the-arraignment (joined about 10 years ago)


The cut was more jagged than she would have liked, but the little bastards were always squirming while she decapitated them. Still, the look of terror in its wide, lifeless eyes was one of the best she'd seen yet.

She headed back to the cottage; she'd have to dip the head in tar and put it on top of a stake along with the rest on the perimeter of her garden. So far, the warning had done little to deter the pests from stealing her fruit and vegetables - food that she and her little brother needed to live comfortably...

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The city of Asgoth was falling out of the sky, and there was nothing that Jorund could do to stop it. Enemy dragons spat greek fire, swarming in and around its once-grand towers. Helium vestibules melted and ruptured, and the city sunk faster and faster.

They could only save themselves. Jorund struggled with the helm of the Zephyr, trying to escape Asgoth's widening shadow. He grimly looked across the atmosphere at the enemy warship. Charin was standing on the bridge, his hands full of magic and his eyes full of hate. This wasn't the Academy anymore; things were settled in...

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"I hate everyone today," he said.

"Everyone?" she asked.


"Even me?"

"Well, except you."

"Glad to hear it."

"I hate everyone else, though. And everything else."

"Do you hate black people?"

"Well, no - I mean, yes, but no more or less than anyone else."

"How about Indians? Or Lithuanians?"

"I hate everybody equally. I'm not a bigot or anything."

"I see."

"But I still hate them. I hate all of them."

"That's nice, do you hate animals, too?"

"Yes. I hate animals, too."

"Even kittens?"

"Um ... I guess. I hate them all."

"Well, that includes kittens. How...

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Dishes. Toaster. Coffee. Napkins.

Her breakfast routine was always the same. She performs it today as she did on so many days before, and as she would on every day for the rest of her years.

She brushes the tablecloth clean, while she waits for the coffee. She quietly assembles everything: sugar, milk, scones, jam. She does not speak.

She painstakingly sets two places, attentive to every detail. Her cup of coffee would receive two spoonfuls of sugar. The far cup would receive three. Always three.

The toaster signals that breakfast is ready. She pours the coffee, lays out the...

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Billy was steadfastly unimpressed.

"Can we go home now?" he asked.

"But, Billy, don't you want to see the top of the beanstalk?" Sarah asked her son. She was confused. Why didn't he like the things other boys liked?


"Why not? Isn't it cool and -"

"It's a phallic object from the a fairy tale written by the unwitting supporters of the patriarchy," he interrupted.

Sarah hated this. Being lectured by your own sever-year-old was the worst. "Billy, quit saying silly things," she scolded. "It's just a beanstalk. It's supposed to be fun. Why can't you enjoy anything in...

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Look, I admit, I'm at least partly responsible for the situation. It's my fault I'M here, and not his, er, mine.

The pronouns can get really confusing, so maybe I should just back up. It's not easy being a clone, or, shall I say a time-displaced duplicate of him. I mean, of myself (see?). The accident happened a while ago, really long enough for him, the other me, to get used to it. We both decided that we'd stay in the same house and have the same life; he owed me that much, for saving his (my) life.

I DON'T...

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Which watch are you watching?
Which way are you talking?
All the boys
And all the girls
Will never cease their marching.

Is waiting the answer?
Or being a dancer?
And chasing
A garish romancer.

It's better to be
Alone in the forest
For there you can see

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Josh ground his teeth in frustration. The other kids on the playground were really getting to be a nuisance.

He'd heard all of their excuses as to why his team always won the soccer games. He'd been held back a year, he was bigger and stronger, he'd been to some special training camp, he was a mutant, etc. They kept making excuses, saying that he wasn't playing fair, that he fouled, and so forth, even though he was always careful not to. They just couldn't deal with the fact that he was better than them.

But now it was really...

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The Earth hung there in the window, a massive disk of blue and white fixed against the uniform blackness of space. The sun's light illuminated the nearer half of the globe; through the clouds Jolene could see a glimpse of North America.

"What is this?!" she demanded, her fear magnified into true panic. "What is this, some kind of trick? Who are you? Answer me!"

"It is no trick," replied the computerized voice. "I am someone you know well, but I must not tell you now. There is not much time; you must do exactly as I say."

"What? Why...

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"If you say so," I said, feigning indifference. It was best not to commit to something that would go south in microsecond, which I suspected would happen with Jacob's escape plan.

"Let's go over it one more time," he said excitedly. "At 2100 tomorrow, I'm going to shank Billy in the kitchen. The guards will come running to take me away to solitary, like they did the last thirteen times."

"You don't have anything to shank with," I said, annoyed at his overly dramatic air. "All we're allowed are sporks made of recycled corn, or whatever this shit is." I...

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