself as anything close to it. Too tall, too dark, too weird-looking in general, too much stomach fat and too small a face and too much that was just plain wrong.

Too little personality at first and then too weird a personality later. Too much for other people to deal with.

Too timid to speak up, too hinged on other people's expectations of her.

Too affected by what others said, too stupid to bring up her own ideas or her own thoughts.

And how that's changed.

Now...

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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 couldn't sleep with her next to me. The smell was making me crazy. She dead to the world, breathing her breath, rustling the covers, each movement sent her smell across the bed. Sour. Sick.

For weeks she wasted away in front of me. Now she didn't eat and her body was starting to draw on what little reserves we left. All fat gone, now her muscle. I was afraid to touch her. Afraid to look too closely. Afraid to see her slow wasting death.

But we still shared this bed. She and I, as always. The only difference now...

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An old sepia photo can be a bullet. It can tear through the lineup of neurons, neatly lined up like socks on a bed. It can make you aware that you are your latest incarnation. That you have been here before.

A mother and her child. Doesn't that child look familiar? Who remembers his own birth? Especially when it was 70 years ago? Today I am 27. I have been 27 many times now, projecting myself a year into the future so that I could live as 27 for a year, then my past self projecting himself a year into...

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The city was empty. It was early Saturday morning, the sky was grey and rain fell lightly. Almost imperceptibly. This was his favourite time. It felt like the entire city belonged to him. He would wander down abandoned streets, look into windows of the closed shops, sometimes he would even sing out.

He started humming loudly as he walked. A pigeon heard him and thumped his wings and took off, landing a few feet away.

He hopped over a puddle next to the curb and sang out load. "They call me mister Pitiful, baby that's my name."

This is freedom,...

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Hello city, hello Amy's boyfriend way down there. Hello penny. Let's see if it's so, what I remember from 4th grade about what happens when you drop a penny off the Empire State. On this street we walked and I wanted to yell at people who cat called her and to ask them if they had mother's and shame them. Down by the sudsy Hudson River we laid out and looked at the buildings and talked about Kenya, about the merits of going away and trying to talk ourselves into a compulsion to stay. On that bench she cried at...

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Sal knew it was too late the minute the whistle blew. That train had been keeping time in Millersville for twenty years and when its screech filled the air, everyone knew it was one in the afternoon. An eclipse could turn the day to night and no one would doubt it was in the PM if the train sounded. Heart racing and pulse pounding, Sal made a desperate dash down the road, passing the stable and skidding to a halt. "Now there's an idea." If some idiot wanted to leave a saddled horse loosely tied to this hitching post just...

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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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