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The Things That Come Out of Your Mouth
Jack had always been careful with his words. When he’d popped the question to Veronica, he’d plucked them delicately from his mouth and lined them up on the table:
Will… You…
He’d then rather spoilt the effect when a nervous clearing of the throat had turned into a cough one and he’d catapulted Marry… and Me... across the restaurant.
But Veronica had understood what he’d meant and after she’d got her laughter under control, she’d taken a simple Yes… from her mouth and placed it in the centre of his palm.
Jack had just stared in disbelief at the smooth, shining word for a moment—before closing his hand around it tightly and looking up to beam at Veronica.
And though Jack believed in always responsibly disposing of any words after use—any harsh words going into the compost for the garden, all the others going off for recycling—he’d held on to t
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The words twist inside his belly, burning the bottom of his throat, burning his being from the inside out. He doesn't speak them. The words he speaks are measured, mechanical: cold against the heat that flashes in his stomach and floods down his face.
He knows the words would hurt more if he spoke them.
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Midnight Drive
It was only a matter of time before the people in the house would notice their front lawn was covered in toilet paper.
I run back to the car and shove the left over toilet paper in the back seat. The lights in the house were already starting to turn on.
I turn to my friend in the driver's seat. "Hurry! We got to go before they notice us!"
She cranks the car. "Look, I'm driving the speed limit. I have a bottle of Jack in my trunk so I can't get pulled over right now."
She drives forward, with the headlights off, at a painstakingly slow 25 miles per hour. But eventually we do drive out of the neighborhood, with no one following us and I can just imagine the parents running out the front door of the house, shot gun in hand, so angry their face as red as a tomato. I chuckle at the thought.
My friend laughs as she finally turns on the headlights. "Enjoyed your first time teepeeing a house?"
I'm beaming. "Oh my gosh, it was so exhilarating, like the thought of getting caught but doing it any
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The Lady and the Koi
There was a girl by the koi pond, her name I never knew.
Every day I passed by with my cart filled with bags of rice to the city, and if the sun was still gentle, she would be there, sitting in her silk white kimono with blue embroidery of flowers and birds.
No one ever accompanied her, she was always alone, watching the fish swim in their pond, share her beauty with them.
One day I passed by as usual, and there she was, the girl with her white kimono and tied up hair. Only today she looked at me. Her eyes were fixed on mine, I couldn’t look away or even move, and a sudden need to be close to her took a hold of me. A few minutes we stared, then she stood and left, just like that.
The next day I figured out a passage that led me to where she lived, a large house with much color and life. I snuck up from the guards out front and scurried to the back garden, and there she was.
Distance does diminish beauty and details, her grace was much greater up close. She smelled of blooming ros
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Space Chronicles
“Oh for fuck’s sakes, not you here,” Queen Neelah said giving out a deep sigh with her eyes closed.
“Well, you know, we did do a good amount of fucking, love,” Charlie winked at her as their capturers chained him to a nearby pole.
“I’d rather have them kill me this moment, hey! Robot! Electrocute me or some such!” She yelled at one of the capturers.
The machine turned and eyed her with its visual sensors up and down, and displayed a text on its front screen.
Queen Neelah darted her head back against the wall behind her, from which chains came out to clasp her hands.
“Even robots are pervs, great.”
The door was sealed shut behind the robots that continued to display HAHAHAHAHAHA on their screens.
“Well, at least they got a good sense of humor,” Charlie said, looking around the room.
Queen Neelah said nothing.
“So… how’s the colony?”
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Blessings for the Happy Couple
  Yeah, this was just as scary as Benji had pictured it. He was standing hand-in-hand with Leah, who was a thousand miles away and explaining to her friends that the weird super they'd met awhile back was now her boyfriend. Lance looked surprised; Matthew looked uninterested; Ace looked intrigued; Lyn looked furious. Then again, that might just be her normal facial expression. It was the only one Benji had ever seen, at least.
  "Hm?!" He jumped a little, turning to Leah, who was now holding his hand with both of her's and looking up at him expectantly. "Oh, I'm sorry, I-"
  "So what exactly happened?" Lyn asked, leaning forward with eyes narrowed. Benji glanced at Leah, silently asking her to explain. Whenever she told the story, it sounded adventurous and romantic, like he was some dashing rogue protecting a princess. In contrast, his rendition usually stumbled out of his mouth in a way that made him sound like a sniffling creep, with "creep" bei
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Mind in Pieces
They say she writes the best poetry when her mind is in pieces.  
I’m not sure how much of that is reality (those poems are really good) and how much of it is fiction (writers are supposed to be the best when they’re mentally tortured). I’m not a good enough judge of poetry to say.
She can’t speak when she’s writing, of course. It consumes her, scribbled all over anything she can get her hands on. It lets her mind focus on something for a bit, instead of reliving everything she doesn’t want to think about.
But she doesn’t speak and that kills me. I have no idea what’s going on, until I find her writing and piece them together into some sort of chronology to tell me if things are going up or down. Sometimes I can never figure it out.
And if the price of them saying that she writes the best poetry is that I don’t get to hear her, I don’t think the trade has ever been worth it.
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Can nobody hear me? [FFM 2016 Day 24]
They never spoke.
They had all their interactions through tiny little keyboards, through rapid moving eyes and even more rapidly moving thumbs.
Some day they would meet up, of course. Promises made over and over in different electronic formats.
His voice sounded one way in her head, sultry and exactly like that of her favorite television character.
Nothing at all like the barista who made her her coffee every morning, stopped himself from drawing a heart on her cup or writing that she was beautiful (after all, he was happily in an online relationship with a very sexy lady), always called out a cheerful "Have a great day!" as she swept the coffee off the counter and never looked up.  
If she knew, if he knew, well, who knows?
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PDWMA: Jill and Blighter in Bermuda (Part 1)
"Blah blah blah, something super great about the number 8 and its perfect symmetry, blah blah blah..."
Jill had long since tuned out everything Kid was saying as a group of fellow students explored some ruins on the archipelago with her. While she was interested in learning about ancient civilizations, she never would have agreed to go on this tour of the ruins had she known that this ancient civilization was just as obsessed with symmetry and the number 8 as Kid is. It seemed a lot of the other students in the group shared her mindset, as practically everyone else pulled out their phones and stealthily slipped in their earbuds; she, unfortunately, had left behind in her dorm room.
Screw this. I'm outta here. While everyone else was either focused on their phones, or in Kid's case, the glyphs, she stealthily snuck away from the group. Maybe I can find something good in here, be it some treasure or some kishin souls.
Inside the dimly lit corridors of the ruins was a trail
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Red Threads
In the beginning, our voices were not an option. We communicated only by letters on a screen. We waited for three years to finally see each others' faces, touch each others' bodies. Hear each others' voices.
Even those three years were not enough. We had to separate again after a few short weeks together, and after that the distance became even more painful. The red threads that bound us together stretched and strained over the thousands of miles, over the border, but they held, frayed as they were.
The next few years were more of the same. We would meet, join in bliss for a short week or two, and separate once again. A few times we were together for stretches of months at a time, but always we had to return to our own separate worlds.
It was sheer determination that finally ended the separation. Determination and persistence. The law could not keep us apart. Money was no object. It was only after we'd found a way to live in close proximity that those laws decided to honor unions such
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In Horrible Dark Places
July 1964
--- ---- ---
Bridget woke up in a bed of ashes.
She remembered the fire starting, how it licked the up the curtains and blackened the corners of the ceiling. Bridget did not remember much after that. Now the walls were reduced to heaps of dust all around her, their stunted black skeletons stretching up towards the cloudy sky. Soot clung to her dress and she was tired, so tired. Her head sank back down again and she shut her eyes.
Arms encircled her then, and lifted her up. Bridget opened her bleary eyes and gazed up at a friendly face. A woman – her hair a crimson halo – carried her out of the charred room.
“Rest now,” she told Bridget.
Bridget nodded as the delayed exhaustion drained her body further, threatening to drag her into the kingdom of sleep again. As she was carried away, she looked behind her rescuer towards the ruined place. Something bright caught in the sunlight as the clouds parted briefly above them. Sitting in a pile of ashes i
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The Trip
Passengers of the flight to London: On time
Jack eyed the flights panel in the middle of the terminal. Maybe he could catch a cup of coffee after checking in his luggage.
There wasn’t much of a line, a sweet relief, albeit strange. His flights to London were always decorated with exorbitant lines and races to make it to the door still open and with a mildly annoyed flight attendant. But not this time.
In went his suitcase, now for the gate: A034. He followed the signs and located his way. Now for that coffee. He got a large ‘bucks, not the best, but it was the only coffee shop around. He sat near the gate, still closed, not even an attendant behind the counter yet.
As the smoke of the cup fluttered out, his thoughts began to flare up as well. Can’t believe it’s been another year. How crazy is that. He sipped a bit, then took a deep breath.
A woman spoke over the PA:
Ladies and gentlemen passengers of the flight to London at 2:53 PM, we regret to
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Photo shoot
Nine-year-old Scotty was currently modelling for a fashion magazine. Dressed in a pair of shorts, he was now serving as an extra in an adult male section, in which he acted as one model’s ‘son’. The blond, slender lad was having a ball at the moment!
“Okay, in this shot, can you please pick Scotty up and just do something a parent would?” the photographer asked, winking at the older model. The man chuckled and nodded. He reached forward.
“Sure!” he said, turning to Scotty. “Are you ready, champ?” he asked.
“Yeah, hehe!” the boy exclaimed, giggling. The man reached forward and picked Scotty up around the waist, before tossing the boy into the air and cradling him in one hand around the legs. When the older man lifted the boy however, Scotty burst out laughing!
It was no secret that the youngster was insanely ticklish, and now was no exception! He squealed with delight thrashing and squirming about in the older man’s
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FFM24 - Freedom of Speech
    “Maurelle,” came a coolly polite voice from behind them. Travis almost jumped out of his skin. Veronique didn’t flinch, but her shoulders relaxed.
    The Fae Queen, on the other hand, stiffened noticeably, her smile turning eerily polite. “Raven Headmistress,” she replied, her eyes flashing with feral fury.
    They’d only greeted each other, but Travis could feel the words that went unspoken. There was obviously a good deal of history between the two daunting women – for all that they appeared to both be on the same side, Travis sensed there would come a moment when the illusion… Snapped.
    Shade knew of the Raven Headmistress and her role in the events that had brought Veronique out of the shadows. He didn’t particularly trust the woman, but even he would admit that they were better off trusting the Raven Headmistress than they were trusting the Fae Queen.
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FFM 23: The Quest
The Knight of Purple Flame wrapped his coat around him. He felt neither hunger nor thirst in the rocky wilderness, only certainty. Soon, it would all be his. Soon, he could cease the endless questing and finally get to the only destination that mattered – her.
“Excuse me, is this chair taken?”
The Knight blinked, and the icy rock in front of him melted into a cheerfully smiling woman, steaming latte in hand.
“No,” Edward said, drawing his stack of books closer to him on the table. “It isn't.”
“Great, thanks!” The woman rattled off into the pleasant social hum, spindly wire chair in tow.
Edward took a token sip of his drink, herding the coalescent ice-melt off of the table and away from the precious paper. He picked up his book with his other hand.
The Dragon of Solitude shook the water off of its brilliant violet talons and settled down to survey its territory in the dusky silence.
Complete, perfect silence.
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FFM24 2016 - Time Waits for No Man
    The clock is ticking. You hear it in your dreams and when you wake. Tick tock, tock tick.
    Something’s coming.
    You were safe in the darkness, but now dawn is breaking; only seconds remain. You sense its approach, ever closer.
    You huddle down and try to hide, but time marches on; it is here.
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Smith and Hughes at the Supermarket
Sometimes Hughes had to wonder how he let Smith get him into these things.
He dove behind the check out desk just in time to avoid the knives that embedded themselves within the cash register. Several boxes of cereal joined them and a tomato plopped wetly onto the conveyor belt.
"This is amazing!" He heard Smith exclaim.
"Damn it, Smith! No it's not!"
He peered over the top of the cash register to see Smith surrounded by a circle of action figures, all pointing their tiny little plastic guns at him.
Honestly, Hughes thought. Of all the places to get haunted, why did it have to be a bloody supermarket?!
"Smith, move!" He yelled.
"But look at this!" Smith replied gleefully. "They're so cute!"
Hughes glared daggers at him. Quickly he vaulted over the cash register ad grabbed the other man, yanking him out of the circle just as bolts of ectoplasmic energy shot from the guns of the little action figures.
Not wanting to hang around, Hughes slung Smith over his shoulder and kept
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FFM 2016 Day 24- Speak no Evil
  Michael slipped into what was no longer a closet and closed the door.  “Mom and Dad are gone for a bit.”
  Huddled in the corner of the small room, Raphael jerked his head up, face brightening.  Michael winced at the fading bruises on his younger brother’s neck, but said nothing of them as he sat down next to him and unzipped his backpack.  “We went to the library today, and I managed to check out a few more braille books.  You’ve been practicing, right?”
  His brother nodded, then reached over to a loose floorboard and pulled out the beginner’s guides with fumbling hands.  He presented the set as best he could, grinning proudly.
  “Finished already?  I swear, you must be some sort of genius.”  Michael took the guides and exchanged them for the books in his bag.  “These are the only ones they had; there’s not much of a selection.  When school starts again
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The Moon and the Earth
“Won’t you tell us about the moonstone, granny?”
“Yes, tell us about it!”
Miss Morrison and her two grandchildren, Gretta and Mark, were enjoying an afternoon stroll before tea time. The skies were somewhat grey, but blue was the majoritarian ruler of the cosmos. They had chanced upon the great stone carved into a crescent moon.
“Alright children, gather ‘round, yes?” She invited them to sit with her next to it. “It just so happens that the stone you see behind us is, in fact, the seat of the moon when she comes to visit Earth.”
“Bolloks!” Gretta blurted wide eyed.
“No way, granny!” Mark straightened up. “The moon is sooo big, it couldn’t possibly fit in this here stone, cannit?”
“You bet it does, little one, you see, the moon and the earth were real close once.
“When we weren’t around yet, the planets could roam the vast space as they pleased, nothing to rule over th
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The Waking Ceremony
Today’s the honoring of the Sleeping Giant of the Green Mountains above our town. Every year we dress in white gowns while the heads of the town wear the orange mantles over their shoulders. We walk in silence up the stone road for hours, carrying a black iron lantern with red crystals to evoke fire. Once we reach the top, we let the heads to go forward, put red iron bowls with red crystals and a lit candle inside where the eyes of the giant goes, then a large one for the mouth, along with two hanging ones for the earrings. Then, in a pit a few steps away from the now lit giant, the heads start a fire.
“The giant is awake!” They yell once the fire is big enough, then we turn off our candles and burst into cries of joy and song.
I always loved this celebration, that is, while the giant remained asleep. Now it’s truly waking and moving, and I’m not sure whether it comes in peace or in airs of wreckage. After all, he was a war giant in elder times.
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Accidental Death
My daughter blames the cat for my death.
Silly, isn’t it? Yes, I tripped over Fluffy. She was on the steps, I didn’t turn the lights on, and down I went.
But I would have tripped eventually anyways. I was old, and she doesn’t want to admit that fact.
It was time. I just hope they don’t blame Fluffy too much, she’s all alone now, and she’s old too.
You don’t understand. I don’t think the cat is evil, but if it wasn’t for her my mother would still be here.
I can’t keep her. One of mom’s friends has offered to take her in, she should be happy there.
All I can see when I look at her is that she killed my mother. I can’t look at her any more than I can see the stairs.  
After consideration of the circumstances of the death, and after examining the body, toxicology analysis, and review of the available medical records, it is my opinion the death of Florence Jane Margaret Smith, an 86 year old white female witnes
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Diner Meeting
The Magic Man leaned against the dark corner of a diner. The smoke of his cigarette zigzagged up like a grey snake to vanish into nothing. The taste of warm nicotine in his mouth felt sweet.
A man with hardly a shadow came out of the diner. He rubbed his arms against the cold, looking around to make sure nobody noticed him, then turned to the corner where the Magic Man was.
“’Sup, man,” the man said, jittering.
“So what’s it gonna be?” The Magic Man said, exhaling clouds of smoke into the other man’s face, flicking the cigarette away.
“Oh, w-well, you know… what we spoke last time…” He said, lowering his volume at the end, looking around, ignoring the smell burning his nose and throat.
“So, you want to make food zombies?” He adjusted his round purple lens glasses to see him better under the light of a distant light post.
“I want them eagle lovers to eat, eat so much, but never feel the satisfaction of a
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