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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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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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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They say that I come from a family of heroes. And I suppose that is true. Uncle George, who rescued an entire family from a burning building. Cousin Bethany, the dashing soldier. Cousin Allister, who sailed his boat up river and discovered the Lost Tribe of Allawak. My father, the boxer and revolutionary. Great Aunt Marya, who sang so sweetly that she brought down the Monster Carescu, him and his entire government. Great great great Gramma Florence and Granpa Sidney, who together fought brigands for some queen in some other country. They were quite dashing I am told. As others...

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Until now, she'd never thought of herself as pretty. After all, her parents had named her Agnes. Agnes. That was the name of some fat, frumpy girl. But she stood here at the mirror, the bell had long since rung and students had settled themselves in desks. The comb in her bag would have to do. Maybe something from the haze of hairspray left behind by the other girls would help set the ridiculously high bangs she had crafted for herself.

She threw the comb in her bag and headed out into the hall. It was empty as expected. Agnes...

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Spinning. Thirteen years old and with my friends in some suburban backyard, spinning. Looking up at the nightime stars and spinning. Spinning until a single star became the axis around which the universe revolved. Spinning until everything made momentary sense and then dissolved away in fits of giggles and pratfalls on the grass.

Spinning, the car catching my rear bumper and turning me in a full circle so that the city became a blur.

Spinning in the pool, three somersaults in a row is what turned the pool into the ocean filled with the giant squid and the great white...

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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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"I'll be 69 this year."
I lifted my eyes from my book, struggling with my irritation. Across from me sat a woman, her eyes clouded with reflection as she stared over my shoulder. "Forty years I could have spent with someone who adored me if I hadn't have been so blind."
I blinked. I couldn't quite tell if she was actually speaking to me. I folded my book around my thumb and waited. The ache in her voice spoke to the same in mine and I refused to look at my phone that had hummed more than once, someone far...

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Until now, she’d never thought of herself as pretty. She though of her body as a reclamation project. One of those trash dump sites that had filled up and had to be pounded down, covered over and made to look like something else. Something stable and pretty. Like a piece of ground someone would be willing to invest in - maybe build some houses on and raise kids without ever knowing what was underneath.

She couldn't fix everything, of course. Those scars...well, there just wasn't much she could do about them. Long sleeves, not tanning too much so they wouldn't...

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