jadetine (joined over 11 years ago)
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Karen is an avid foodie/gamer/SFF reader who, despite existing for several years, has still not decided what she wants to be when she grows up.

Actually, Karen is an aspiring writer with a mysteriously irrelevant past. She spends her days laughing at the people still stuck in law school, ruminating over her engineering degree and coughing at the dust covering her collection of art supplies and musical instruments.

A Jill of all trades, yet master of none. Except for perhaps procrastination and awkward humor.

Stories


They were trapped for seven days. The airlocks were blinking green and somewhere in the deck below, the supports creaked and machinery rumbled. My little brother continued playing his hand-held game, while the rest of us tried to make contact with other ships.

We were floating above the 3rd moon, it's deep northern crater eying us like an angry cyclops. We had barely made it through the atmosphere before the alarms went off and the ship stopped. Somehow, we had been flagged with contraband and the authorities were on their way up, checking through the nether regions first.

A message...

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"Your team is to find the contact code-named Scurvy."
"Scurvy? Boy, he sounds pleasant."
"Actually, she's quite humorous and accommodating. You'll understand when you meet her."
"What time should I set out."
"Now."
"Great, thanks. I'll take my own rig."

At 0800, I landed on the beach where Scurvy was waiting for me. She didn't seem particularly pirate-like in any way. I handed her the documents, she scanned them, then threw them in the air and set them aflame with a snap.
"So why do they call you Scurvy?"
She stopped mid-stride and leered at me. Hilarious, indeed.

"We've got...

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Bombs were the last thing on his mind. If he lost this poker game, it would be his death anyway. The lights flickered, the ceiling dripped and the cigarettes had long since expired. The gaunt janitor across from him wheezed in a satisfied rheumy way. There it is. His tell for a rotten hand.

The girl with the brown eyes sucked on her teeth. The bombs above loosed plaster from the ceiling and it salted her hair. She shook it off like a dog, her brow creased in concentration. She had been squinting the entire game, suffering her near-sighted bet...

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Okay, Mary. Don't panic. You've planned for this occasion. First, you've gotta find a way to contact your employer and let them know you'll be home sick today. Hopefully they still have phones in the future. Actually, first thing you've gotta do is look in the mirror and then find the date.

Wow, I haven't aged well at all. When did I let myself get so fat and wrinkly? What happened in college? Do I have kids? Hooboy.

Eureka! There's the office. Nice. It looks like computers are much more sleek. ACK! It powered on by itself. 2030? Holy crap,...

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The pidgeon man rolled off the sky-scraper. Thousands of birds flew with the updraft, gaining momentum as they hurled their bodies into his back. The crawling taxis below wailed insistently. Pedestrians opened their umbrellas, one by one. Sunset embalmed the towers in reflective flame.

The pidgeon man did not see what was beneath him. He only and always looked up.

His shadow grew on the pavement. He was seconds away from landing, yet the birds continued their sacrifice.

I don't like this piece at all. It is a depressing photo. :(

Read something else.

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They crouched to peer beneath the stairs.
"Did that blade seriously just nick my ankle?"
Brody grabbed a stalk of grass and shook it in front of the step. A pair of scissors lashed out and bisected the leaf and receded into obscurity.
"It looks like Jiro's back." Myka pulled a long, desperate drag out of her cigarette. "Looks like the girlfriend thing didn't work out."
"Maybe the booby trap is to keep people out as they get it on." Brody coughed as Myka exhaled a noxious cloud in his face.

They skipped the step and carefully ascended the stairs...

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The open road was an open mouth. The dust rose in hissing strands. The sun berated us from every angle and the A/C was spewing out its soul. They called this Hell's Highway.

It was barren, filled only with the amber hues of fatigue and discomfort. We drove onward in silence, as if the merest hint of conversation would cause our cargo to spontaneously combust. I didn't have the energy to admire his golden curls, the arch of his nose, the romance of his mouth. His eyes were forward. They were always facing forward.

A carcass in the road caused...

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She didn't look at him.
He didn't look at her. They had an understanding. The only way to succeed was if they didn't show the mark that everyone in the room was absolute strangers.

Glasses clinked, the lounge pianist droned his snooty song, polite ladies left to powder their noses, and she stood directly under the chandelier's magnificent crown. In a few seconds, the lights would fizzle out, he would pull the cord, and she would lie dead, crushed by the weight of the crystals and copper.

Or they would make it. They would make it to the mark, take...

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Blue open windows,
training wheels on the driveway,
Papa let me fly.

Afternoon bubbles,
wedding bells for fireflies,
the laughter echoes.

Saturday mornings,
the rain never goes away,
I'll always love you.

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