From the day the museum opened, the mammoth was the first thing every visitor saw. How could they miss it? It towered over the entrance when they came inside, rain or shine, its trunk high above their heads as though ready to trumpet. At least they assumed she would trumpet, but no one really knew or cared.

Designed to model a beast that lived ages ago, the poor thing stood and gathered dust on its bits that were too high for the cleaning staff to reach. So the witch, a neo-pagan from San Fran, took pity on the poor beast....

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In 1921, he flew from the Great Rift Valley, along the trails left by the ancient Martians, to find the Temple of the Sun. It was buried, like so much else on Mars, in red sands over the course of millennia, but that meant nothing when you had a native to escort you to their ancestral home.

"So, how can we breathe here?" Pete asked the small, silver creature before him.

It sat in the biplane, strapped in, looking ridiculously small in the pilot's seat. "Air bubble," it replied, fiddling with the dials.

Pete had never flown in a biplane...

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Your foundation was laid a long time ago. You said it was always the same, just before. His voice offering up your name with a percussive beat, "James," and the sharp hammer blow of "short for nothing." that always followed.

When you left you took ownership of it: patching the walls and putting new paint on it to try and make it different. A thin veneer of you, built on the framework of someone else.

When I moved in you made room for me. You let me fill some of that space, as you did for me. I think she...

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I am really nervous. It's there. Looming. And I feel like if I move it will know, and everything around me will crumble.
So I wait and I wonder. Why I came. Why I am still here. Why there aren't forces out there that could rectify what is clearly the most dire of situations.
But I know there are no such forces. It's just me. Alone. Except I am not alone. It is still here. There. Moving closer.
I know there are only two choices: stay and await my ultimate defeat. The ultimate death. Stagnation...darkness. Or move closer to it,...

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I clutched onto the flowers. Today was the day. I am only 19 but I am getting married right now. My father was a rich businessman and my mother died when I was very young. My father than re-married and she married a beautiful Parisian woman. You may think she is a beauty but she is a pain in the arse. She treats me like rubbish. "Go fetch me my earrings," she would call out. But one year later after marrying my father she died suddenly.
My father couldn't bear this again, so he sent me to an orphanage. I...

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Arches atop tall pedestals opened into an ample space, magnified by groin vault ceilings. Red brick, scrubbed clean, gleamed brightly, reflecting morning rays.

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"Travel light, but take everything with you."

That was all the hastily scribbled note said. Now here I was, driving down the back roads of southeast Georgia, my eyes constantly darting to the rearview mirror, knowing someone - anyone - could be trailing me. What the hell had Erick gotten us into now? I wondered as I drove quickly, dust kicked up behind me as I sped toward the cabin. It was our agreed-upon meeting place in case trouble showed up.

My hands gripped the wheel tighter. Dammit! I swore to myself. I was happy, going to be married in...

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What happens when life finally becomes too much to bear? He thought about it a great deal - but was unable to put hiself into those shoes. What happens when you feel death is more important than life? Or is that the wrong question to ask, he wondered. Perhaps the real question was: why had she decided that death on her own was preferable to life with him?
He had come home that day - an ordinary day like any other day - and been surprised not to find her in her usual place in the kitchen. Every time he...

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She was the most delicate girl in town. But looks could be deceptive. Ruth knew he was somewhere in the house. Unfamiliar surroundings would make it difficult for easy location of prey, but that wouldn't delay the inevitable. She was as confident as she could be that no help would come. The old place was too isolated; one of its charms. Ironically, it was what had attracted her to the place. The appeal of sole occupation. Nothing to disturb her work.

Fortunately, she'd made it to the Kitchen and its drawers of sharp, clean, very clean knives. Ms. (note the...

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The daring were punished.

It seemed almost contradictory, but that was how They wanted it. Ever since the capital-t-They had taken over it, a systematic reduction of risk-taking had been put into place, until the daring were trained not to dare, the mavericks removed and replaced with the mundane.

My sister Joan had wanted to be a baker. You would think that was sufficiently uninteresting for Them, but you'd be wrong - I have no idea how They found out, but after a few bottles of wine at my house, she told me her dream of opening her own bakery....

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