Galen (joined over 10 years ago)
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Glad to have this back online for the decade anniversary.

Stories


They were trapped for seven days, four storeys down, in a subway car.

Just the two of them.

Midfight, mid-breakup, mid-life-altering-altercation, the lights had flickered. Then gone out.

In the darkness Jake had offered a tentative "Hello?" and chuckled quietly.

Cooper had shouted back. At the moment they realized the darkness would not abate, that help would not come, that they were trapped, they'd retreated to opposite ends of the car.

Cooper flipped the emergency switch and forced open a door. A rotting stench flooded the car.

Doors shut again they studied the opposite end of the car.

On the...

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Dancing, the camera so close, so infringing on the intimate margin between her face and his chest, she tore her gaze from the lens. Awkward, having two camera men so near.

She turned in his arms, leaned towards him and he lifted her by the waist, and she lifted her leg, forming the shape of a four.

On the stage again, the cameras rushed with her as she leapt across the stage. When she stopped and stood to her toes, a camera met her at eye level. She looked directly into the lens.

"Oh." The man's left eye, peeking from...

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The tracks screeched as the train hurtled through the curve. "Is this normal?!" she screamed, "Are we going to die?"

"It's looking likely!" he shouted back as he tumbled into the roomette. Crawling on his knees, panic leapt into his eyes. He scanned the floor, sweeping his hands over the carpet, under the seats.

"What are you looking for?" she shouted as she braced herself in the hallway.

"Nothing. It's nothing. You know, at times like these, when disaster looms, we must ask ourselves what motivates us, what grand ideas guide us in our illusory walks towards our certain doom....

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He pounded his head on the wall to the rhythm of the heavy bass. Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom.

He'd attempted diplomacy already. Repeated knocks on the door had gone unanswered. No wonder: they probably assumed it was the music.

He'd attempted passive-aggressively turning his own music up to the max. Some good that does on a MacBook.

Nor did calling the neighbors help. The RA he'd summoned had joined the party.

3am on a Tuesday morning, in finals week. Deridda wasn't getting any easier. What would Deridda do? Hey thought. WWDD. Which was about the sound his forehead made...

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"I'm not stalking you, I swear," she said to him as he stared across the produce section in the grocer.

"Oh? The coffee shop by your office I could understand. The subway too. Maybe we live on the same line. The movie theatre might have been a coincidence. And the cologne section at Macy's could be justified. I'm a little concerned that you'd appear in the same Casino, the same bar and the same strip club, but to each their own. So that you'd even say you're not stalking me, here, in a grocery store, the most obvious place for...

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He knocked the three knocks. The two rap-raps. He whistled like a wren. Then he knocked twice again. The flight attendant replied, "Captain. Pick up the phone. I'm not playing your games."

"Oh come on. Just reply with the secret knock. It's easy."

"What is it you want?"

"To go to the restroom."

"Ok. Punch in your code and I'll punch in mine, and we'll get you to the lavatory and back."

She punches her code, her hand on the handle. She waits. "Captain?" She hears three knocks. Two rap-raps. A whistle like a wren.

"Captain. I'm a grown woman....

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He'd spent hours in the living room, with a stack of tapes and the home theatre system, recording, rerecording, and generally keeping the neighbors awake. "It's sort of loud in here," I said to him.

He spent hours scrambling around the house searching for the sharpie to label his mixtape. "This will be perfect, if I can only finish it," he said to himself.

Unable to find a sharpie, he ran out the back door, grabbed his bike and churned off into the night.

I hopped in the car and followed behind at a safe distance. He stopped off at...

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He'd sat patiently on the threshold of the kitchen all afternoon. She'd dropped countless morsels of crust, of walnuts, chunks of apple and even some of her own snacks, the clumsy klutz. Yet he'd abstained, withheld, conquered himself.

Now she was taunting him -- he felt it deep in his soul. She'd left the pies to cool -- small round pies, aromatic sweet pies -- at eye level. His eyes. She'd gone from the house (where? did it matter?) and left him to conquer himself.

Taunting his resolve. He thought to his mother who'd trained him in her ascetic ways....

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Jack had checked every store. He'd gone to every hardware, garden or nursery store, and then he'd gone back.

They gave him the same spiel everywhere he went. "No seeds, dahling," they'd say. "The apples had no seeds this year."

Despairing, he sat down at the wooden bar, rested his elbows and called for the tender. "Gimme a hard cider. You're best stuff."

"Sorry," the tender said, laying her voluptuousness on the bar across from him. "No apples this year, means no cider. No apples last year, means no cider. No apples for five years, no cider. Get the picture?"...

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Decked out in a tight green speedo, Charles swung open his screen door, strutted down the three concrete stairs into his dilapidated back yard and was instantly wet.

The rain occupied every inch of sky. Somewhere there must be sun, but not in Indiana. Charles watched the clouds slumber in their beds, unmoving. Now was noon though, and soon would be two PM. These were prime tanning hours, and how, how, did Charles need a tan.

Hosts of elder-cruises were always tan, and this being his first elder-cruise, he was going to be a tan host. As an elder himself...

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