The gate closed behind them. It was too late, she knew it. How did they get here? Why did it have to end this way?
"Jamie, it's okay. They won't find us here."
She wanted to believe him. She tried to believe him. She couldn't. They corner they hid in was dark, damp, dirty. She didn't have to wait long.
As the latch opened on the outside gate, Sean starting shaking. He can't handle this, Jamie thought.
"We're going to die, aren't we?" he asked.
Jamie considered lying, but what would be the point? She put her arms around him...

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"But I like green."

"You would. Green is a very you colour." She waved her hand, apparently indicating his shirt. "You look good in green."

He raised his eyebrows, surprised. "Do I?"

She ignored it, ignored her cheeks going pink - there was no point to this line of conversation, she was not going to think about it.

Except that he did look good in green, very good. Something about dark hair and dark green and those eyes -

"I just don't think green is a good colour for a rug. I don't think it'll go in the living room....

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There was a man who rode on a white horse. He wore a golden cloak. He was handsome and upright in posture. When he passed by, people stopped to stare and to whisper among themselves.
"Who is he?"
"Where does he come from?"
And, although they did not know the answer to these questions, they knew he was good and bold and wonderful. A hero.

There was a man who rode a black stallion. He had a large hat, flopping over his brow. Below the brim, a bright red scar was visible - a slash across his cheek. He slumped...

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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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If your parents are going to name you after a song, there are a few things they should think about.

For a start, it needs to be a good song. Actually, no, it needs to be an actual name. Nobody wants a kid called "You know what they do to guys like us in prison."

But it still needs to be a good song. A really good one. Not some one-hit-wonder.

And it should be subtle. I mean, "Penny Lane" - that's obvious. "Layla"? Not so much.

Maybe I'll change my name to Layla, when the forms come through. Or...

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The Potentate surveyed his creamsicle tower cooly.

"Were my instructions not clear," he asked in the calm manner so many of his associates found so frightening. "Was the language I was speaking truly so difficult to decipher?"

Nobody spoke up at first, though everyone knew two things: the longer he went without an answer, the angrily the Potentate would get. The second fact, whoever spoke first stood a good chance of receiving the brunt of his displeasure. As was often the case, everyone opted for an intense anger spread over the whole group, then face being a direct target of...

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"Aim for the torch."

"I'm trying!"

"We're gonna miss it."

"I know! I said I'm trying!"

"Ok, forget the torch. Try to land on, uh, her shoulder or something."

"The wind's too strong."

"How about her feet? The balcony? The plaza? ...The field?"

"This isn't my fault. No matter what happens, this isn't my fault."

"We're going to end up in the ocean, aren't we?"

"Probably. No, wait! I could just... Hmm. Yep. We're gonna land in the ocean."

"I don't like the ocean. It's wet."

"Shut up and deal with it."

"Plus all the cash in my wallet is...

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'Kenya.'

I looked up from my book. 'Huh?'

'Kenya.'

'Can I what?'

'No, the country. Kenya.'

'Yeah, okay, in Africa. What about it?'

'We found him there. He's working in an aid camp for Somalian refugees.'

'Him? Who?'

'You know who I'm talking about.'

I put the book down, forgetting it. 'How certain are you of this? There can be absolutely no mistake, understand?'

'Positive identification. No question.'

'Anecdotal or visual? We need to be sure.'

'Oh, absolutely visual. A low flying drone picked him up leaving a market. He had a couple of bags of veggies and a rack...

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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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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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