Dear MIT,

Hi. My name is Jeff. I am six years old. I have a big sister named Jessica. My big sister likes you. She talks about you a lot. I think she really wants you to like her too. But she says she is worried you don't like her. She is worried you will choose someone else over her. Do you not like her? I think she is a great person. She is really smart, and really nice. I like her a lot, and I like when she is happy. I think she will be happy if you tell...

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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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This starts out as a fairy tale, but does not end as such.

Riding on a subway, Jane was squirming with self-consciousness. Shaking dark curls out of her eyes, she wiped her shaking, clammy hands on purple and black striped leggings, brushing her elbow against the heavy object that was swinging gently -- almost innocuously -- in her left hand jacket pocket.

It's so heavy, she thought. Would I be able to drink all of it?

Earlier that day, she had obtained a potion in a sketchy graffiti-infested alleyway from her great-great-grandfather, who was alive and well -- and a...

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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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I hoped they would stop worshiping the coat soon. After my husband Ed spilled coffee on his shoulder I'd washed it and put it out on the line to dry.

Someone from town happened to pass by as it swung from the line. He said he saw the face of Jesus in it. Right where Ed had spilled the coffee.

They came after. Ed tried to run them off with his shotgun. He tried to sick the dogs on them. They still came. All wanting to look at it. Take a piece of it home with them.

I took it...

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Daring to be noticed for the first time in her life, she pushed her chair back and stood up. Channeling Renee Zelwegger in Jerry Maguire she said "I'm with you."
Nobody heard her mouselike voice. Clearing her throat, she repeated herself. "I'm with you."
James looked at her, "Oh um...anyone else?" he scanned the office hopefully. Everyone remained seated. "Oh um, great then. Thank you...who are you?"
"Sarah." she prompted, ignoring the disapointment on his face.
"Yes, Sarah. That's it you're in accounts, right?"
"Actually I'm one of the PAs." she was starting to feel a little disgruntled. She was...

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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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"Who among you, if her son asks her for bread, will instead give him a stone?"

I was paraphrasing, and quoting out of context, but she didn't know that. She was just a foolish, naive, ignorant, innocent young girl. She'd begged and pleaded for the opportunity to raise a pet. The goldfish just hadn't been enough, either. Oh no; she wanted a mammal.

So the baby gorilla came home with me one day, fresh out of acting school. This little guy was GOOD. He could play dead with the best of them. He could even slow his heart rate to...

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He didn't think he was much of a cat person until he met Matilda. He'd found her one morning in a battered cardboard box on his doorstep and, seeing her huge green eyes and tiny paws, took her into the house. But he didn't know then that Matilda was a very special cat.

The first couple of years passed and Matilda grew from a small ball of fluff into a fully grown feline with glossy black fur. But it was the third year that Matilda began to change dramatically.

The black began to fall away to be replaced by bright...

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Four beautiful years. She had sat at this dining room table, polished every day by ol' reliable Miss Hamm, when they ate their first dinner of lamb cutlet, squash, and fingerling potatoes. He was all razor sharp grins as she giggled at the pieces of potato that he purposefully left dangling at the side of his smile.

Next year, at Thanksgiving, they had had their newborn, squirming at the side of the table with all of his raw and tender newness. He and his mother rambled on about the beautiful, perfect baby boy as if the two of them had...

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