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Great Lake Review - Spring 2013

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Title:
Great Lake Review - Spring 2013
Series Title:
Great Lakes Review
Publisher:
SUNY Oswego
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

Abstract:
Editor in Chief Leigh Rusyn, Managing Editor Bethany Schneider, Treasuer Nilson Carroll, Online Editors Brittany Sperino Horsford Jessie Murphy, Faculty Adviser Brad Korbesmeyer, Drama Editors Nilson Carroll Nicole Matarese Chelsey Mahoney Chris Chambers, Fiction Editors Cassidy Carroll Mackenzie Clark Josh Louis Graham Molella Luke Parsnow Chris Valentine, Poetry Editors Marilyn Borth Andrew Boyea Yadira Junco Michelle Stiles, Nonfiction Editors Liz Arnone Kathryne Davis Torrin Kearns Molly Martindale Kristy Mills Tamara Scretching Brittany Sperino Horsford ( ,,,,,,, )
Scope and Content:
Art SF2 by Luzmaria Cruz..........................................front cover Diner by Patrick Donohue....................................................6 Golden Winter by Nick Graziano........................................15 Loko Razor by Nathan Valeska...........................................15 Entropic Entity by Zachary Wilson......................................18 Lippo by Emily Tran............................................................18 Bush Meat by Brittany McCann..........................................23 Everlasting Beauty by Amanda Edwards...........................28 Winter Alley by Nick Granziano..........................................28 In the Frosty Air by Kristen Burke......................................39 She’s Gone by Taylor Clock...............................................40 Skyline by Taylor Clock.......................................................43 Docked Boats by David Owens..........................................43 Garbage Gut by Brittany McCann......................................63 Layers of Arizona by David Owens.....................................65 Apples and Oranges by Joel Dodge...................................87 The Ringer by Nathan Valeska...........................................91 Einstein’s Break-Thru by Davis Owens.............................101 Tools of the Trade by Ethan Lucas...................................102 2 Copies of Finding Nemo by Joel Dodge........................102 Dirty Whore by Emily Tran................................................105 Open to Incite Chaos by Nathan Valeksa..........................111 Nightlight by Taylor Clock.................................................121 Autumn’s Carpet by Joel Dodge.......................................135 Trees in Darkness by Taylor Clock...................................136 Ship by Lizmaria Cruz......................................................151 Breakfree by Marissa Pisicchio........................................163 These Things Take Time by Emily Tran...........................171 Unclaimed Pane by Nathan Valeksa................................185 Mortality Chamber by Zachary Wilson.............................196 Pin-Up by Joel Dodge.......................................................199 Keene Valley, NY by Taylor Clock....................................207 Ontario by Taylor Clock....................................................209 Paris Guardian by Nick Graziano.....................................217 Reprise by Joel Dodge......................................................221 Holy Dick and Child by Emily Tran...................................226 Fanny Wizard by Taylor Clock..............................back cover Fiction Crickets by Michael McCabe..............................................16 Lord of Skulls by Shelby Coyle...........................................19 The Woman on the Side of the Road by Collin Henderson....21 Marie by Gavin McCarthy...................................................29 Cthulu Rises by Dylan Woods............................................44 Wimbledon by Winifred Decker..........................................66 The Herd by Blake Anderson.............................................89 The Hero by Shelby Coyle................................................103 A Creation Story by Andrew Schneider...........................106 Develan Square by Mary Katherine Cornfield.................122 Checks and Balances by Patricia Morrison.....................137 Bolt by Shelby Coyle.........................................................164 Christopher by Winifred Decker.......................................183 The Haunted by Jessica Washak.....................................188 Isolation by Shelby Coyle.................................................197 Umbra by Dylan Woods....................................................200 Heart on a Chain by Shelby Coyle....................................208 Hospital Bracelet by Miranda Smith.................................210 Drama Basic Training by Michael McCabe...................................112 Bedtime Traveler by Marisa Dupras.................................152 Business Casual by Jessica Salamone...........................172 Poetry Leaf by Andrew Baumgras...................................................7 The Doll by Danielle Walters.............................................17 Plague by Kristen Kopper..................................................22 Absence by Brittany Ng......................................................40 Seven Steps by Kaley Lynch..............................................41 A Melancholy Fashion by Raymond Dale...........................64 Muse 12 by Andrew Baumgras..........................................88 Knowing Me by Jenna Schifferele....................................104 Rose Afire by Raymond Dale...........................................121 Starry Night by Olivia Martinez.........................................136 Masturbation by Julie Schofield.......................................177 Closest by K.M. Alleena....................................................186 My Brain has a Pen by Patrick Donohue.........................187 Garden of Solitude by Ryamond Dale..............................218 Frost to the Abandoned Child by Shelby Coyle................219 Nonfiction This too Shall Pass by K.M. Alleena.....................................9 With Time by Marian Holmes..............................................24 A Minor Case of Death by Summer Cluette.......................92 Thou Shall Not Run by Marian Holmes............................145
General Note:
Great Lake Review is SUNY Oswego's student-edited literary and art magazine. Great Lake Review is published, in general, every semester, and contains primarily student art work, poetry, fiction, and other literary works.

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Great Lake Review Spring 2013

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1 the great lake review oswegos literary magazine spring 2013 In life, we achieve many large goals. Gigantic goals that we hope for and do everything in our path to achieve. But what is the best way to go about achieving these mamoth goals? By creating smaller goals for yourself that will build up and contribute to your chances of achieving a greater one. We at the Great Lake Review see ourselves as one of the yourself as a writer, you must practice submitting and make it a goal to get into a publication. If your work made it into this edition of the Great Lake Review, congratulations. If not, keep writing, keep growing, stay persistant. Oswegos writers, but also our editors, who have put in the time and effort to read and edit all of the pieces youve submitted. Learning new skills to create a book, and editors, you are incredibly appreciated. Obstacles and distractions will turn your attention away from your overall giant goals. We wish you the best of luck wherever you go and whatever goals you try to achieve. Please continue to sumbit and tell your friends about the Great Lake Review. Like us on Facebook @greatlakereview on twitter @greatlakereview on Instagram greatlakereview.wordpress.com greatlakereview.tumblr.com

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2 the great lake review oswegos literary magazine spring 2013 Editor in Chief Leigh Rusyn Managing Editor Treasuer Online Editors Jessie Murphy Faculty Adviser Brad Korbesmeyer Drama Editors Fiction Editors Josh Louis Graham Molella Luke Parsnow Poetry Editors Marilyn Borth Andrew Boyea Liz Arnone Kathryne Davis Molly Martindale Kristy Mills special thanks to the creative writing and art faculty for all of your support

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3 the great lake review oswegos literary magazine spring 2013 Table of Contents Art SF2 by Luzmaria Cruz ..........................................front cover Diner by Patrick Donohue ....................................................6 Golden Winter by Nick Graziano ........................................15 Loko Razor by Nathan Valeska ...........................................15 Entropic Entity by Zachary Wilson ......................................18 Lippo by Emily Tran ............................................................18 Bush Meat by Brittany McCann ..........................................23 Everlasting Beauty by Amanda Edwards ...........................28 Winter Alley by Nick Granziano ..........................................28 In the Frosty Air by Kristen Burke ......................................39 Shes Gone by Taylor Clock ...............................................40 Skyline by Taylor Clock .......................................................43 Docked Boats by David Owens ..........................................43 Garbage Gut by Brittany McCann ......................................63 Layers of Arizona by David Owens .....................................65 Apples and Oranges by Joel Dodge ...................................87 The Ringer by Nathan Valeska ...........................................91 Einsteins Break-Thru by Davis Owens .............................101 Tools of the Trade by Ethan Lucas ...................................102 2 Copies of Finding Nemo by Joel Dodge ........................102 Dirty Whore by Emily Tran ................................................105 Open to Incite Chaos by Nathan Valeksa ..........................111 Nightlight by Taylor Clock .................................................121 Autumns Carpet by Joel Dodge .......................................135 Trees in Darkness by Taylor Clock ...................................136 Ship by Lizmaria Cruz ......................................................151

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4 Drama Fiction Crickets by Michael McCabe ..............................................16 Lord of Skulls by Shelby Coyle ...........................................19 The Woman on the Side of the Road by Collin Henderson ....21 Marie by Gavin McCarthy ...................................................29 Cthulu Rises by Dylan Woods ............................................44 Wimbledon by Winifred Decker ..........................................66 The Herd by Blake Anderson .............................................89 The Hero by Shelby Coyle ................................................103 A Creation Story by Andrew Schneider ...........................106 Develan Square by .................122 Checks and Balances by Patricia Morrison .....................137 Bolt by Shelby Coyle .........................................................164 Christopher by Winifred Decker .......................................183 The Haunted by Jessica Washak .....................................188 Isolation by Shelby Coyle .................................................197 Basic Training by Michael McCabe ...................................112 Bedtime Traveler by Marisa Dupras .................................152 Business Casual by Jessica Salamone ...........................172 Breakfree by Marissa Pisicchio ........................................163 These Things Take Time by Emily Tran ...........................171 Unclaimed Pane by Nathan Valeksa ................................ 185 Mortality Chamber by Zachary Wilson ............................. 196 Pin-Up by Joel Dodge .......................................................199 Keene Valley, NY by Taylor Clock ....................................207 Ontario by Taylor Clock ....................................................209 Paris Guardian by Nick Graziano .....................................217 Reprise by Joel Dodge ......................................................221 Holy Dick and Child by Emily Tran ...................................226 Fanny Wizard by Taylor Clock ..............................back cover

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5 nonfiction Poetry Leaf by Andrew Baumgras ...................................................7 The Doll by Danielle Walters .............................................17 Plague by Kristen Kopper ..................................................22 Absence by Brittany Ng ......................................................40 Seven Steps by Kaley Lynch ..............................................41 A Melancholy Fashion by Raymond Dale ...........................64 Muse 12 by Andrew Baumgras ..........................................88 Knowing Me by Jenna Schifferele ....................................104 Raymond Dale ...........................................121 Starry Night by Olivia Martinez .........................................136 Masturbation by .......................................177 Closest by K.M. Alleena ....................................................186 My Brain has a Pen by Patrick Donohue .........................187 Garden of Solitude by Ryamond Dale ..............................218 Frost to the Abandoned Child by Shelby Coyle ................219 This too Shall Pass by K.M. Alleena .....................................9 With Time by Marian Holmes ..............................................24 A Minor Case of Death by Summer Cluette .......................92 Thou Shall Not Run by Marian Holmes ............................145 Umbra by Dylan Woods ....................................................200 Heart on a Chain by Shelby Coyle ....................................208 Hospital Bracelet by Miranda Smith .................................210

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6 Diner Patrick Donohue

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7 Leaf Andrew Baumgras Weve done things I never thought wed do, become something I never thought wed be. Greed has got the best of us, temptations will not set us free. Weve got to stop ourselves before we go too far. Weve got to get a grip on who we are, or we will blacken the rain. All of Earth will feel the pain. A leaf drops, bloody and beautiful, while our dump trucks pump sludge through the veins of the leafs former tree. in the bark of the tree as its greeted by daylight. waiting for the inevitable. as the forest combusts to dust. It howls. But never mind the howls, my dear. Big Brother sits up in his chair. As we stare, we accept the agony for theres a bright side to this genocide. More room to live and roads to drive and beauty in poetic lies hidden by corporates deep blue eyes. But theyll trip us with their tricks and rhymes, For sure enough, well all soon die.

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8 This too Shall Pass K.M. Alleena I. know whats good for us. I still dont know how to stop missing the scenery of really. I was rash once, and I think that can be a bit of a problem that plain bravery doesnt encompass. and the choices we make teach us these harsh, invaluable instances stick out to me like photographs pasted to a collage board. In each, a hidden story, room for over-analyzing. In each, a beautiful pain. II. every way that I wasnt. I could see how dark the circles remember the scruff of his would-be beard against my cheek as he folded me in an embrace the moment I stepped off the couldnt have been...me? Right? arriving, I felt like I belongedthat Id found a place my feet could get used to.

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9 III. I had never felt so welcome anywhere than when when I arrived, the colors of their little corner of the universe seemed to change. I prayed under my breath that it was the house I would be staying atneat, but lived in. Quaint. A fondness for antiquity was apparent, and the chair I had set wooden legs chipped by cats claws claiming it for their own. It would have been perfect. I couldve gotten used to it easily. the casual walk out by Lake Ontario, day dreaming mutually Ive got work to do, and I will see you again later. It wasnt world, and I could either observe it quietly, or be rash. IV. yield the results I had been looking for. In his living room, he held me in an embrace by the worn-out staircase, strong cologne was faint from the time spent waiting in the Maine maybe, this all proved to him that it was worth it to make our words were lost in the ticking of the clock, with gold hands I that we stood like that, but I was content to call it an eternity. I felt safe. And if he knew that, maybe he wouldnt have let to four in the morning and letting go was practical, or it

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10 couldve been the binary between light and dark weve thought I saw in the distance between pine trees and snow light in photographs, of what I thought was changehope. Despite these notions, I have always felt that he saw a more complete me each time he looked into my eyes and smiled. V. Maybe the ghosts in the guest room didnt want me creaked open, I didnt feel any more apt to speak my heart, heat, a little black pellet stove backed into a brick frame for the borrowed blue blanket off of the guest bed and a copy of recommendation. While I read in the quiet moments before anyone woke, I listened to him snore softly upstairs, caught in whatever dream hed soon be forced to wake from. I hoped that his was comfortableopposite in every way from mine. It wasnt long, truthfully, before he woke up. but something struck me about how he managed to be handsome regardless of lumbering down the stairs with a yawn. When I wished him good morning, his eyes lit up and wreck as mine despite the fact that its always been much longer. But, I have curls, so I tied them back haphazardly, against their will, so he didnt see the disaster area theyd my shoulders regardless. VI. We went to see The Hobbit later that afternoon, I leaned in close to him and watched, behind two pairs of glasses, the movie in 3D. My head was on his shoulder for

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11 a direct quote from the book, I peered up at him with a laugh at the smile meant for me that I could see behind his goofy 3D frames. Later, still chattering on occasion about how awesome the movie had been, we went out together even remembered. Little red paper lanterns with yellow tassels swayed at the entrance way over a stone statue of Buddha smiling merrily. laughed at all unknowing patrons like methe ones who had at the bar and watched the chefs hum native songs under but I felt inadequate staring at the menu, not knowing how to a sharp, snarky sound that moved through his entire being, and ordered for me. sticking out haphazardly from rice and seaweed. It was only food. I had to remind myself aloud, for it looked frightening was in knots more from when he told me a half an hour later and not even the taste of perfect, authentic green tea could wash that away. But, in his boyish, silly antics, even though wanderings in Portsmouth would feel like. VII. morning, paranoid that someone had surely heard my sobs I had held in until I believed myself sure they had gone to sleep. I regretted my inability to speak, or only telling a

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12 answer would have caught him off guard anyway. Just as handsome as always, he wandered downstairs and sat on the orange couch with me right after breath and cooked us all breakfast. Afterward, we went on to see. As if it wasnt gorgeous enough where I stood. I admit, however, that the beach right near his home really was beautiful. In the grey, sodden sand, there were two hearts carved out and marked with little white sea-shells and leaving his left footprint dead center. I slid down the rocks to get closer to the shore, but he held my hand; he didnt want me to fall and that was probably half the problem. VIII. in the afternoon. It wasnt so far away, but I had to take cellphone photographs of the two of us standing with our backs to the waves, awkwardly buffeted by Maines winter tear my gaze away. It reminded me too much of growing up of staring out over the ocean. It wasnt snowing then, but I could smell precipitation in the chilled salty air, my sneakers soaked through from escapades too close to the waves. I tell us how good we looked together and that there were no such things as bad photos where there were beautiful memories. metal table and sipped coffee, making small talk about how it ought to have been colder for this time of year and how hilarious it was that I had come to Maine when lobster wasnt advertised on every sidewalk chalkboard advertisement. We walked, discussing how Portsmouth looked quite similar to wind was freezing, my feet were numb, and still I tried to no matter how often our wrists bumped together and our

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13 IX. We stood on a little ledge stopped by a fence of green, rusting iron scroll work that overlooked the harbor where the boats gently bobbed on the waves the breeze was harsh gaze of the moon. I had seen this before, and he was quiet, not at all convincing me that I had somehow changed the fate of things. I had hope, though, and so I spoke at last. read the last pages before he really started the novel. Did he know the pages he read were a publishers witty preview for another book by another author? Probably not, but he applied his pretense regardless. still remain kind of a relationship. he kind of liked having me around, but didnt want to ground laugh threw me off, and I felt like someone had kicked the back of my knees. I remained standing, almost to spite it. he held me, and told me that I am worth more than I think, and despite never being told this before, I always thought I was un-foretold in dreams. Maybe it was that he was acutely aware that I knew and would always know. I would illuminate the darkness he saw himself shrouded in and he could no longer hide. X. problem feeling awful for ending things, claiming he hated to

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14 Just our hands clasped so tight waiting for a hint of a spark. on his face, in his eyes, it was worse. eventually I had enough strength and composure regained to save my tears for later, maybe to be released over a whispered lament of On My Own from Les Misrables. I seemed to melt away the navy clouds so the stars could look on, too. Each time the wind blew, it creaked through the branches of trees and they made a woody sighing sound as though they cried out to their pieces, collected and placed in a pile to burn. my ribcage, his was real always had mountains of caring, but no spark. As I stood along too well. I thought of asking him why, as I still do, but decided scattered by a storm and he held me. I breathed in deeply as the smell of smoke clung to his clothes and hair; it suited each time I close my eyes and remember. I know that somehow, deep down, neither one of us wanted to let go. I know that somehow, deep down, we never really did.

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15 Golden Winter Nick Graziano Loko Razor Nathan Valeska

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16 Crickets Michael McCabe Its so late the crickets are loud enough to echo. stands out amid a trillion white dots on a blackened canvas. Well, we dont have to worry about that for a long, long A truck blares its horn in the distance, silencing the crickets. rustic its like they were driving through an L.L. Bean catalog.

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17 The Doll Danielle Walters beneath the books notes of past grades. and shoes sleeps my oldest friend. dirtied clothes unkempt. cheerios lingering on her synthetic skin. I blamed her for coloring for the cake that disappeared. My brother spoke for her, my father danced with her, my mother was sure to nestle her beside me as I slept. Once in a dear while I search for her, my oldest friend.

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18 Entropic Entity Zachary Wilson Lippo Emily Tran

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19 Lord of Skulls Shelby Coyle crackled and the thunder roared and the rain drowned even the sky. light his steps from behind as he raced ahead, retreating to the village before he was caught by the merciless weather. Man is not faster than wind, however, and he could not help but squawk indignantly as the rain soaked him to the bone. clouds swirling above. It was an ominous sign and one that chilled him more thoroughly than the rain ever could have done. steps. It took longer than usual for the village to come into the windows was a welcome sight to the weary traveler, who had been on the road for nearly three days now. his already wet clothing. between the screams from the sky. man looked up from his place on the ground. down to him. the one offered to him.

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20 coldness, seeped from the hand through to his entire body. from the ground. behind it, screaming over the thunder. open in a silent scream.

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21 The Woman on the Side of the Road Collin Henderson A trucker drove along the highway in the intense heat. hand, keeping the other on the wheel. he was about twenty feet away from it. It was a woman. clothing that was torn up and covered with dirt and some been through a war zone. anyway, hands raised in a sign of safety. When his shadow covered part of her face, she stopped laughing and looked spoke.

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22 Plague Kristen Kopper Mourn for the old world, Before the air runs rampant with contagion. Roads lead to a paradise plagued by black feathers of ravens Feasting on decay. Bloodless outsiders roam streets of past humanity Always seeking vigor, Or pale white skin. Decrepit young boys and girls, Acts of God gone amiss. Misguided by instinct, Flesh and mania, Mingle desperation with scraps of contemporary breath. Inside the cracked haven, A sad man strums his guitar. A mahogany neck swirls into an alder body. Weep rosewood, weep maple, and weep ebony.

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23 Bush Meat Brittany McCann

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24 With Time Marian Holmes I am going over to Maggies house to play. We are friends of convenience; co-habitating a cul-de-sac and classroom creates our bond of inseparability. Our friendship will fade immediately once I move away. Well never speak again; eventually her traits will morph into those of a stereotypical Irish girl, crimson hair and freckles, but she will I dart out the back door, my abrupt attack on the screens surface causing it to fall back into place with a crash. My arms hold tightly to every Barbie in my collection; Im careful not to drop any as I run. chimes my mother as I zip past the clothesline she stands behind. At three, Im too young to appreciate that my parents speak to me like Im an adult; I love to talk though, and I seem to be better at it than most kids my age. Ill be the last in my kindergarten class to read and my mother is worried because of this, but she doesnt let on. Im allowed to be a kid. it should be so obvious. And have you asked if you could go over to the folding a shirt. I walk over to the laundry basket by her feet. wont realize for years how rare it is to have parents who let me be free at such a young age. Reaching my vehicle of choice, I lift up the seat to stash my dolls away among the prized rocks Id collected hand-me-down frame is barely visible below a myriad of stickers. Im not allowed in the street unless my brother Joe

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25 or my parents are with me. I have a tendency to become long, sloping turn at the base of the block with impressive propelling me around the curve. takes me even less time, but I stopped to rescue some worms stranded after last nights rain. Parking my trike, I remove my helmet to reveal a mess of russet, pin-straight hair. I have four brothers, so I too have received the years, Ill wear my hair even more like a boys, but for now I covet long locks. A sparkly barrette, displaying the wrong day of the week, pins back my uncooperative bangs. Grabbing my Barbies I skip towards the front door and ring the bell. One of Maggies older brothers answers my call. Im tall for my age but he makes me feel miniscule, looking down never cease. I need to slow down when I talk, think it through. I tend to Maggies house because I dont have to take off my shoes me! Maggie appears and we head outdoors to play in her gym selling invisible frozen treats through its colorful sides. order after order. giggles. Maggie sticks out her tongue in feigned disgust, turns away for a moment, and then returns, reaching out her hand clasped around an invisible cone. I mimic leaving cash

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26 on the counter, take my treat, and lick the stagnant air. After several orders, Maggie sighs, Im bored, lets do onto the ledge in an act lacking any sense of grace. feet, a small miracle for a child so awkward with her limbs. I turns; one of us is always watching, ready to rate the other calls out to me, grabbing one of her legs as she takes off. But theres no water below; this isnt going to end well. I shout to warn her. instantly. I run over to her, assessing the damage to the best too bad. Okay, you stay here and Ill go get the nurse. Whats scraped skin. trying to make the sentences into any bit of sense. Why doesnt she understand me? I turn, and run to get her mom. rushes to her aid and I leave out the front door. I ride back to my house, slowly, running over the

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27 I curl up silently in the depths of our couch, shoes still grandma and I love when she works the night shift because she tells me Irish fairy-tales until I fall asleep. Why do we have a nurse? us, sitting to Dons left to feed him. It never seemed odd until now. Im thinking of the quiet hours, when everyone else doesnt mind that I am up. Im thinking of the morning, the changing of the shifts, how the nurses have become a sort seven, breakfast and bedtime. I look up and trace the twists of Dons distorted body, base of his head where my sight changes courses, following now the network of tubing that travels from neck to machine. I think of Maggies brothers and I wonder why none the answer to that for a while, but right here, right now, I wheelchair, but its constant chirp continues, announcing each inhale with deafening clarity.

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28 Everlasting Beauty Amanda Edwards Winter Alley Nick Graziano

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29 Marie Gavin McCarthy Entry 1July 21, 1946 It was dreadfully hot today, the sun simmering in the laze around in bed all day, but the feeling of being cooped up and isolated began to draw on my nerves. Eventually I decided to use the dreadful heat to my advantage and I headed down to the beach by the harbor. I donned my bathing suit, took a moment to appreciate my form in the piece, and then threw a shirt and skirt over it. I took the streetcar to the docks and, after placing my clothes and purse in an empty part of the dock, dove into the water. It was refreshing, washing away the heat of the sun and giving me new breath. It was such a lovely day, with all the people out, dotting the ocean like marshmallows in a mug of hot chocolate, swirling to and fro. I was swimming around for some time when I ran into Jacques Meursault, a former meI wouldnt imagine him making an appearance in such a populated place. Jacques always came off to me as a spite of this, I couldnt help myself from growing attracted to him, harboring a burgeoning affection for him that I couldnt rightfully throw away. Eventually I was transferred from his subsided. personality made my affection instantly resurface, and I struggled to keep it them on a leash. We made small talk in the water, asking about general things, uninteresting things, me onto it, and I felt a sudden rush pass through me as he accidentally brushed against my breasts while assisting me embarrassment before I turned to face him, laughing with

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30 me, and rests his head atop my stomach. My heart rushed, then quickly calmed, caught in the serenity of the moment. beauty in our surroundings; the gentle lap of the water, the the golden shimmer of the sky lit by the smoldering sun. We lay there for a time before I grew too hot and dove back into the water. Jacques followed me, gently gripping me around my waist and swimming with me. It was a wonderful time, moment. After a while, we went back to the dock and started to dry off and dress. I noticed that the sun seemed to soak me easier than him, and pointed out that I was darker than him. I found it curious as we dressed that me that his mother had passed away the day before, and I was shaken by the revelation for some reason I cannot yet the cinema, and I suggested the new Fernandel movie Don Camillo Jacques was interested in me the way I was with him, and grew a little more outgoing with my advances. I pressed up against his side often on the walk and brushed my hand against his fairly often. Once in the theatre, I pressed myself as Jacques laughed every now and again in between bouts hammering so loud that I was certain that the theatres other kissed me, a low, gentle kiss, full of repressed emotion and

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31 heartbreak. Even so, it felt as though he were restraining himself, not giving himself totally up to the idea. We left the theatre and made the way back to his apartment, talking I noticed how spacious it was, the dining room empty of chairs or table, or of any real furnishings. We retreated to his bedroom and began to disrobe one another, at once hastily and careful, as though we were nervous adolescents on our this point in life, I didnt rightfully know what it was to be everlasting, but this night, this one night in my 26 years, this awhile and smoked cigarettes, one arm behind his head, keeping it propped up. I lay serenely on his warm chest, watching the smoke swirl up and away from us, dancing intricate patterns in the eddies of air that circled the room. I told him that I would have to visit to my aunt the following day; he nodded in response, looking lost in thought, at peace with the world. After some unknown time I slept, slept deeply, and dreamed of swirling smoke signals and the interesting, abstract Frenchman who I had fallen in love with. Entry 2July 27, 1946 Before I went over to his apartment to meet him, I showered and dressed at my apartment, taking much more time than I normally would, subconsciously wanting for Jacques to sprayed myself with some new perfume and headed away to see him. I wore my candy-cane stripe dress with my Greek leather sandals, hoping to entice Jacques with the subtle grip went out to catch the streetcar to his apartment. Once I got there, I felt his penetrative gaze wash over

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32 sense of pride as I watch his hand clench up, his knuckles whiten from an apparent strain of not simply having me there and then. Part of me wanted him to, but part of me realized that there was a whole day yet to come for us, and that there would be plenty opportunity to be alone. We took the bus to a beach some kilometers outside of Algiers, the ride being one of steady silence, with Jacques staring out the window with empty eyes, watching the plains whip past in a travel, the sky never whipped past as fast as the land would, My few attempts at making small talk went unanswered, downtrodden, as I had drawn out some bit of effort for this sky as he was with me felt somewhat mortifying. I couldnt seem to hold his attention as anything more than a passing everything, I decided to banish all these dark thoughts and We arrived at the beach in the mid-afternoon, around 3 or 4 oclock. It was a small cove, circled by rocks on either sun was not as relentless as it had been the week before, and we found the easy waves to be warm, a natural bath. We leapt into the delicate waves, allowing ourselves to be gently tossed by the delicate current, swaying to and fro, in time with the beat of the ocean. I taught Jacques a game where one would scoop a mouthful of the cresting wave and spray it overhead, a visual glitter to the sky and a delightful, simple thing. After some time of this, I encouraged myself over to him, pressing my body against his in my swimsuit. I kissed him then, more graciously, perhaps, than we had the week prior, and we lost ourselves in the tumbling of the sea current. After a hasty dressing back on the shore, we once again caught the bus, going into the city and back to Jacques apartment, where we stripped down and made

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33 process, cooling our heaving bodies as the sun fell behind the horizon. I slept there the night and when we awoke in ran downstairs to pick up the food for the meal, and when he dryly that the old man was constantly bickering with his dog, and that they hadnt changed their ways in the 8 years theyd that was easily too soon in the relationship for such a heavy me and washed away my doubts of his feelings. from some woman, clearly under distress. We went out onto the landing, where we could hear clearly the sounds of a man brutally beating a woman, from the sounds of thuds and bangs, followed by screams and shrieks. I turned to Jacques with a kind of manic look on my face and pleaded that he call he didnt like cops, and I stared at him with such disbelief like myself, being terribly beaten and battered, and here the man I loved, with no incentive to act on it, to put an end the cruelty. Eventually a policeman came with a man from some policeman ordered Raymond inside and then left with the woman, still crying. We went back inside Jacques apartment, where he

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34 hallway, I found myself with little appetite and so didnt eat the food we had prepared. I was shocked at the revelation I had seen in Jacques; that he had been perfectly willing to let that helpless woman get abused and beaten for the simple fact that he didnt like cops. I wondered whether his brutal detachment from his surroundings and other people would with him, afraid of the answer, I gathered my things and left his house, my feelings shaken. Once I got onto the bus, I started shaking with sobs, and I found that they werent easily quelled. Entry 3 August 27 happened, and I cant imagine where to start. Ive neglected you, cher journal and I apologize. I suppose Ill start at the day I met the man inside of Jacques Meursault. I went over to Jacques apartment one afternoon, with only one topic on my mind. I needed to know if he loved me, truly so, in the way I loved him. I need to know that there was some reciprocity between him and I, that there was hope for our relationship. I arrived, and moments in the door, I proposed to him. I laid it out for him in the simplest way I could fathom. I told him I wanted to marry him, and he told me it didnt matter whether or not we married. I told the same thing he did before, that there was no point, that it didnt matter anyway. Does he not see truly how it does the proposal from anyone else with whom he was involved that this was all that I was ever going to get from Jacques. But as long as I could be with him, As long as I could have him in my life, I found it bearable. I told him he was peculiar, like no man I had ever met. I felt also that this is something

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35 way of his unique lifestyle. I felt that if we lived a thousand years together, he would continue to be as he was, but all we would marry anytime I wanted, and I held steadfast to the notion. Why does my heart rush so when he pays me the slightest attention? I had to make Jacques that fateful friend. I felt apprehensive about going anywhere with this man who had so beaten that poor girl some weeks prior, but I felt safe going with Jacques. It was such a beautiful day outside, the sun bright and happy in the sky, and it even seemed to draw some color to Jacques funeral face. More of my apprehension went away when I laid eyes on the man who would be accompanying us to the beach wear a silly straw hat and rolled-up sleeves. I couldnt help but laugh. the bus. I saw Raymond talk to Jacques quietly, motioning to a group of Arab men across the street, staring at us with their terrible, empty eyes. I felt a spike of fear run through me these men had it in for Raymond, and I was all too eager to put some distance between us and the gang. We got on the bus and Raymond did his best to make things comfortable, but I couldnt shake the fear from my head. Making matter t to the beach, I tried to lose myself in idle playing around, in whimsical fun, beach activity and the like. We met up with Raymonds friend Masson and his wife, who turned out to be a delightful little woman, and I soon found myself laughing and chatting along with her, as though the morning events had been totally erased from my mind. We went down to the beach, and I didnt hesitate to run straight in, losing myself in the waves and the simple the water and we swam together, the way a young married

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36 couple might. Eventually he retired to the beach, and I followed him not long after. I lay down beside him and tucked into the nook of his shoulder, drifting lazily through my head, When I realized Masson had gone back to the house for lunchtime, I turned to wake Jacques. I propped myself up on my elbow and made to nudge him awake, but I was caught the moment, lost in the simple bliss of the day. I loved him more in that moment than I ever had, journal Part of me felt woke him and told him it was time to eat, and he started for the house. I grabbed his wrist gently and informed him that we hadnt kissed since that morning when I roused him at his once both curious and inviting, and I told him to come down to the water. We delved into the frothy little crests nearest the shore and waded out until we were up to our hips in the salty waves. I turned and reached out for him, wrapped my legs around his so that he half held me up and we kissed. Every time we kiss, its a delight, as though I venture into new territories, unmapped lands and uncharted borders. We parted lips and I gazed into his smoldering dark orbs, full of life and time. We made for the beach and heard Masson calling out to us from the porch of his house, beckoning to us with his mammoth hands. As we headed towards the porch we heard him cry to his wife that he liked Jacques, and I couldnt help but smile. I glanced sideways at Jacques to gauge his reaction, but he remained as composed as always. We ate a full, delicious lunch in silence, drinking heavily of the wine and eventually getting around to speaking of plans. Its struck me funnily that it was still so early in the day, and I made note of this to everyone. Masson made a comment about how lunch came about not as a certain time, but the novelty of the idea made me giggle, and Jacques shot me a curious look. I worried that I may have perhaps had too much wine. Eventually the men started for a walk, and

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37 I offered to stay back and clean up with Madame Masson. We talked about our men over the dishes, and she told me how she thought that Jacques was a lovely man in his own me that a girl like me should be with someone who could rightfully demonstrate how he felt for me, a Romeo to my Juliet. I told her that I loved him, and wasnt that all that was necessary? I loved Jacques, and I was willing to wait for and grasped my shoulder with more strength I would have moment, and then looked as though she was going to say We continued on in silence for a time before Jacques came back and delivered the news of what had transpired. happened in the brief encounter, and Madame Masson started to cry. Myself, I couldnt be brought to tears, so to now grip me a bit harder, and I remained motionless, statuesque at the dining room table. I couldnt fathom what had gone on, and so I drifted in my head, losing myself I bit. I must have blacked out most of the memory, because the last thing that I remember that day, the worst thing to end the day that had spiraled downwards and out of control, were gunshots. I was now in love with a criminal. Entry 9October 3 1948 witness. I came to the courthouse, not fully aware of what I would be asked to do or say in front of those people. I decided that all I could do was be truthful, and that would bring about his acquittal. When I was called to the stand, I my relationship with Jacques, only, he called him Monsieur

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38 Meursault, something I didnt feel at all well about. I told him and things, and that we really only got to know each other with my testimony, things I found ludicrous, unrelated to the so in the midst of his mothers death. made Jacques out to be a villain, a bad man who deserved the ultimate punishment. I tried my best to tell them that they had it all wrong, that Jacques was really a good man, and that the circumstances in which we began our relationship were not indicative of his character. All my words were in vain, as they fell on deaf ears. I was removed from the courtroom briskly by the bailiff and left to sob outside on the street. to see it happen; I couldnt bring myself to even leave the bed. I felt empty, hollow, broken. I saw the world now in perhaps the way Jacques always had; meaningless. I found no purpose for things, no longer feeling delight in the company of others, or in anything else for that matter. I lay in bed all day long and cried into my bed sheets, with more my bedside table, saying goodnight to the world, my world,

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39 complaining of terrible odor from inside. Only evidence to lend to the investigation was a small, leather-bound diary on the bedside table under a broken reading lamp. Woman Jacques Meursault; investigation pending. Known relatives Log end. In the Frosty Air Kristen Burke

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40 Absence Brittany Ng Dont know whats in the dark. Look deeper inside, but cant see the bottomMost fear itothers fearless. Minds irrationalDepression consumes us. Its all around, we ignore it. Evil. Emptiness. Mourning. Fashion. Black goes with everything. Shes Gone Taylor Clock

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41 Seven Steps Kaley Lynch I. I guess I could care less because Its probably the usual crewgreat bear, little bear, and seven sisters. It would be an awkward visit, Going down to the beach to visit without you, I wouldnt know what to say. II. longest, I think the lake was warmer last year, III. End this sick game of hide-and-seek, I know youre probably sitting off the coast right now Fat tears streaming down your face, Because you got us all. And soon enough, youll craft a raft With empty milk cartons and twine Belly laughing Punching shoulders. I think theyre singing Requiem again this year

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42 Whole rests and triplets and 7/8 time Fermatas, Repeat. Maybe Ill go to the concert and hide in the velvets And sing only the notes I remember, At the diner down the road newspaper clipping pinned up On the community bulletin board We are a newspaper gang now, Flat black and white faces, Folded squat Were all harder, it happens. Grief tastes like a dirty nickel milkshake. We dont carry gum. We carry your name on our wrists now I dont do anything about it though. With the proceeds, if they had made enough,

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43 Skyline Taylor Clock Docked Boats David Owens

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44 Cthulu Rises Dylan Woods Psychology at Miskatonic March 1, 2025 It all started around 5 p.m. today. I had been sitting complaint. It was then that I heard a knock at my door, snapping me out of my reverie and back to the present. A student stood in the frame of my door, one I could not recall having shaved in quite some time 5 oclock shadow marred his face, making him appear even more sullen and ghastly than I imagine he would normally. and told him to come back another day, or to send me it was important, that he had terrifying dreams the night before and he desperately needed to speak to me about them. Becoming slightly irritated I am not a counseling service, after all, I am one of the most esteemed professors hear him out, citing that the nearest on-campus therapist had taken off for the weekend and he would be unable to wait

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45 that long. irritations, I felt it would be cruel to further deny him my assistance. I instructed him to take a seat and tell me what had him so perturbed. What follows is a transcription of what he told me. on the chance that one may say something noteworthy something they may later deny, or something I may need to clearly as you can. rocks of random sizes placed together, no mortar. was on an island in the middle of a gigantic body of water, I dont know which. If it was even on our planet. cadence. somehow even worse, even more impossible than the other shouldnt have been able to stand at all. I wanted to leave, to turn and run. I didnt care that the ocean had me surrounded. Id rather have drowned or been eaten by sharks than stay there for a minute longer. But my feet wouldnt move. I tried to make them turn and run away, but instead they calmly stepped forward, again and again. I kept walking forward, closer to the tower.

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46 patiently wait for him to continue. neither. Like I said, this entire place, this corpse of a city, to be, was open at what looked like the front of the tower. I could recognize as belonging to any human civilization. One I kept noticing was a picture of a humanoid creature with the head of an octopus and the wings and scales of a dragon or snake. I tried to look away, but my eyes wouldnt into the door. I saw nothing but a deep abyss, darkness so whispers, different voices all chanting the same phrase in unison. to repeat, but by the third time I grew weary of trying to decipher, so I asked him to write it down, if he could. continue. but then they kept rising in volume and urgency until they were practically shouting at me, and I couldnt tell if it was a warning or some kind of ritual. When I couldnt take it anymore, the chanting was cut off by a deep, alien bellow coming from the abyss beyond the door. It shook me, but not so much physically. More spiritually, like my very soul from the blackness. It was a kind of slimy scratching, if that makes sense. Like something was scraping against the walls but parts of it were sticking to it like suction cups. It disgusted me to hear it, and I could feel vomit rising in my throat. I tried again to run, but it was no use. I couldnt turn, couldnt look away. I couldnt even fucking blink.

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47 Despite every single instinct telling me to run, I was stuck. I struggled harder to control my own body. I prayed to gods I did and didnt believe in, gods that were new and gods that scratching came closer and closer until it was only feet from the entrance. spoke again. simultaneously to escape it in any direction they could go. and puked, which didnt really help me feel any less sick. what he had seen in his dream, and he showed these to me. his dream, the impossible tower, the massive door with the horrible eyes, and the strange hieroglyph of the creature. It had a humanoid form, but that was where the similarities with our race ended. Its head resembled an octopus, with the tentacles hanging down like a mockery of a beard. It had the scaled body of a snake and wings reminiscent of a dragon. It had claws that were immensely long, perhaps one-eighth its total size. I had never seen this hieroglyph, or this creature, before, though being a psychology professor means my knowledge of ancient cultures is woefully limited. informed him this was most likely not the case, and there were several methods of interpreting a dream. I told him

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48 so repressed into his unconscious that he may not even themselves in these disturbing nightmares. Perhaps resurfacing in his subconscious. One of the more current theories postulates that being unable to look away may mean that he has unsolved trust issues. Or, possibly, the discharge of electrical activity in the brain, meaning that all of this was completely random information that the brain tried to make sense of. got up to leave, I asked him if I could hold onto his drawings he never saw those horrible images again. Once he left through the door, I sprawled the illustrations out on my desk and inspected them one by one. My eyes lingered on the image of the hieroglyph. I do not know why, but it seemed horrible, of that there was no doubt. Looking at it made me uneasy, and it felt as though my insides were rebelling, seemed beautiful somehow. For a long moment I stared at it, unable or unwilling, I am not sure to look away. a dream, which is far beneath a man of higher learning such is the top Professor of Anthropology here at the university. until I uncover the full truth. March 2

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49 barely caresses her shoulders and steel-gray eyes that were many regards, and she and I have had many an intelligent discussion. Despite her vast knowledge of ancient cultures, however, she was as ignorant of the origin as I was. When she asked who drew the pictures, and for what purpose, I informed her of the student that had come to visit me the supernatural, alien cities or hieroglyphs of a lost civilization. the impossible tower. Again, the slimy scratching sound of something large attempting to claw its way free resonated its deep, gasping voice. why he could not simply be left alone. I told him that in some cases, traumatic events are stored in the subconscious where they are replayed in dreams. I told him not to worry, see me every time this dream reoccurred. I instructed him to look over the city and remember as many details as possible, to look at and draw any other hieroglyphs he can see. the best way I would be able to help him with his dream is to accepted this and was on his way.

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50 was envisioning was real he would have either panicked or thought me mad. Or both. March 13 nightmare each night, and it is beginning to take a physical his skin is a ghostly pale, and he is grossly malnourished. of mumbling syllables, and he constantly complains of a headache. he does, he sees those green eyes staring at him. Alien restful; in fact, he dreads it. I have gone to the museum to see if they have found have not, and they ask me where I have been receiving my information. I refuse to tell them, saying my source wishes to remain anonymous. I am not lying; I simply do not wish to be ridiculed. I refuse to give up. I will continue to press Mr. that I locate them as soon as humanly possible. March 22 I have made an amazing discovery. I was in the attic well. I have begun my readings of the memoir. It appears

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51 to appease and eventually resurrect their god. It was hinted my ancestor condemned them for it. Are we not similar? Much blood has been spilled in the name of religion and faith. In fact, this cult spills less than most other religions. a single human lost every now and again? Is it not better to mercifully kill one than to slaughter entire families? possible. According to the memoirs, they chose to run rather for us. It seems as though it means In his house at Rlyeh It is also interesting to note that an ancestor of Mr. author was a prominent professor as well, and he too had It seems my family has been cursed with intelligence and the curiosity it brings for generations. It was not easy, as most information regarding them has pieces of the history. It seems as though centuries ago within his own capital city, Rlyeh. For centuries, millennia even, he has reached out with his mind to those that are still faithful, telling them that there will be a time when he will

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52 rise once more and take his revenge on those that betrayed him and reward those that have been truly loyal by releasing them from their morality, allowing them to do as they please with no fear of consequence. A utopia free of morality can prosper in so many ways. Without it there will be no ethic codes for science or instruction, nothing holding it back knowing true freedom. It genuinely resembles a utopian society. reaches out to the minds of the faithful, why is young Bryan them terrifying rather than reassuring? Is it similar to radio frequent and whole to be less than intentional. Is it, then, all of this and much, much more. 126W. I have done research and it does not appear the memoir have either been torn out or are far too faded to give any true details of his discovery. I cannot wait any longer. I have purchased a plane already packed all that I will need. I have already hired have made sure that more than one person is capable of operating the ship. I will make them have rotating shifts so

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53 that we are constantly moving and we will be able to reach these coordinates as quickly as possible. at the museum, everyone. I will have the last laugh when I return from my voyage with the discovery of the century! I will have a god beside me, and they will bow to my brilliance, beg for my apologies, pray for my favor! March 23 traveling for several hours, and I refuse to eat anything for of the vessel vomiting. Many sane men would have turned me. him I would be out of town for a week or two, and that he by a terrible fever and that he had been passing between same events had happened one hundred years ago to Mr. I quickly packed my things and went to visit the young child was impossible and that he had to be kept in intensive care for constant observation. I understood, and asked the during his moments of lucidity. What he relayed to me was nothing I had not enormous, towering creature that took massive, lumbering steps. It was the size of a skyscraper, with the face of

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54 an octopus and the wings and scales of a dragon on a humanoid body. Fascinating. Perhaps the shock of the make contact. But contact to whom, and for what purpose? with me to release him from his great cyclopean prison, and that for reasons unknown he cannot contact me directly. I necessary! took several hours. I simply looked over my notes. Once I trimmed auburn hair, and he had a tattoo of a trident on his left bicep. I told him that we must set sail at once and travel at full throttle. short notice, but I would hear none of it. I told him we could not wait any longer, that very powerful forces would not allow tardiness. I ignored him and walked toward the car he had driven up in. was a small cabin, within which were several beds. Its name was painted across the side of the boat, covered in a trident pointing forward, held by a muscular shirtless man Quaint. attempted to introduce me to each of them, but I did not bother to memorize their names. All that matters is the

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55 destination. not get used to the rocking of the boat and I was constantly that the crew was mocking and bad-mouthing me behind my it will all have been worth it. March 28 the front of the boat the bow, I believe its called reading papers, and I had to close the book immediately to prevent several feet high, lifting the Poseidon and tossing it about as though it were nothing. I darted inside as the crew bustled about. I do not pretend to know what they did; I was too busy observing the destructive beauty of the storm. It had hit so suddenly. Whats more, I was reading in my ancestors memoir that a storm had hit a ship as it was traveling the Despite the terrible fury this storm possesses, I am the world truly wishes to stop me, it will have to do better than this. March 29 the sleep I achieved, if any, to be shallow, disturbed sporadically by the furious ocean torturing my fragile into a deep, restful sleep, untouched by the life-threatening dangers of the real world.

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56 by cyclopean towers with no visible entrances, as if they followed an abnormal, non-Euclidean geometry. I could not tell the degrees of any of the angles in the least, and the entire place seemed to carry the feel of another world, like it had been taken from another planet and simply placed here I inspected the towers closely and found that there were very tall; the tops were almost impossible to see. light seemed to originate from the buildings themselves, as enough to see by; no more, no less. It was a perfect lighting source for a perfect city. I desired. I walked up and down what can only be likened to streets and alleyways. I was looking for any doors or never understand. I felt at peace there, no longer needing to worry about the struggles of the outside world. I honestly dreaded waking up and having to return to that wretched boat and the vulgar, lowly crew. greatest feature of this utopia, the reason I had been called there; the great tower at the center, where our God was being kept. I walked toward the gigantic door, which was several feet away and dropped to one knee. I bowed my sound; there was beauty and patience. My heart raced, but eagerness, I kept my head bowed, even when the scratching

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57 Rise, faithful one. I do not know how I was able to understand him, but I did. And I did as I was told. As I stood I looked up intelligence, that much was true, but there was also a sense was little curiosity, as those eyes had seen eons come and go, empires rise and fall, and so much more that they must have known almost all there was to know. And despite his betrayal and imprisonment, I sensed no hostility or anger; would be released, and he knew that those guilty would soon be punished. I have awaited you. Every century my city rises, and my imprisonment can only be fully broken by the presence of none of your faithful ever come to free you before? akel. Because, child, they either lack the resources or the free me. I opened my mouth to say more, but before I could I the island, into the hungry darkness of the sky. the sky was its usual, healthy blue. It took us a number of hours, but we were able to assess the damages, discern our half of the crew protested continuing our adventure, believing we should turn back before another such storm hits. It was only after promising to double the agreed upon payment did

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58 I looked over a map. Given our current location and speed, I believe it will only take about a day and a half of nonstop travel to reach Rlyeh. It is so close. I remember my dream, and my such lengths to speak to me and me alone. humanity of the non-believers and false gods, then free those than remain from the shackles of their morality. We no fear of consequence or punishment, no laws or rulers to April 1 behind clouds, and darkness swept over us as if it were a spring warmth we had grown accustomed to. Our breath was clearly visible in the darkened air, and we all moved like lemmings into the relative warmth of the cabin as we drew closer to the distant island-city. an outcropping that matched one nearly perfectly in shape, and it was here that we moored our boat. city? Beautiful nonetheless. As in my dream, the buildings if that is what they truly were gave off a natural, dull

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59 more religious ones were constantly crossing themselves, were all looking around, some even trying to wander from the group a quick order from me brought them back to line. It was not long before we reached the tower entrance. But then all of my fears were laid to rest. A line appeared down the length of the door, and it slowly begun see all that would happen. from the darkness behind the door. As it came closer, the towers seemed to glow brighter, preparing for their masters turned to run. Perhaps curiosity got the better of them; nothing moved, the wind died down and the Earth itself seemed to stop moving. the door slightly, but when the claws moved I could see that they were so sharp they left markings on the walls. ecstasy, and from his mouth came a bellow that shook me to Freedom!

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60 As he stepped out of what had been his penitentiary for millennia his dragon wings spread to their full length. It Whatever spell that was over the sailors seemed to honored that they were chosen as nourishment for our God. I must give the captain credit for his quick thinking. then led me by the arm back to the Poseidon. I attempted yelled. us, his eyes locked on me. I cannot tell what emotion was wordless, angry bellow, and destroyed one of the towers with a single swipe of his arm. Within minutes the captain and I were back on the before I could he shoved me down and untied the boat. I Rlyeh at full speed. I watched as the paradise-city of Rlyeh shrank from away, his face-tentacles moving slowly, contemplatively. I am unsure why he did not attempt to follow us; I am sure he possessed the ability to. Luckily for me, he did not attempt to question me; he was

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61 same time. I needed him to sleep, or to be off guard. I had to do something to bring us back to the island. and turn the boat around. I do not feel guilt; I am above such petty morality. All I feel is dedication to the God of All, April 2 his guard down, even for a second, when the impossible happened. a small speck on the horizon, but at the speed we were traveling it was only a moment before we were able to make out the cyclopean towers of Rlyeh. With a few seconds, I us. I struck him as hard as I could with the pipe. I kept hitting him, even when his skull had been reduced to a bloody looked down on me when I told her of the dreams. I thought of the students at the university that took advantage of me, disrespected me despite my best efforts to educate them. I thought of the crew members that insulted and bad-mouthed to take me away from my home on Rlyeh and my God and all-powerful God with the inferior title of thing is astounding. had left him, standing at the edge of the island and staring

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62 mind, and it was all I could do to hold onto my sanity. I truly Welcome, child. I gave my Master a low bow, and it struck me that this would be my last entry. Its strange; Ive almost grown to only lasted a month. I was once one of the most respected professors at one of the most esteemed universities in the breath, and on my way toward an ancient, alien island with an almighty God waiting for me, scribbling my story in this book that Im not even sure will ever be read. And I could not be more at peace.

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63 Garbage Gut Brittany McCann

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64 A Melancholy Fashion Raymond Dale Who are you stranger, Whos fairest of them all? Ill tell through and through, Because todays style is my passion. If distances keep us alone, Dont let the grey skies bring you down, When you can wear a tiara like a crown. Listen to the inner light, Because if I could, Id always be in your sight.

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65 Layers of Arizona David Owens

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66 Wimbledon Marion Decker through her head as she set up to serve. One point, all she the ball a few times and threw her long red braid over her shoulder before bending her knee ever so slightly. One point head momentarily stopped. Ball toss up, too far behind, at up the serve again, she took to her movements, knee bent, all the way with the ball ever so slightly to the right. A sharp intake of breath and a resounding smack, the ball was DeMontaigne missed the return. Ace. her ears, I just won the French open. the crowd and rushed to the net to shake Gabrielles hand. marathon. French accent. Mallory waved at the crowd some more. Emotion coursing ceremony presenters walked onto the court. parents and coaches clapping and cheering, her brothers all moment she had been waiting for her entire life; winning a

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67 between then and now on her serve. It was an emotional sets. who couldnt be in attendance today. Thats the way Mally! Her grandfather, Robert Clarke, clapped as she her. Every single time you serve, youve got to lose yourself. but absolutely do not focus on the serve alone. Why wouldnt I focus on the serve? Mallory was ten years old, and she was already a champion in the under The more you focus, the more meticulous you become and the tighter your grip will get. Remember what youve learned about a tight grip? A tightened grip leads to desperate play and mental anger, she recited as if from a text book. Thats right, he smiled. Youve got to remember to control the anger, because anger will never get you anywhere. He walked off the court and sat on the bench, holding a water bottle out to her. Did you ever get angry when playing Wimbledon? Her eyes were wide, innocent still as she asked. He chuckled, of course I did. But I didnt win those titles. The matches that I value are the ones that I was the most relaxed. *** over her, again

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68 though, were going to have to work on that backhand. It was down the line. Im really surprised Gabby didnt pick up on wins. win, of course, and a determination to play her hardest. But loved to serve. It was the only thing in the match that was entirely inside, the middle, as hard as she wanted, or as slow. When she served, she felt alive, felt every movement of her body, raw on her serve, like she was unleashing the storm inside her mind, yet calming the feud if but for a moment.

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69 seen how well my service Mallory smirked, it was fun to tease him, he was such a cocky bastard. played I said I hadnt seen how well your game is. Ive seen winked and left. In tennis you stand face-to-face with the enemy, trade blows with him, but never touch him or talk to him, or anyone else. The rules forbid a tennis player from even talking to his coach while on the court. Theyre inches away. In tennis youre on an island. Of all the games men and Andre Agassi, Open tennis player deals with the mental game, but how was she

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70 well, mental. Well, tennis players are forever alone. no love in singles, no friendship, not really anyone at all, actually. We talk to ourselves, we talk to our racquets, we talk to the air, the net, the court, the lines. Its mental. Were crowd followed. I think the service game is the best for me. serve, a higher amount of real, physical emotion. Its almost mother crooned from behind her. in the same disgruntled tone. beamed. winning a grand slam was quite overwhelming.

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71 Mallory sat quietly, listening to her agent and father of her interview. Its probably the greatest Ive felt in my life. Its really incredible to be standing here, looking at all the fans and Winning Wimbledon, thats living the dream. Winning Wimbledon has been my dream since I can remember. Of course I couldnt be happier to be here, holding this very trophy, having played some of the best tennis of my career. What Ive always dreamed of, though, is winning on that And being the home town favorite, I dont doubt youll zoned out of her teams discussions until her fathers phone balcony to answer it. Of course, of course. But I was thinking we have a bit of purple, a bit of green. Really draw that crowd into your

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72 One thing we do have to talk about is your court said, sarcasm dripping from every word. Mallory sighed, of course she didnt handle it well in what she called itthe mental aspect of tennis. It was her Do I go for this shot? Oh just get it. Where did that volley come from. Snap back to read position. You call that a backhand? Shit, she got to it. Oh wait, all net. It was almost as if a constant storm inside her head, Emotions were constantly high during matches, squashing every match, every set, every game and every single point. tell by the look on his face that it wasnt good news.

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73 Four bounces. Bend at the right knee. Bring the left closer. Remember to snap the wrist. Remember to follow through. Remember to keep the left arm up. Repetition makes the feud go away, forgets about the rest of the world, feels like freedom from the court, freedom from the world and freedom from her fears. didnt even pay him mind as she served again. I will turn the Perfect shot. Moment of peace.

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74 Mallory fell to her knees, letting it all sink in. Paul cried on that court for what seemed like days. Letting the much to handle. The Great Champion Robert Clarke falls. One Clarke wins, while the other Clarke dies. Mallory Clarke; the meltdown. Both Clarkes died this week. served each and every day in their backyard court. Did court repairs. Ran at least ten miles a day. Didnt speak to nearly Rain didnt even dampen her drive to achieve a perfect serve. With the droplets falling into her eyes she continued the pattern.

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75 why are you still in And you are incredibly annoying. What do you at her. responding. Well... I dont. Lets go inside and have a cup of tea. Grudgingly Mallory picked up her tennis bag and meticulously clean. Mallory spent all morning organizing and re-organizing it before she headed out to the court. dropping onto a chair.

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76 stove. Mallory stopped pacing the kitchen and stared at her Whats so different about me? I dont play on the tour Pat, I love you. I really do. But I cant play for them Im not blaming tennis disappointed in you. When you were younger, he used to brag to anyone that his granddaughter was going to be the

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77 tea. Well. If you ever decide youre going to Rodney, I Hes just being Pat. Hes using reverse psychology or something. But think about it... If you come back... Wimbledon. fact, she almost slammed the door in his face. If he hadnt Adler smirked at her. opened and closed his mouth a few times.

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78 Im sorry it took me so long to tell you that, by the As soon as he left, Mallory deposited herself onto a chair. In an instant, shed made her decision. herself, hitting a wild backhand. Mallory, watch your language, you want to forfeit a Another down the line, not nearly as deep. Well, well. What is this onto the court, a smirk plastered on his face, Mallory Ignore him! Just searching for my doubles partner. Im entering

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79 Mallory ignored him and motioned for Rodney to feed another backhand. Wonder if the defending champion can claim her feed completely. Mallorys nerves were buzzing as her car drove her but her backhand was even weaker than when she had won Clarke Back after Hiatus. Clarke to dishonor Wimbledon? Mallory Clarke lives on... Paul was back again, but she wasnt going to let him control her career this time. saw Gabrielle, hitting against her coach on the closest court, near it. Were practicing on the lower courts. Less media there. screaming differently. Mallory Anne Clarke, you are too weak for this. What

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80 if the media asks you questions? You ignore them. You be the bitch they are making you out to be. and looked her dead in the eye. And I want you to crush the made way to their reserved court. Deposited her bag on another routine for her. A routine she wasnt quite used to. Rodney positioned across. Lets start with some forehands Mally, rip em down returning them with a speed comparable to her old ways. began to feed to her other side. This is where your problem will lay. But you are a champion. Youre a professional tennis player, you can hit backhands. Its warm ups, let it rip. Overall displeased with herself.

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81 walked off the court. Mallory smiled, she had missed her doubles partner greatly. Mallory smiled. was struggling. Youre on court two. Youre good on that court. Youve got this. Shes short, just serve well. Six inches, youve got six inches on her. Ace. Another point, you get this youll have the match. Ace. Excellent. One more like that. One more and youll be Fuck. That didnt go as planned. Mallory shook it out through her body and set up her second serve. In, thank God. was graceful and powerful all at the same time, swinging in the longest rally of her life. Lamot, also wanting to move on,

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82 also playing desperate tennis. Net Lamot hit the net. to the crowd, half of them cheering, the other half booing. two matches today. We will be stepping onto court they both saluted the crowd with waves Adler and Gabrielle DeMontaigne. We have beaten them I can do this. Im going to be a Wimbledon champion. world number ones at all, as they took the second 6-2. Mallory glared. added as the teams crossed paths on a change over. know were the better team Gabrielle was.

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83 intercepted by Adlers nearly perfect volley. Andy was on net form, though, and returned it to the center of the court, where neither opponent could reach. spot at net. Gabrielle double faulted. Mallory took a deep breath. Andy spun his racket a few times, something shed become accustomed to when he wanted to play a rush attack. Gabrielles serve was in the perfect vicinity, returned as predicted, was cross court and back to Mallory, she launched it directly at Adlers face. It didnt hit him, but they won the point regardless and she felt as though it was her turn to smirk at him. At 40-love, Mallory was feeling really good to win the return and she questioned as to why, until she saw Gabrielles grip on the racket was choked up, she was going Mallory took her position back at the baseline, waiting for the smash she knew was coming. It didnt happen. Adler missed. not paying any mind to either of them. Clarke back in the Game! Clarke to win Wimbledon? Can Clarke trump Errani? Will Clarke break again? her at the table while she read the news.

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84 the paper away. of the banana in her hand. Well that and the entire British community is probably all be either cheering for her, or booing, remembering how she quit. was serving to win the match. First serve. Shes too close on the baseline; deep then. and higher. Errani returns the ball, but it goes long. Close but not deep enough. Try wide. Ace. Alright, that approach worked. Maybe not. Errani returned a perfect winner to the

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85 add court, impossible to Mallory to reach. Try a spin serve. No, that plays into her game. Youve ball. right. Ace. Alright, again. Errani returned the ball to the deuce side, right to her. hitting a drop shot. Mallory sprinted to the ball, hit the net. Mallory skidded to the ground, twisting her ankle slightly. Well, that hurt. Mallory shook out the pain in her ankle and bounced the ball. One point, you need one point. Ace. headlines in the paper, her brother, Andy, Gabrielle, even smiled at her.

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86 the runner up. Finally, Mallory was presented with her trophy. course I want to thank all of my countrymen for sticking with me through the tournament. And of course, my coach Rodney, without who I wouldnt have played this I cant even believe Im standing here, on center court, and everyone applauded again. Once youve got that drive, dont give it away. I didnt, and Im standing here, sharing this moment with you all and I can really, truly say this is all Well no, not until that point. I dont want you to ever second time.

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87 like he wanted to say more but she walked away. I won Wimbledon. Apples and Oranges Joel Dodge

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88 Muse 12 Andrew Baumgras As I knock upon deaths door, I gleam with abhor for the whores of the mainstream, veins that pump carcinogens of monotony, into the thoughts and aspirations of the oblivious. Mongrels dining on the cries of the feeble have no need for proper dining room edict. When theyre full, tainting the water supply. But that is not the compost that keeps us poets going. Instead, it is emotion and passion, not clich bitching of a love lost, but anger and thrashing of the lost and deranged. Before death answers the door, ourselves from this polluted system thats clichd in its absent wisdom.

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89 The Herd Blake Anderson her golden hair away from her stern visage. But all eyes werent on her because she looked particularly nice, but because she was walking toward them androgynous, faceless anomalies that roam the Earth in a dense pack, trudging along with an unknown purpose. Rumors about them have circulated the globe since slowly marching toward their quarry. Others say they were created by someone, somewhere, to bring fear back into our not even the worlds leaders, knows for certain, though. Weve seen them only once before as they passed were terrible to look at; it was like looking in a mirror and wondered if they could see or hear when they had neither eyes nor ears. We wondered if they knew we were there, hiding in our homes and waiting for them to disappear. close in a hurry, some transactions cut short in the bustle. buildings. Families close the blinds on their windows and lock their doors. from our hidden vantage points, waiting with bated breath.

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90

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91 The Ringer Nathan Valeksa

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92 A Minor Case of Death Summer Cluette was seven, I learned why I wasnt supposed to touch the stove when it was on. And when I was eight, I struggled with the concept of death. I also learned that my classmates and I were assholes. As with most fourth graders, recess was the highlight of the day. We would walk in a straight line out to the playground with kids pulling Indian cuts constantly so the Once outside, the line split up and we ran in all directions to our destinations. A handful of kids, pushing and shoving, bolted for the single slide on the playground. A line had already formed for the three swings, and the two sets of monkey bars were soon busy with the fourth grade equivalent of bad boys, who always hung around the dome-shaped monkey bars. It was mid-fall, the leaves were already falling from the trees. stood face to face, my nose was perfectly level with his chin. I had ever seen. With his pale skin, almost white hair and bright blue eyes he looked almost like an eight-year-old Boo Radley. Our recess was always the same. We would dart going back to snag the swings when the rest of the kids grew bored with them. surprise scream that was suddenly cut short, followed by a mass of kids running away from the monkey bars. All the playground monitors came rushing at once. All of this kids playing on the playground equipment but those playing equipment to try and get a look at what had happened.

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93 of the slide to see, other kids were on the swings yelling for someone to push them, and the rest were making a mad dash for the opposite monkey bars to get to the top. effort. I got on the swing and he pushed me to get a view of what was going on. bars and several teachers had come outside now as well. All the kids who had been there were either shooed away or being consoled by a teacher. gathered around the swing set to try and get word on what was happening. If anyone got too close to the monkey bars, one of the teachers would be quick to move them away. to draw attention to us but I was going so high I felt they wouldnt be able to hear me if I didnt. All the teachers are crowded around this one spot. I think a kid fell off the One of our teachers ran inside while one of the monitors blew a whistle. I skidded my feet along the dirt and was an outrage! We all reluctantly headed toward the door mumbling amongst each other about what had happened before all going into our assigned classrooms. a large man with prematurely graying hair that his hand was on it before standing up so quickly his chair rolled into the We all as he left the room and shut the door behind him. A few moments later, we gathered around the center of

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94 the room to talk. the monkey bars and could hang upside down on them like nobody else could. In the midst of our discussion, we heard an We all shut up. If there was any kid you didnt want to in the fourth grade. weigh at least two thousand pounds (give or take) and it was he used to beat up all the kids he was unable to eat. Armand looked around the group and once he was sure he had caught everyones attention, he went on, a collective gasp we looked around to see each others stories of kids who fell through the gaps, hitting their heads on the way down before falling on the rocks below. I wasnt sure whose bright idea it was to keep rocks under were they replaced with sand. Earlier this year, wed had a class hamster named Finnegan. One day, our student teacher had duct taped the entire top of the cage so he couldnt escape. It turned out, duct taping the way out also prevented air from coming in, and our hamster suffocated. We had all been devastated until we realized this meant we could get a new hamster, hopefully one that didnt had yet to get our new hamster.

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95 looking around the group as if daring someone to question swirly in the nearest toilet. Armand was not the kid to mess easy to run away from him. But inside a small classroom us. Once, Armand had brought a cigarette to school and threatened to burn the eyes of any kid who threatened to tell all turned to look at him before quickly averting our gaze. Even by fourth grade standards. But if anyone knew, it would rocks. Every day it was the same thing. Lick rocks for the in the back of the classroom. would they bring it home? In the trunk? Oh my gosh! What if they come to school to pick him up and he doesnt show We didnt question this either. We didnt think about how that was logically impossible; Armand hadnt been apart wondering what his parents said. like a legitimate reaction to being told your son was dead.

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96 grader. Five dollars got you two packets of Pokemon cards. Fifty dollars could get you well, more. his chair as the teacher came back in and we all hurried classmate. As everyone separated into their own groups, I from my backpack and handed him one. A few weeks ago, then, we would take turns bringing ring pops to school. We normally ate them after school but now seemed as good a time as ever. We unwrapped them and each took a lick before tapping them together. We were married after all and lolly-to-lolly tap.. After that, we were free to eat them as usual while talking over todays events. seemed to be in deep thought before he let out a sigh. Logic. real good so we could get as many rocks as possible. so they hit the walls. My shoes would light up every time I

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97 would still be let out at the same time regardless how fast we ate but it felt necessary. When our teachers name was called, we all hurried over to the lunch monitor, pushing and shoving to try and get onto the playground, we all took off for the monkey-bars. called to me. but these had red drops of blood splattered across them. with blood, laying in a small pool of it and stained red from was needed on them. By now, the other kids had realized we found the before the mob hit. Armand was pushing smaller kids out of his way and threatened to pull their eyes out of their sockets if they didnt move fast enough. down to the dirt and we were standing in a circle comparing our hauls.

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98 Mr. Fortin had come out of his lunch break. It wasnt uncommon for the teachers to come out and keep an eye on the students. After an incident like yesterdays, Mr. us gathered in a circle under the monkey bars must have looked like we were all silently grieving. turned around quickly and out of a habit formed a quick line, We said nothing. We all knew that if we told Mr. Fortin licking rocks behind us. cute little fourth graders mourning the accident of their friend muttered as we reluctantly dropped the rocks at our feet. Mr. lost our rocks but now recess was canceled a full half hour early. as he helped us scrub our hands clean one by one in the kids got their hands scrubbed with a bit more force than the others before we were all sat down in the classroom.

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99 large smiley face on the board that a kid had drawn earlier. end of his voice. desks. A few kids were whimpering from Mr. Fortins strict tone and a few others began to cry when they realized they wouldnt be getting money. Armand kept his gaze straight ahead, the only kid aside from Rock Licker (who was picking his nose in the back) who met Mr. Fortins gaze. When nobody said anything, the mans body punishment. We had to sit quietly at our own desks for the disappointed. by Mr. Fortin, a bandage covered the top of his head. A few kids gave him curious looks before turning to face forward dark, curly blonde hair had been shaved off. We both thought this was hilarious and spent the remaining half of class talking about how goofy he looked. was quick to avert his gaze but I forgot my place and gave Do you guys want to know about what happened to everyone else was trying their hardest to avert their gazes I quickly looked down at my sandwich.

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100 his arm around me to pull me closer like a proper husband should. Armand was verbally attacking him was something that he he cost us all money. Wrong thing to say. Armand roared in anger and lunch before once again leaving in a huff. One by one, the we had to remember, this was the kid who cost us at least better to have Armand with than against you. being alive. And rightfully so.

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101 Einsteins Break-Thru David Owens

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102 Tools of the Trade Ethan Lucas Two Copies of Finding Nemo Joel Dodge

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103 The Hero Shelby Coyle even really realized quite what he was doing. At the time it had seemed natural, an end to at least a few troubles. Dazed. the knife a little earlier.

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104 Knowing Me Jenna Schifferele Knowing me, Im always gonna be that girl whos there when no one else would dare. Knowing me, all my friendships will turn to guilt trips because when I need someone, no one will want to make the run. Knowing me, Ill push everyone away because I cant make myself get through the day. Knowing me, Ill support you through thick and thin and give up everything to see you win. But knowing me, it wont be enough to be the friend whos there when things get rough. Knowing me, Ill sit at home and wonder why everyones out, while I stay and cry. Knowing me, theyll be out, having fun, and Ill be here, waiting for sun to clear the cobwebs and clear the rain and to polish up this brutal stain of hurt, of loss, and confusion, too. Knowing me, I wont make it through. Knowing me.

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105 Dirty Whore Emily Tran

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106 A Creation Story Andrew Schneider Long ago, In the middle of the world, a great valley mountains raised high into the clouds above, and reached up into the air along giant slopes for as far as the ocean in one direction, and in the other, the mountains came together in a great basin. Every day the sun would peak from behind the mountains casting a mighty shadow on that place. And so, in the morning the valley was cool and the green grasses and themselves in misty beads of dew. Just before the shadow was lifted by the rising sun, luscious plants from all over the valley, would cast a natural blue aurora as the light from the of the polished slopes of the mountain walls. As the suns golden light began to move its way in from the white sandy beach looking out across a vast ocean, all of the green to raise their pedals and all of their leaves to face the coming sun. the mother of all of the other trees of every kind, had grown tired of watching the animals of the earth, and desired some the sun and asked him to bear her a child, a daughter that would be more beautiful and graceful than all of the other the mother tree a special seed that would grow into the most beautiful creature on earth. In time, woman was born where she was nurtured under the strong branches of her mother, softest pedals so that the woman might have softer skin. below. Every animal of every kind kept her company, and on cold nights, some would lay beside her so that their fur would keep her warm. In the day time she would help the animals

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107 collect food for all to share, and sing to her mother and when the sun was too hot she would walk into the ocean and swim with the animals that lived there. waves of the ocean and fell in front of her mother with tears. but from the soft sobs of the woman, her mother knew she was sad. Daughter of mine beautiful woman, tell me what branches of her mother as they reached down to embrace her and the woman said, Mother, I was playing with the creatures of the ocean and they asked me why I was alone. sad too, and realized that the woman needed someone to love, another creature like herself that she could love the slept, her mother called to the moon and asked him what all her life and he told the mother tree that her daughter, the born, the ocean agreed and he gave her life-giving light that gave to them a son they called man, after the woman under the mother tree. I will bring him here to meet the woman, said the moon. But I must ask that you send him some of your strongest branches through the ocean and let her carry them to the place where my son lives so that he may receive trees there only grasses and bushes with berries and few animals to keep him company. If you do this, the ocean and morning she woke up her daughter, the woman, and told her all about the son that the moon and the ocean had created that she must break off the biggest branches she could so woman looked at her mother as she reached down some of her branches for the woman to tear away and she began to

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108 cry. Mother, you are so beautiful and perfect, I cannot tear tree smiled and her branches reached around her daughter to hug her. One day when you are a mother yourself, you will realize that you must give up some of yourself for your children. I have plenty of branches, most too big for you to break, and I can spare more than he will need. I will give myself to you and to him so that you can have another creature like yourself to love. I will not be hurt my daughter, branches to the beach where the ocean gave her seaweeds without drifting apart, and she put the branches into the ocean where waves swiftly carried them away. By now, the sun had raised itself over the great basin between the mountains, and he noticed the tired mother tree had some of her branches pulled off of her and asked her what had happened. I have given them to the moon and the creatures there as she waited for the son of the moon that began to cry mighty tears as he looked at the mother tree, whom he loved. My sweet mother tree, what have you to shore and ran to take cover under her mother. When she arrived, she saw the wounds the torn branches had left behind and fell to her knees. Mother what have I done mother has lived a long life, and her spirit will return to me cried, and looked out through the rain to see the branches

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109 returning across the horizon where she could see the man and wiped the skies clean of his tears and shined bright for tree spoke up softly, Daughter, dont blame yourself for what has happened to me. I have given myself to you and I am happy. I will leave you my daughters, all of the other trees and more seeds like myself that you can scatter across the valley and that will grow to watch over your children. And the sun will carry my spirit into his light and I will be with him got up sadly and kissed her mother and hugged the wide trunk of her mothers body. I love you, mother, I will never gave the woman seeds from her branches; the woman took them and walked out to the beach as the man rode the wake looked at the man and he gazed back at her, she began to large branches of her mother and she cried harder. Behind them, at the center of the great valley, the mother tree began to fade away as the sun set down over the man her dying mother and both watched as the spirit of awe as he watched the great tree walking across the valley. her, and saw that the tree was smiling, and the spirit came grew sad as he realized the branches that had brought him given your life for us. We will never forget you great tree. I will honor you forever, and I will love your daughter with all

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110 the horizon behind the man and woman. We must go now tree drifted into the fading light of the sunset and her spirit traveled over the ocean. have given you strength and virtues so that you may care woman will love you more than anything in the world and the two of you will bear children of your own and bring more creatures like yourselves to the earth to live with all of the other animals, and all the other trees and plants. In time, the seeds the mother tree has left behind for you will give to you more branches to use so that you can leave the valley, and your mother, the ocean, will share with you and your children one another and thanked the moon for his guidance, and mothers spirit too and after, they walked deep into the basin of the valley where they found some of the womans sisters her son, and the woman and how happy they were together. coming sun where they would plant the seeds of the mother

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111 Open to Incite Chaos Nathan Valeska

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112 Basic Training Michael McCabe We both reach in and pull it out slowly. Right. On the ground. Got it. different colored wires coming from it.) Easy. (Pause) Easy now. briefed. Any questions? Well, you should know Ive had no training on this, sir.

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113 What? I said, Ive had no charge of a lot of people. I lead. I have no training in defusing bombs. Enough with the sirs, Wilson. Well, yes.

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114 First Class Wilson saves day? used my sloppy headline. Probably. wire cutters around one of the wires.) Red? Are you sure? Korby. without knowing its function? I suppose Id be tempted.

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115 Right, Korby. Green eh? Good choice. almost cuts.) But Good lord! I nearly cut that wire! one who is color blind? I dont remember being tested. What does it mean?

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116 I should get tested. Ok, red is unsafe. We cannot tell the difference between green and blue. What about black? Why do you think that? positive? wire? Of course the enemy may be doing the old reverse logic trick.

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117 Green and Blue are out by default. Black and white have Alright. there. eyeing the bomb the entire time.) Which one then? God, anything but orange. to pace.) What if I cut all of them at once? Korby, sir, I dont know what to do.

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118 shoulder.) bridge. Its a rickety old bridge and we look across it and attempt to cross it, which is risky, or climb down and ford temperature. God only knows what wildlife is in there. seems you only have two choices. What is the third choice? how to build a bridge comes along. Korby. Korby, is this story a metaphor or something like that. I dont think I follow you.

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119 and get out of here. And let the bomb go off? Lets pretend the bomb does go off. Lets also say 1,000 If you and I stay, and try to defuse the bomb, the number of deaths is 1,002. Do you follow me? Alright then, kiddo. Lets get out of here. over it for a long while.) closes his eyes and turns his head away from the bomb.

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120 crumples to the ground. Eventually, he stands and picks up the bomb.)

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121 A white rose stands alone, yearning for your desire It sits upon a hill, without thorn nor briar Is your tolerance of pain equal to that of your desire? Burn yourself; embrace the pain Let your tears fall like the morning rain And hold the rose for well never be the same Raymond Dale Nightlight Taylor Clock

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122 Develan Square It was only the third time Lillian had ever seen the Mayor, and each time she saw him, he looked at her a couple seconds longer than any other person who lived in in Walker Park, but on that rare occasion, Lillian would quizzically, always wearing the same black top hat and slick black pants that Lillian had hemmed for him carefully each month. Lillian Webber had been a seamstress in Delevan by her window, sitting on her old, wooden stool, and sew sew the Mayors sleek black pants, she would sew the never changed. Lillian would sew at the same pace, never falling behind, but never getting ahead, and at the end of Lillian lived in a very small house on the corner of painted a shade of dark purple, a purple so dark that the only one story high, and it had a slightly slanted roof with black shingles that were falling off in a few different areas. allowed Lillian to look across the square when she was sitting at her stool sewing. It was the only remarkable feature about the house. Other than the window, the house was less than normal. Grass and vines had grown up the side of the house because Lillian never had time to garden. Weeds and bushes had grown to be oversized and unruly all throughout the very small yard in the front of the house, covering the sidewalk completely and keeping the entrance of others guarded.

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123 door was painted a dull red, contrasting the dark purple of an open room, which contained a wood stove in one corner articles of clothing that needed to be hemmed or stitched wooden stool. It was painted a dull blue, and it was slightly uneven. Lillian sat at the stool by the window every day, sewing and stitching and hemming all of the clothing that was piled on the table. no other colors seen throughout the house that could make brought into the room was the light from the sun that shone threw the large window, lighting the area where Lillian did all of her work on her stool. Everyday she sat at her stool, only From her window, she would see the top of the Mayors mansion through the shiny, golden gates at Walker Park. What she could see of it was beautiful. It was at least directly across from hers. A pale, yellow house that was trimmed bushes and a mowed lawn. A beautiful golden one ever went there, and no one ever came from there. dull home. It was the only thing that she treasured, and it was the only thing that constantly reminded her of who she was.

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124 sewn dishcloth, putting pressure on the newly broken skin the clothes she had yet to hem that lay on the long, wooden table. It was nearing the end of the month, which meant that it was nearing Lillians monthly two hundred dollar check. who lived in the gated community was paid in increments not mind, however, it was something that she could succeed at, and that made Lillian happy. open room. answered as he walked toward her, holding a pair of brown, leather boots. I worked really hard on them, I think I was friend. After all, do you know many times youve saved me and my his wife and his two kids. It was a moderately small house, especially for a family of four, but Paul was never the type of guy to complain about anything. she put down the dirty dishcloth and stared out her large,

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125 Boulevard. What kind of man of his status walks down Lillian. people walking the white stone sidewalk around Delevan down the road. the elderly woman sitting on a bench in the shade of a giant from an oversized bush. the rays of light shone through Lillians window, causing picked it up in her hands and tossed it up in the air gently. free of blood and swelling. Lillian clutched her thimble tight to her chest, and then placed it back on the windowsill where it sat everyday. As she picked up her needle and thread, she began to continue her work from where she stopped before. Lillian started her days the same way every morning. herself breakfast, which usually consisted of a scone or a square and get anyones requests for clothing alterations.

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126 they needed anything to be altered, what it was, and when with sturdy leather straps that she carried with her daily. and put all of the orders neatly inside to keep track of them. bag. Lillian went nowhere without her work-bag. Once she arrived back at her house, she would an engraving of the letter W on the outside of it. Lillian rarely birthday, with hope that something would be inside. envelope over slowly, feeling the edges to see if something was actually inside. On the front of the glossy envelop Miss written neatly and stylishly in thick black ink. Lillian looked at the top left corner of the envelope to see whom the letter was from, but there was no return underneath the envelopes paper closure, ripping it open piece of cream-colored paper out of the envelope, unfolded it slowly, and began to read. Lillian read and reread her letter a dozen times, standing speechless in front of her red door that was slightly

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127 sewing room, and continued to reread her letter, pacing the contained two pairs of pants, a dress, and a thick coat and sat down at her stool. For once, she had no clothes in hand. and to her surprise, it was still there. Lillian picked up the letter, and headed out the door. outside so that she could show him the letter, but he was deserted as the train station. Lillian rounded the corner onto passed the Landscapers house, and then she saw the bank. Lillian walked cautiously into the front double doors of main room in which two secretary ladies sat willing to help hair was pulled on top of their heads in perfectly structured, with white contrasting pearls that hung from their ears and

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128 As Lillian walked through the doors, the ladies looked the bank. In fact, it did not seem like anyone had been to the bank in a while. A smile slid across both of the secretaries faces, and they spoke in unison. again. secretary with the black hair. Lillian could not help but notice walking slowly toward Roses seat. of typed paper with a bold, empty line at the bottom. Lillian hesitantly grabbed the piece of paper and sat down to sign it. Im sorry but I guess I dont understand why the where her signature should have gone. drawer packed with large envelops. bank. I have never taken any loans out, and I have never stored any money with you before. I dont even think I have was written in black script across the dark orange colored folder that lay on the polished wood counter. Well, even if I have an account, I dont think that there will be anything in her folder. As Rose was looking through the papers, she account at the bank by default, even if they have never

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129 visited the bank themselves. that it faced Lillian. Lillian grabbed it eagerly. order of Ms. Lillian A. Webber at your earliest convenience. understand it, but nothing like this had ever happened to thankful she would be. Lillian smiled as the breeze tussled her loosely same buildings that she had passed on the way to the bank. As she saw the other people that lived in the square, she realized that she was already two hours behind on her daily was going to separate her from completing her work. something seemed different. Lillian glanced back down everyone lived and what their occupation was. Lillian could see the very top of the bank. It stood a little higher than any seemed out of place. Lillian was half way down Baltic Boulevard when she began to hear someone a woman crying. As she walked looked over her right shoulder, starring directly at Pauls crouched over her knees, crying.

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130 ran to her side. arm tightly, looking right into her eyes. Joan looked up, trying to hold back her tears. scattered breaths broke up her words. I told the kids to go inside. And then I ran. I chased after him. But the police she feel back over her knees. I cant even pay the bail since located on the same corner that she had previously passed twice that day. of anything. blouse. policemen asked as Lillian approached the two men. Paul Wilson is an innocent man, one of the most interrupted as the policeman began to speak. the policeman, demanding an answer.

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131 heavily. grabbed a set of large, brass keys that were hanging from selected a single key from the large ring of keys that was Lillian heard a muddled conversation between two men as walked him out of the cell, down the hallway, and into the open area where Lillian stood. with the same smile on his face that he had every other day Lillian saw him. Where did you even get the money to had ever held anybody. Lillian walked into her house after a long dinner with to care much less about her work and much more about Paul and his safety. Lillian undid her pinned hair, letting her long, dark changed into her long sleeved, cream-colored nightgown and wrapped herself in a blue robe that tied tight at her waist. Lillian walked into the kitchen and made herself a

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132 cup of herbal tea, a tradition she had before she went to her stool and looking out her window at the crescent moon it this time, it didnt seem to shine as bright as it had every as he always was, wearing a black top he had and a black her brown boots that were peeking out from underneath the hand to Lillian and led her outside. eye contact. his eyes off Lillian as they walked down Baltic Boulevard. straight ahead, felt uncomfortable in the presence of the Lillian, in fact, had never had a serious conversation with any male besides Paul. dropped the Mayors hand suddenly and with force, changing stopped walking. afternoon. Winston, please, call me Winston. And Lillian. It was

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133 turning to look the Mayor in the eyes. As she looked at him, everything started to make sense. I know that you run this town like its your own little game, changing the lives of never raised her voice before, and she felt empowered by it. said, pausing again as he stepped towards Lillian. And what walked in toward Lillian, grabbing her hands again he looked into her eyes. Im in love with you, Lillian. I have been for a while. shoes. Beautiful shoes. Anything you need. Everything you quickly and nervously that Lillian could barely understand Boulevard to her small house that was masked by the nighttime. working at her stool like she had been every other day. Winston Lewis watched her sew at that stool every day for as long as he could remember. But today, she was not there. had the night before. But this time, Lillian did not answer. there was a white envelope that was sticking out of Lillians

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134 picked it up, wiping off the mud as he slid the letter from the envelope. Only two words were written on the piece of paper. I resign. she wouldnt be the last.

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135 Autumns Carpet Joel Dodge

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136 Starry Night Olivia Martinez in the sapphire and azure sky. illuminating the path for the gentle winds. dreams, sleep peacefully with the guardian watching over them. Just as Luna and her children watch over the world, Trees in Darkness Taylor Clock

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137 Checks and Balances Patricia Morrison It was spring time now. April, in fact. And the ground was soft and pliable against the bottom of Andrews shoes marble, others granite, but each had a name, and dates, and sometimes other names below it. And each one of them shone in the early morning sun. It was silent, save for a few cars coming down the gravel path and the reassuring shake of the breeze as it whispered its way through the trees. It wasnt an eerie silence. It was peaceful, and calming. If the setting hadnt been so depressing, Andrew might have even felt a bit refreshed and cheerful after the walk. But the nature of his visit wasnt a cheerful one, and so it repressed those feelings within him until it was a dull, throbbing sense of longing for the way it used to be. onto his knees. and set it on the ground in front of the stone before pressing a bit more give than the rest. When he found it, he nodded, and began to dig. as it fell into a pile on his left kept him calm, and made the should have been. But since this was one of the few times a as possible youve written to your dead best friend the past ten years, used his left hand to scrape away the remaining dirt and lift

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138 gotten when he was a sophomore. Before any of this had parts of his life, sealed in envelopes and addressed to his best friend. letter inside on top of the others, before replacing the lid and it with the soft soil, and started his walk back to his house. It was a long walk, yeah. But he hadnt driven a car in Dear Matt, mom. Its strange to think that its been ten years since that day. Or night, rather. I guess it doesnt matter anymore, really. I still dont really leave the house. Im too afraid of hurting anyone else. I did too much to your family, and honestly, I dont really think I remember how to drive anymore. So even if I wanted to, I dont think I would be able to go anywhere. I would rather stay home. That way I dont have to really worry about people staring at me. I dont like it when they stare. I know Im that guy who killed my best friend because Im an idiot, I dont need to be reminded by constant looks, you know? And your mom and her making me write checks once a week, thats enough of a reminder for me. Not that I think she didnt have a right to do that. It was actually nice of her, considering I deserved a lot more than that. But sometimes I wonder how worth it this all is. Like, I can barely get up in the morning any more. All I do is think about that night. I still have dreams, I still see the crash. I cant get it out of my head. Its been ten years, and its like it happened yesterday. It was a party. Obviously. All good things start at a was the weekend of graduation, and it was time to let go.

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139 address had been sent around the school, and the cars had Andrew and Matt had gotten there at seven, were handed two beers, and it went from there. good, and he went to grab them both more drinks. Matt was off talking to a girl he had liked for the past year, and yeah, it was a great time for him to be making a move since they were all leaving at the end of the summer. back, taking a sip of his beer as the girl kept talking to him. And, to his credit, Matt had seemed genuinely interested his shoulder to see if he could spot them, the pair had disappeared. fantastically and he didnt really care what was going to You know, I wish we hadnt gone to that party every single day, Matty. Or at least, I had a little bit more sense. I went there for two beers and a good time, and I woke up the next morning without a best friend. We would have been friends for twenty seven years this fall. Isnt that crazy? Twenty seven years. Its funny to think that our mothers shared a hospital room when we were born. Then your parents just happened to move in across the street. Its like we were destined to be friends or something. I would have known you as long as Ive known my parents, and that stupid old hag next door, Suzie Summers. Shes so bitter, its insane. And every time she sees my mother she tells her to lock me away in a home. I dont need

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140 to go to a home. Im not crazy. Shes the crazy one, that old bat. Shes the one that should be put in a home. Its like she thinks I need to be reminded that, not only did I kill my best friend. But I also killed the captain of the football team, the honor student, the one who was really going to make something out of himself someday. Make the town famous. You were the closest thing we had to a success story. And now youre gone. that Andrew had gotten behind the wheel of his dads new save their lives, and both were too focused on clutching at each other to keep themselves upright as they staggered to the car to even think about anything else. many people there. If someone had noticed, they hopefully wouldnt have let Andrew get behind the wheel. If anyone cared, they would have taken his keys and made him sleep on their lawn. You know, I wish people had cared enough to stop us. I mean, I had a lot of liquid courage in me, but I feel like if someone had told me it wasnt a good idea for me to drive, I might have listened. I dont even care that I didnt know whose house the party was at. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldnt have left. I would have called mom or something. She would have been fucking pissed at me because I had drank myself into oblivion, but she would have rather come and picked us up instead of what had actually happened. full of curves and hills and he could barely keep up. If Matt was scared, he wasnt showing it. Whether it be because his veins were full of alcohol or because he had complete, unadulterated trust in Andrew, Andrew wasnt sure. But he was driving and the windows were down and the road was empty and for some reason (probably his drunken stupor) he

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141 felt free. to steer them to the left, and there was the sound of wheels screeching, metal buckling, and glass breaking. And everything went black. But I guess I cant change it now, can I? No matter how desperately I want to. was confused and still really tired, and he had a massive headache. Probably from the alcohol he had consumed the night before. And then, fuck. Everything began to click into place in squealing then, her eyes opening to reveal red. As if she had been crying all night. answered. mother rushed in, ready to attack him if Matts dad hadnt been behind her to hold her back. Even then, he could barely You killed my baby! directly between Andrews eyes before collapsing back into her husbands chest, sobs wracking her body as tears streamed down her cheeks. You know what else I just realized? That all these letters sound the same. Its all bullshit apologies for things that I cant do anything about. Well, I guess the bullshit part

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142 isnt really true because I am sorry for what I did. I have to live with it every day, every hour, every minute and even when I think I can escape it, I know that I cant. Mom has pictures of the two of us all around the house. She says it helps her, but it just makes it worse for me. And its not like I can get a job. Im twenty seven years old and I dont drive. I know I should move past it, but I just cant do it. Im always going to be that guy that killed his best friend. Im always going to be that guy who drives drunk, and itll never go away. physical therapy, regular therapy and a funeral to worry himself to go. And then after that there was a rush of court cases prisoners. Apparently drunk driving and killing someone was was like a zoo animal. son after three years. Dad still walks on eggshells around me. Never comes into my room to talk to me or anything. I dont get it. Hes my fucking father for Gods sake. But sometimes he looks at me like he wants to say something, and then he just doesnt. Its like Im a time bomb, just waiting for someone to say something at set me off. Its not just him thats like that, though. Its a lot of people. Most everyone, actually. I think your mom is the only one who regularly asks me if Im alright. Not even my own mother checks on me. Its like, ever since I got home from prison, Im invisible in my own house. How sad is that?

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143 the driveway. a bit warm, and a bit strained, but it was still a smile. approved of what shes going to say, and youre going to all. Andrew slid onto the vinyl seat across from her, immediately picking up his fork and spinning it in his hands. Im sure youll want something good to eat after the said, putting his fork down as the waitress came over to take their order. again. nodded. me that theyre going to enforce my request so you might as eight hundred eighty-four dollars. But itll keep it fresh in your

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144 mind. What you did to my son. Its not too much to ask, is it? And I wont accept a check for the full amount. It has to be promise me youll go see my son at least once. I know you Sometimes I wish I died too. -Andrew.

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145 I never knew that Jesus preached so highly of become many. Our cafeteria would morph from mess hall, to gym, to auditorium, and back again each day. Loaves stretch of tar and paint served as our bartering center, walk to your appropriate class line, and wait, quietly, until this being said, but as for it actually happening With each sitting through forty minutes of the drivers favorite radio station and the guttural coughs of those who should have safety rail, my eyes watched my feet diligently, one velcroed Mary Jane in front of the other, until I safely reached the pavement. I was prone to clumsiness, feared falling, and took my time on the overly tall steps. When the black rubber soles of my uniform-approved shoes met asphalt, I took off, ripping the cobalt Mets binder from the depths of my backpack as I ran. I always wondered if our principal, Miss was kindly nicknamed, was aware of the POKEDAQ trades secret handshakes suspiciously them. I guess there are only so many ways to maneuver ten Thou Shall Not Run Marian Holmes

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146 shrieks of fan-girls idolizing this weeks frosted-tip musician. Apparently one night apart had brought this shattering and talent. the boy-band hottie twice our age. With the big news shared, we settled into the more purple no-uniform day!? Do you think Im too old to have my birthday party at Plaster Funcraft again? Parochial school meant having friends forty-minutes away; for many of us, the period between drop-off and morning prayer was our only time permitted to hang. Entering the building was a monotonous process. you were to follow it. I snaked through the halls; the walls were adorned with th the late-night work of parents trying too hard. 3A, Ms. Manzanos classroom, was toward the back of the west wing. I sighed as I entered; I hoped today wouldnt drag. Along the back wall of each classroom was a row of were to open yours and hang your coat and backpack inside; We were starved for unregulated movement as recess By grade we marched out onto the parking lot. 8A, never seemed fair that when 3A entered the paved-domain all the kickballs were taken. We learned to make do

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147 as well. itself, the faculty parking lot, and my personal favorite, a line of perfectly coiffed and useless squat shrubs, grown to mask our view of 25A, surrounded the square. Anyone older than by them, hoping to catch a glimpse of a cop stopping the speed-limit sinners barreling down the road. Besides the bushes, the convent provided the only interruption to the desolate scenery. A simple structure, off-white and ordinary, it sat upon a minimal patch of it was a coveted fantasy by all. In contrast, its surrounding mound. If you ran on the blacktop you faced the wrath of skin between slouched navy knee sock and appropriately For a chubby little girl I was impressive enough to be picked rather quickly in the formation of teams. I could sprint. was my forte after double-dutch, and I always raced to the knoll hoping that the older kids would let me play. From the outside we appeared a sea of uniformed bodies. Individuality swallowed by hunter green plaid. But tag brought out our personalities, and they clashed with an unapproved towards the blonde girl who had managed to capture me yesterday. I didnt know her name, but I hated her; I dont cunning, I didnt understand why an older girl would use the young as bait; I was tough, but I always played fair. I circled the human boundary she had crafted, singling in on any perceived weak links. A small boy stood

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148 wish to terrorize him; he was not my target. I wheeled around him, slowed my pace, and searched the crowd of navy pants for her end it once and for all. I was gaining ground, until I froze. I watched as she turned her head and sneered. on the back of my neck, primordial instincts that someone was approachingtoo close. I spun my head to view my she eyes squinted, mouth stiffened, forehead furrowed, in hatred. A search and rescue party formed, two lines of kamikaze recruits on a mission to free me. I watched as one for the others who were circling the perimeter, planning a blitz attack from behind. 1B never knew what hit him; slackened on my wrist, and I was free. I didnt look back. My eyes focused on nothing but the retreating, swinging ponytail of the girl I loathed. penchant for muttering out loud, I saw an older boy stare at me in bewilderment. Shes older. So shes taller, thus the advantage of longer limbs, meaning longer strides. Im going to need a downhill in order to get her. Pursing my lips I continued the plan internally, my calves carrying me steadily to the crest of the hill. I circled slightly, waiting.

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149 My arm lifted, my hand clenched. Lord, grant me the power to catch this girl head twisted towards me with such vigor that onlookers might have mistaken our game for a remake of The Exorcist ; gleamed with furious rage. For what seemed liked an entire minute, the schoolyard froze. she pushed it away with her free hand, and stared into the tempt me; she was staying caught, no apple would be bitten today. I turned my head to watch the progress of the game. with the back of my hand. A slug slowly skimming my veins, the trail of saliva left behind. It was the lightest of touches, she was gone. I looked down, the sun refracting off the freshly run in the convents direction. I couldnt move. I couldnt think. White-hot anger coursed through me; who licks their that of a serpent. I took off after her; the Lords name taken audibly in vain. Rounding the crest I saw her ponytail disappear over blacktop must be breached if I were ever to winWWJD? I darted over the invisible barrier, passing from lawn to pavement. Katherine was unmistakable. walked towards me, sensible shoes lightly crunching the gravel beneath her feet. It was over; the blacktop my Judas,

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150 my competitiveness the deadliest of kisses. I slumped in her direction, the weight of an invisible cross crushing my adrenaline. We met in the center of the schoolyard; I straightened my back and stood before her. Judgment day. inheriting skin which was both unappealing in color and short, fell awkwardly on the crown of her head, giving the her eyes; beady and dark, they stared into the heavens, perpetually. the pavement much appreciated how teachers seemed to ask questions you knew they had already determined an answer to. I attempted to respond out of fear and forced respect, but as I glanced up from the insightful study of my kneecaps, I couldnt help but wonder, yet again, what it was she was looking at. found it painstaking to glance anyway but up. I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, curious as to how my brain continued on while my body was scolded. Could she even see me? licked pointing, all the while, toward the convent in a desperate and followed my, or anyones, gestures of direction. not the heavens. Bu- I stammered. run listening, but nothing in her words could catch my attention, only her gaze. I snuck quick looks towards her face but her

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151 eyes never descended. I could back away and shed never me hed keep quiet about my stealth. Ship Luzmaria Cruz

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152 Bedtime Traveler Marisa Dupras his hand over the edge and feels blindly for the plates of MOM a toy robot claw. are blue and decorated with various posters that feature Out the window he sees his sister getting off the school bus and running into the house. familiar DeLorean. MOM before dinner.

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153 and outlines some buttons that look like they belong on Mommy, where did you hide the cookies? MOM MOM soon, chocolate chip, and you can have some after dinner. Wheres Katie? MOM

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154 MOM her. hit the fast-forward button, then the pause button. and sees that the arms arent moving. A batch of fresh cookies are on a plate on the counter, the mirror, still. face on the mirror.

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155 play button. Katies screaming stops. car bed is in the middle of the cafeteria but no one seems to see it but him. looks down at his mashed potatoes which dont look all that pudding. rewind.

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156 shoot it at the mirror. time. attempts to climb on top of it. saddle. Giddy-up! Americans. Whoaaaaa horsey.

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157 him, confused. they realize the gun had no effect. the arrows sticking into his mattress and yanks them out. plastic sword in front of the mirror. Ar, who be this scallywag? Get him. climb all over the place.

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158 Katie stands there for a moment. I know youre totally under the bed. under the bed. A digital panel says year 1505 and the day. Katie! Lemme out! A lass now?

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159 the pirates grab them. shakes the sea water off his hair and body. game! Its not a game its my time traveling car. Its some weird, pretend game and you should get rid of it! I thought you said it wasnt real.

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160 Well..I dont really know! Katie tries to stop him but he wrestles his way under the bed and disappears. MOM! 67 million years. are seven, large, green eggs inside. Katie emerges from the bed and runs after him. heavy eggs but cant. carry the egg out of the nest.

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161 Do you hear something? GROWL behind them. displayed. It eyes them like prey. breath. MOM the dinosaur egg behind his toy chest. Im not screaming Mommy. MOM I heard you. What have you got under the bed? MOM Were you guys pretending?

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162 furiously. MOM think youre a little too big for that bed. I saw this bigger bed in aI mean, Im not too big yet. smile. MOM Well...Okay then, I didnt realize you loved your bed that can both have one cookie now. Okay. Katie lets herself be dragged by the claw under the bed for time.

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163 Breakfree Marissa Pisicchio

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164 Bolt Shelby Coyle Even at birth, the child had a certain air about him. From the moment he entered the world, he commanded blue of most newborns, and he stared with great attention children, whose unceasing wails demanded attention, it was this childs silence that drew all eyes to him. As the midwife manipulation began. My, my, Lucretus, it seems as though your son has a short chuckle trailing behind. Lucretus turned, casting his gaze downward toward the host of the evenings events. Lord Parnell Breeze was a short man, and very plump. Lucretus had often thought the man more resembled a pumpkin than a man of stature, but he donned a smile and said, Im terribly sorry, old friend. Lucretus turned in the direction Parnell had waved his hand. A group of guests were gathered rather closely together, and he could hear their laughter from where he had always been a charmer. courteous smile on his face as he spoke contrasting with the the crowd with his words, a vision in navy, his gray eyes wide and his shoulder length hair tied back with a black bow, dark against the brown with which it was surrounded.

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165 some murmuring. Into the circle came Lucretus, standing gestured for his son to precede him back through the narrow pathway the crowd had created for his entrance. rose, stepping out of his small kingdom and back into the home of Lord Parnell. Lucretus followed. a remarkable resemblance to himself, though he had was tempered with a taste of disappointment, however, inherited some of her sense as well. and mind, and, though she had not physically been present at the party, he had carried her with him in both mind and wished to escape the Breeze manor early. Lucretus knew the midwife called it. It had been twenty-three years since his wife had last been with child and, though he would never insult her by saying such, she was no longer as youthful as returning to the present situation as the carriage lurched into wave of his white-gloved hand. I was merely entertaining always well appreciated. Lord Parnell could easily have taken offence at the disregard in which you turned yourself into a spectacle, at his

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166 he spoke. Lucretus frown deepened, a hint of anger coloring his Breeze family is above ours, and it was only by good fortune that Lord Parnell chose to take your upstaging in such good his event the other week. I had hoped that you would have Ah, but the Blaze family has always been old It was here the carriage stopped, and Lucretus let his sons last words fall into silence. stepped out, brushing phantom wrinkles from his tailcoat. Ever proper, he walked straight-backed toward his twostory manor, contenting himself for the moment with the knowledge that, despite his other habits, his son would not shame him further by slouching, even away from curious eyes. trimmings, though these were all bled of color in the cold moonlight. Large windows, curved on the top, would have advertised the wealth within as well as without had the miles between the manor and the nearest town or even night, was pitched and boasted three chimneys made of brick. mahogany, and stood nearly twice as tall as Lucretus and the frame, tapering off about half a foot in to leave the center, where a large stylized image of a thunderbolt

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167 of the Bolt family. home and he often caught his son admiring the carving of their family mark as well. Lucretus bit down a small smile, the twitching of his this mark his entire life emblazoned on the breast pocket of every tailcoat, stitched into the corner of each handkerchief, hand carved on the door of every carriage. When he had been young, the Bolt mark was ill-known, and the family however, Lucretus had done much to elevate their standing. it was a large step up from where they had been in his youth. he had instilled in his son and one reason his behavior was that could well harm Lucretus carefully placed allegiances among the higher families. to his side and was looking at him with a curious gleam in his eyes. Lucretus could not put a word to the look, but it gave him a peculiar feeling, one that he had become all too up to him one day with the same gleam in his eyes and had requested to know their standing among the other families. Lucretus had told him, of course, believing that his lectures the feeling away then, and he wished that he could have continued to do so. Father, I am sorry for tonight. I never meant to cause An apology. Lucretus had never before known his son to apologize. open the doors, stepping aside and gesturing his father through with a bow.

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168 Once inside, Lucretus led the way up the stairs to the study, stopping only once for his son to request his personal servant, Farron, to fetch them a bottle of wine. As they came to the study door, Lucretus cast a glance down the hallway. In the farthest room, he knew, his wanted to return to her as quickly as possible. Inside, the study was warm, lit by a newly crackling maroon of the walls. Lucretus walked around the large desk at the opposite end of the room and took a seat in the plush resting on one of the other two chairs in the room, staring speak. Please, why dont we wait for the wine? A drink will this. Apologies did not come easily to any in this family, and Lucretus took time during this stillness to study of the armchair, straight backed and unmoving. And yet he seemed quite at ease. him. remained sitting, and from where he was, the elder Bolt could not see who held the tray. hands, and the fuss brought a scowl to Lucretus face.

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169 thirteen; he had thought that having a servant of the same over the years he had come to regret his decision. Farron had proven himself to be an incompetent, and a thief as well, though whenever Lucretus had tried to get his son to see what his servant was up to, the boy continued to turn understand years ago, though he still held a deep disdain for the childhood gift. closed the door on himself and the house beyond, Lucretus were customarily brought on. glasses. Lucretus reached out and accepted his offering. crossed his legs and brought up the drink. nod as he toasted. And then he drank. swallowed down the wine. stared at Lucretus. wine on himself when he felt his throat constrict, as though under great emotion. blocking it. It did not help.

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170 Lucretus wheezed, clawing at his chest and throat, vision grew dim and a deep blackness crept in from the sides. laboring heart ever could.

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171 These Things Take Time Emily Tran

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172 Masturbation up anonymity and guilty pleasure. Like endless skin crawlers, Pouring out the hole. Grounded like a broken plane-out of gas. A fugue cloud over the marriage bed, Familiarity is a smell warm and stale and comforting (Ants crawling) A phantom phallus. Across my upper lip, As my hips rise. Wet patches on the back of my hand, It is enough, at 2 am.

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173 from every direction as angry drivers attempt to make it to least 3 are already chipped. Amelia hits the steering wheel, giving an evil eye to any driver who looks at her the wrong way. youre all on your way to workAmelia, clearly aggravated by her commute, talks to the radio as if Ryan can hear her. AMELIA information other than the results of a fucking singing competition. Amelia holds the steering wheel with one hand and her Business Casual Jessica Salamone

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174 AMELIA I dont understand Porn Industry But I could search the web for it. AMELIA in your address book. by that name? AMELIA Fucking technology. comes to a complete halt, she lays her head on the steering than 2010. building.

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175 AMELIA Marco looks up from his phone, with a conniving smirk and scoffs. AMELIA Marco points to the elevator on the opposite side of the lobby and looks back down at his phone. Amelia turns hesitantly to walk away and then stops and turns back to the desk. AMELIA never really been a fan. Are there stairs anywhere nearby? Amelia enters the hallway heels in hand, through the stairway doors, panting heavily and wiping the sweat off her forehead. Amelia looks into the plate glass windowed room at 6 people surrounding a conference table. Amelia takes a deep breath and enters the room. Everyones eyes immediately meet Amelia at the door.

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176 Agency. Fitted perfectly into a Kiton K-5 suit, he stands tall and with a full head of perfectly gelled dark hair. was talking about. Intern number 5 is here. AMELIA announcements about the delays on 106.7 and I-have already wasted 40 minutes, sit down. Amelia looks down at her feet and walks to an empty seat to sit down. And theres another one of my pet peeves demonstrated by...(referring to his intern roster) Ms. Gregson, is it? Amelia makes eye contact with Kyle and nods. heard every line in the book, so for future reference, dont waste my fucking time with your reasons of failure. the company dictator. Amelia continues to look down at the paperwork layed in front of her. As I was saying before Amelia here honored us with her the kids play-

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177 too afraid of him to question his reference. where all the kids kill each other and the alive one wins? (under his breath) the assholes who act in them. It doesnt fucking matter. What matters is that you all only one of you will win. At the end of the program I will be choosing one of you to stay on staff, the rest of you can go back to whatever the fuck you do with your time and hope that theres not too long a line at local welfare Amelia scans the room, almost as if to evaluate her chances their eyes. short bob, the sharp angles accentuating the severity of her and her glare is cold. If you dont know something right now, you better learn it for one of you. My assistant Marco will bring you all to your

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178 for one. Five desks circle the perimeter of the small area. standing. through the intern guidebook and then start the client week. Amelia peers at each desk, clearly trying to pick the one throughout the room. Amelia sits in between Eric and Kelsey. Marco turns to walk out and then pauses, turning back towards the interns. out of here with much of your sanity or morals in who works hardest and cries the least will have a permanent in here. Ive been through it and I can phone away from his ear. (to Kyle) I am on my way right now, sir. interns all sit shocked.

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179 Kyle hangs up and Marco takes the phone away from his deep breath and turns to leave. An awkward silence lingers in the room. Well guys... Im here to win these hunger games and marry Peeta so consider yourselves warned. to face the wall of her cubicle. know each other, shall we!? Im Eric! GREG Greg. in contributing to the friendly conversation. Im Kelsey. AMELIA Amelia! I was impressed! As soon as he to the ground or run out crying. AMELIA Which is probably the effect he has on most people.

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180 AMELIA I may or may not have blacked out from sheer through! I only live 30 minutes away! I think youre the only person Ive ever met who AMELIA In the background you see Diane peering back and forth entertained look on her face. AMELIA hour early for any meeting will be considered late. Diane looks up with a look on her face that indicates she light-hearted conversation. (a beat) from actually getting work done.

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181 Diane turns back to her desk and continues typing up her notes. Amelia...and then Marco? I dontKelsey pauses like shes about to cry. -I dont think I can handle being yelled at like that. Amelia and Eric both look at each other with the same up with red pen occupies the passenger seat. years as a DJ I have never gotten the privilege of breaking the news of a bath salt fueled star! Walking Dead for a two episode arc. Amelia snaps out of her daze and the raises the volume as soon as she hears the agency mentioned.

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182 tweet to his followers today praising his friend for getting him more bath salts and said get off your tweeters, be a 5 points for creativity? deskI can hear a string of seven deadly words leaving his mouth already.

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183 Christopher Winifred Decker Nutrition Facts (more like health risks) Amount (in Days) % Life Value Calories ~400 Fat 375 1,000% Fights 350g 900% Breaks 25g 100% Cholesterol 100g (enough for heart attack) Sodium Carbohydrate 30g 25% Protein Vitamin A (Affection) 50% Vitamin C Vitamin E (Ecstasy) 100% (well, it was good) Calcium 10% Iron 50% the amount of personal vendettas you have against A love/hate friendship for a few years. Junior year. A very bad decision resulting in a drunken hookup. Avoiding one another for several days. Drinking heavily the another drunken hookup. argument of validity of friendship. Realization that drunken hookups are enjoyable Agreement to continue doing so. Of course, the development of feelings follows. Denial amounts of jealousy used against one another. A breakup that lasts a week. A heated confrontation followed by the

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184 sober hookup. Another month of the break-ups and rejections date Fights over feelings that lead to plenty of tears. awkward world. A second date. Attempting to abstain from one another (more denial follows). Mug night and more drunken fun. A third date. Friends attempt to be Oprah and Dr. Phil. More denial. A fourth homes only once. Senior year. denial hearts ache. A acceptance. A sixth real Cheating. Fights. Break up; followed closely by a drunken hookup. A three month hiatus of avoiding one another, which can get pretty awkward at work An attempt kiss blonde too.

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185 Unclaimed Pane Nathan Valeksa

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186 Closest K.M. Alleena Bodies are what we leave behind as we close our eyes. I want to be with that one with whom Id give anything to fall asleep by. While our souls slow dance in spaces far above the clouds, our hands are entwinedin silent sleeping hair in halos on each pillow. our own; we revel in what solace we sharecontent to close the distance, even while dreaming.

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187 My Brain has a Pen Patrick Donohue Fuck I hate writing poetry. I do this cause I been berated with people saying they know literature from whenever cool all sorts of ways. In my formative years was sheltered, but encouraged and going into detail will be a whole other story. Ive woken up almost every day the past 4 (3 1/2 so far) worth it. bullshit degree to go along with the bullshit college. Wonder how long it will take for elders to look at their watch, whistle and nod absently when talking to a young adult about college plans. labor as a teenager, dont think the degree is going to go as good as planned. I need another beerholy shit Im drunk. If I die today my headstone should read year old

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188 The Haunted Jessica Washak remarked one fateful Friday night. me out of my house and into the vibrant world. Always, she failed. What can I say? I like the world Ive created for myself within my own four walls. I shot her a wide smile from where I lounged on a recently purchased burgundy velvet chaise. I quite like the the vast array of refurbished antique furniture and the gilded The Nightmare hoping to avoid the typical Friday night lecture on lifestyle choices. there more times than I could count. I saw every single performance. Deep down I know that youve got a weakness for Indie bands, no matter how hard you push for old school Goth.

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189 and her eyes glistened with unshed emotion. Dont you after all. Damn. I made a point of sitting up on the chaise, a pupil rising in preparation for a teachers spiel. Dont you ever think of how different your life could be? For Gods sake, Adrian, youve got a small fortune from your writing career and youre only 23. I can understand how you would want to publish all of your work under a pseudonym and refuse interviews, but do you really need to shut yourself all up in this little fortress? What about all of our dreams? Freshman year of college, we must have come up with a thousand things that we wanted to do when we had to think of a time when I hadnt been writing. Its like I still cant get rid of him, even though its been so I stared at her, surprised. Mallory never asked to stay in with me. I had assumed that my large brick colonial gave her the chills. Its an odd house, too old and wise for some to handle. Of course you can Interview with the Vampire is on

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190 found myself grinning foolishly. For all that I liked to pretend that I was well enough on my own, it was more than nice to have good company again. Rising, I strode over to the far corner of the living room and slid the double doors of the cabinet that housed all anchors took on when they knew that they held a lot of reason for this. As I listened, the anchorman said, In other news, reports that the last time she saw Mr. Deboro, he was highly emotionally compromised, going as far as to break up with her out of the blue and request that she never contact him album, which was scheduled to be released in December of this year, is entitled From This Place Amid the panic surrounding Deboros disappearance, the only song that has from its intense glow. shook my head and returned my attention to the television set. Micas absence. woman, who Mal and I had pieced together was Linda, it seems to me unlikely that fowl play was involved. All of

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191 the characteristics presented hint that Mr. Deboro probably doesnt mean, however, that no one should be worried about symptom of depression or suicidal thoughts. I would urge station, what could possibly be the last song ever recorded is entitled As We Know It that I hadnt heard in years came on, it hit me square in the chest. Mallory was wrong. Mica had used the song, the one over me in a dizzying wave that heightened as I recognized contribution to the song. Micas tenor voice rang out clearly, a recognizable note of melancholy to it. Well they say its a cold world, full done. I fainted. From that night, I dont remember much more. Mallory must have picked me upwhich is surprising, because Id clearly gained a few pounds since Id moved into my current house and become fond of culinary creations and taken me to my bed. Bonus points to her for being able It said a lot of her character that she chose to do so. It was obvious that I only had one true friend left. With that one friend I sat at my kitchen table the chocolate chip pancakes I had whipped up. I wanted to speak of serious things, but found myself unable to diverge the conversation away from the weather. We were so busy rang out suddenly, both of us dropped our forks on our plates with a resounding clatter.

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192 Mal looked inquisitively at me from across the table. I dont mean to be rude, but I didnt think that you really got I dont know why it upset me so much that Mallory was only speaking the truth. I had sealed myself away. I had chosen to lose touch with 99.9 percent of my old friends and acquaintances. With eerie unison, we stood, friends on a mission, and headed out of the kitchen. We slowed upon reaching the living room, uncertain. At times like this, I really wished that I had a peephole. What if its a murderer? Or worse, a door to door with Mal, after all. I took several steps forward, arm outstretched, and yanked open the door so hard that I nearly fell into a heap on that it was heavy it really didnt need to be yanked like that. Quickly, I regained composure and shifted my Instantly, I felt that I had been cheated. Anticlimactically, an older man stood quietly on my door step, his hands clasped anything. I tossed a look back at Mal; the mind reader that she was, she rolled her eyes at me. to keep the snippiness out of my voice, but I undoubtedly failed. I wanted to get back to my kitchen table and talk more with Mal before I had my one hundredth mental breakdown. Frowning down at me, for the man was very tall, he to travel toward apprehension. My visitors face was weathered in a way that I had

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193 he leaned forward a tad too much and as a result had the stooped look of someone who had spent years toiling away. I froze, nausea gurgling in the pit of my stomach. Mica, Mica, Mica. What was up with this? I hadnt heard from the boy in years and now he was all of a sudden back his weathered features became youthful again. think that any female would deny a relationship with a rockstar. Im talking about Mica Deboro, who you apparently believe that you spoke to Mica Deboro, even if he and Adrian did date in high school? Any good snoop would have been attention shifted to Mallory, pointedly glaring. But none of mentally ill. take with you or how you go about doing it, but you need I reclined heavily against the door frame, suddenly in need of support. If what the man said was true, I was seeing

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194 and his mother had moved to Philadelphia for what was our freshman year of high school, they had been missing this man, the father of the family unit. It had taken me a while to get a straight answer as to why this was, but it turned out to be that Micas father, whose name was Brad, was a deserter. quitter. From what I could gather from Mica, when his father went off of active duty, he came away with more damage than the bullet hole in his torso. checking up on Mica. In all of this time I had never once found any site or blog that had accurately reported the name when the right words desert a writer. Brad Deboro shook his head sadly. Id help you if I knew anything, but to tell you the truth, you probably knew my son better in one month than I have or will in one white porch. When Mallory shouted at him to stop and come back, he ignored her. Brad didnt even turn his face in response. With determined strides, he disappeared down the crumbling sidewalk, the last breeze of summer giving way to autumn. Ah. A million dollar question, if I had ever heard one. I shrugged and gazed away from Mals face. Instead back.

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195 Ok, maybe I should have asked where. Where are wavering with the full impact of disbelief. are I crossed my arms stubbornly and shook my head. then continued, I know that you still love him, even though would be in danger of caving in if I looked for too long. Quickly, I whirled around to look out the window, my back to my best friend. Im glad that youre over it. But it doesnt seem so fortunes young; you had your writing and Mica landed a suffer, saying nothing at all for several minutes. grown to like it? Would it have prevented him from cheating of yourself. As for the cheating, I know that you believe that Mica slept with Rosie, but you never actually confronted him. I nodded, resting my head in my cupped hand and gazing sightlessly out the window.

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196 Mallory got up from the table and moved so that with uneasiness. Morality Chamber Zachary Wilson

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197 Isolation Shelby Coyle was leaning against the arm of the couch and, though her position was rather uncomfortable, she did not move. heartbeats in the house belonged to the cats and the dog. elsewhere. At last the girl moved. It was not much, but it was outside. offered little protection against the brilliant light. things that moved. other colors as well. Reds and blues were scattered about, busily picking at the ground. Browns and grays attempted to mingle and were promptly sent away. Black statutes dotted the green, sitting on branches where they could observe uninterrupted. It was a nice day for the birds. interrupt the ticking away of time. clock for company. Isolated. But she had gone anyway, gone to her friend in an attempt to make things better. And now she was locked

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198 some time. could sit out there, with the birds, watching them peck at the here. In her own skin. someone would take notice of her gone and the animals were each in their own secluded hiding places, well away from her. But what could she At last the girl moved, unable to remain still for any scrapping them across her skin in an attempt to relieve her pain.

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199 Pin-up Joel Dodge

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200 Umbra Dylan Woods faint rustling noise, as if the trees were whispering to each other, sharing timeless secrets. sat down on two separate logs, each on opposite sides of as though the heavens would give him a topic that could began. Ryan merely grunted a sound of acknowledgment years since his mother had died in a car accident. Joseph had managed to mostly recover and reintegrate into life, but Ryanit was like his mind stopped but his body kept going. school he would go into his room and refuse to come out for anything other than meals or to use the bathroom. After Joseph had recovered and truly noticed how affected Ryan had taken him to movies, amusement parks, anything that Josephs last hope. A shooting star hurled itself across the night sky, only visible for a fraction of a second before being replaced by the dark abyss of space. back at the sky in time to see another shooting star, followed quickly by another. Looks like theres a meteor shower

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201 Joseph sat there for a moment, the occasional pop of Without lifting his eyes, Ryan said, Im beginning to forget what she looked like. It seems like every day, my he buried his face into his arms. opening the wallet and pulling out a small photograph. in a green silk dress which matched her bright, almost wore smiles on their faces that showed how truly happy they were smiling for each other. Ryan stared at the picture, a look of melancholic prom. Ive kept it in my wallet ever since. I want you to have decades-old photograph. It was strange seeing his parents so young, like a window into the past. Ryan looked almost strong-willed and truly intelligent, and she loved you more than life itself. I never saw her happier than the day you Ryans eyes began to water, the tears blurring the lacking any distinctive features.

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202 that prom, then making love to her by the light of the moon. remembered the day Ryan was born, the incessant, nonstop crying and the unrestrained love. was mocking him. Joseph fought back tears. In an effort to regain control of himself, he stood up and walked to his backpack two skewers and a bag of marshmallows. Ryan smiled, wiped the tears from his eyes, and roasted marshmallows with his father. melting and falling off of the skewer before he had the make it through his share with no casualties. Once the buffet was over, Ryan stood. I need to use Joseph chuckled. Dont go too far. Its easy to get Ryan nodded and walked into the shadowy mass of willow trees, leaving the bright, protective circle of the accustomed to the lack of light, he walked on until he found a spot with the perfect balance of distance and privacy, close It almost seemed as though a gigantic, black blanket reached the moon, turning the once white orb to a pale and

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203 black now, the only light being the stained glow of the dying moon. Ryan dropped his eyes and looked around in a panic, realizing that there was no longer the bright haven of the for his father, but the words caught in his throat, choking eternal dance. Ryan ran as fast as he could, not caring where he ended up. As he ran, he noticed the shadows of the trees darkening, almost lifting off the ground, becoming solid, living creatures way out of the never-ending prison of willow trees. looked down. A shadow was slowly twisting its way up his leg, like a tongue savoring the last few licks of its favorite snack. Ryan tried to pull his leg away, but it was held tight. More shadows caught once more, forming a lump in his throat. Ryan looked up, not wanting to see the living shadows overtake him. It was then that he saw it, the true nightmare. A creature, vaguely humanoid, stood not three feet away. It had no face, but Ryan felt the predatory, hungry stare, and he knew it was smiling. It was made of darkness, shadows bleeding off of it and drifting into the dead sky. than emit a glow, however, the darkness seemed to grow thicker around this creature, as if the little light remaining grew sick in its presence. squeezed, slowly and painfully. Ryan tried to breathe, but

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204 left the creature in front of him. It began to shake, as if it an empty, black abyss. But he knew, could feel, that it was smiling at him. Is this what my son becomes? I cant believe it. was going on? what if it was? What if this was how his mother would feel looking at him now? What if he had failed her? What if he wasnt the son she had wanted? and more by the second. Ryan opened his mouth in one last, otiose attempt to draw breath. Before he could even apart from the inside. the invisible wind, their leaves silent as the dead. Joseph was wondering what was taking Ryan so long. should have been back by now. Joseph lifted himself off of the log and had begun walking in the direction Ryan had gone when he heard a twig

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205 Left. Behind. Left. Right. louder by the second, chaotic, ominous, terrifying. sudden silence was overwhelming, and Joseph was thrown Josephs face, leaving a trail of salty water in its wake. It with the back of his hand and went back to staring into the darkness. Dad? Was that Ryan? It sounded like Ryan, but something was off. Dad, where are you? Im scared, please, Dad where are you? damned if he did nothing while his son was running through pierce the absolute black surrounding the campsite. Ryan? Joseph saw a shape in the darkness. A small shape. One of a boy about thirteen. It looked like Ryan. It looked stepped toward the shape, but something stopped him from crossing the threshold into the darkness. Dad? of light. Dad, where are you, I cant see you, please, Im scared shoulders up and arms crossed in front of his chest.

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206 surrounding trees for any sign of his father. of the light, or lack thereof, but it almost seemed like the boys shape was bleeding into the sky. PleaseIm scared Joseph reached out to touch his son. replaced once more by the twisting, complete darkness. whatever was holding it would not let go. What felt like millions of serrated knives were tearing their way over and across his arm, digging deep into the bone, down into the could, but there was no one around to hear him. get out of the darkness before it pulled him in completely. only loose dirt and small pebbles which he threw into the a moment. Joseph fell backwards, narrowly avoiding the painful. It felt as though termites had taken refuge in his arm and were eating it from the inside out, chewing and gnawing empty scars, as if the wounds had been cauterized already. A human bone. Another shot out of the darkness, followed by another, making small, hollow noises when they hit one another.

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207 Finally, a skull shot from the darkness in front of him, landing almost gracefully on top. Its hollow eye sockets stared at him, begging for help, for mercy. A cold numbness worked its way through Josephs It was a picture of a young couple; a boy with short, blonde hair in a suit and tie, and a girl with bright green eyes and a matching dress. Both were smiling as though they were the happiest people in the world. Keene Valley, NY Taylor Clock

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208 Heart on a Chain Shelby Coyle It was dark. It was always dark where this creature the water gave off. something that could pass for a cat. At one point she had only a dull, worn version of that shade. It was obvious that time had left her worse for wear. together on her head, her tail, a shoulder, side, and leg. It was clear that half of her tail and one of her paws had been cheek and a terrifying gash splitting her throat. Both had been stitched back together, though cotton still hung from her neck. One of her ears was long since gone, and stuck through the other was a needle and a dangling bit of black thread. Just in case. Just in case. embrace her. vision. One stuffed paw reached out and wrapped around With but one broken wail, she raised the scissors high and plunged them deep into her chest. the amount of fabric ripped or the amount of cotton spilled. beneath.

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209 weapon, she neatly threaded a long piece of her black her new pendant over her head. that she would wear her heart on a chain to remind the world she had one. Ontario Taylor Clock

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210 Hospital Bracelet Miranda Smith rooms were all kept crisp and cool. In one of the many rooms sat a blonde who stared blandly at the doctor who sat across from her, she completely ignored the nurse who was right size. It was a familiar scene for the blonde. looking at Lilys parents. Dr. Wright nodded his head and looked down at the progression of the disease. In fact, thats why I want to check me Dr. Right, she thought. machine read one-forty-one over ninety and Dr. Wright frowned when the nurse read it out to him. Ill raise her prescription to twenty milligrams of out his prescription pad from his pocket. Despite her hypertension, I would say her PKD is well controlled. they knew, damn it! microcysts spleen shows any signs of enlargement then she would l need a spleen guard. thing out, she thought and looked back down into her lap at the hospital bracelet that adorned her wrist. It bore the name that she felt was too loaded for someone so young, something great from her. Lily, your father and I are going with your doctor to

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211 Lily lifted her head and nodded in response. Once they all left, Lily ripped off the mandatory bandage from having blood work done earlier that day soon enough. gone. It could be anywhere between twenty minutes to close Where the hell did they get off! anger, and she walked blindly until she came across an however, she was emotionally spent. It seemed that all her she never had the time or opportunity to make friends. and she covered her face with her hands at the realization. own life that was a wholly different thing. from yelling at Dr. Wright and her parents, to running away and possibly even taking her life. If she took her life Lily it when she was left alone. Pills were always left out, nurses and doctors got careless. It would not be hard, and Dr. Right she shook her head at those horrible thoughts. acted like it did not concern her. It was how she coped. Even

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212 now no sobs passed her lips, but the tears did leak out of her eyes. All she wanted at the moment was to disappear from the world. temporarily then forced her to lift her head up and open her boys nose crinkled up when he saw her bloodshot eyes. Lily sat up on the couch, embarrassed to be caught rubbed away her tears. not to want candy. Lily stared at the boy for a moment, unsure of how spoke as if it was the most obvious notion, and there was no way his brother could be wrong. but then an idea occurred to him and he looked up in

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213 time following him; there was no way in hell she was going to readily take orders from a little boy or allow him to make a fool out of her. without a doubt, Lilys age or older. little too long. over stupid things. she had tears form in her eyes. Lily could not remember the last time she had laughed like this, or if she ever had. Luke, who had been laughing too, spoke up. Dont Lily looked down at the hospital bracelet and altogether. Luke smirked. A regular, huh? Its the same deal for

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214 glaring at his brother. on her feet, and turned back toward the door to make her escape. and pulled her towards Lukes bed. Dont leave! Arent we adults, whom Lily guessed to be their parents, walked in with bags of take out. he had been caught red handed. ground. then she began to unpack the bags. After a moments hesitation Lily shook his hand and slightly unsteady. Was this how most families were? Or were they atypical while hers were normal ? family was close and the banter they engaged in sounded parents. ing and have a bite to eat. We always end up ordering far too

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215 asked before taking a bite of his food. which is usually true with hospitals in bigger cities. Do you mean it is summer vacation, but I will be starting once I get ever mother offering him some fries. at a slow pace, not wanting to return to the seclusion. By pace as they all walked through the hospital and towards three weekswhat could be so bad that he had to stay here continuously for so long? came to the hospital once or twice a month for a few hours, few times when she was younger and had become severely dehydrated due to her condition. It was never more than away from their sickly child.

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216 almost unwillingly, remembering how her parents had always approaching and summer would soon be over. whatever her father had been saying at the time. mother in the eye. Lily, lets not get into this now. Why dont you let your not know any better she would have thought he was being diplomatic, but she was being dismissed. Why not? I want to make friends and have fun. I want A life? We are trying to save your life and give you an the various people who were starting to take notice of the dysfunctional family. Lily shoved her fathers hand off her shoulder. Why the hell not? I certainly dont care what people think, but its obvious you do. Is that why you dont let me go to school? Lily stared at her mother for a second, taking in her Im not saying anything, but we knew she had to Lily tuned them out, knowing that they would be at it part, forgot Lily was there and they continued their walk out

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217 of the hospital. On the way out Lily put her head down and read the hospital bracelet that bore her name, Audrianna Lilith Hawkins she spun the bracelet around her wrist thoughtfully. Lily smiled. Paris Guardian Nick Graziano

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218 Garden of Solitude Raymond Dale But the thought of you does not wither nor fade. I hide from your very sight, And yet I feel your warmth even when Im alone at night. And yet, Im met with a silently spoken, but sharply felt no. Even in famines black garden, I am but the one righteous white rose that for you, dares grow, Blooming with unrequited lust and desire. And destroy it without even a subtle frown. Rid this world of a garden of solitude, And I promise that all Ill show is my sincere gratitude, For a solitary rose has to reason to grow, If its love, you refuse to know.

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219 Frost to the Abandoned Child Shelby Coyle Let me take your hand I hope you understand Far from this distant land Let me turn the page Dont let your spirit rage As it comes down from above And know the name of love Where the cold shall fear to tread Do not fear the dead

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220 Its dark color is a lot like night. Maybe thats why I drink covers. Like a safety blanket, nothing bad can happen while you sleep. gave it to me with a bedtime story. I spit it out then, wondering why it tasted so strange. I dont really remember when the taste began to soothe me. Ive always told people it was an acquired taste. same grandmother gave me a green one, covered in brown on my eighteenth. After that, I had a new favorite mug, of course. I believe to me then. We had been married for almost a year. bed. My husband died of a heart attack several years ago. last cup. Reading the Leaves Winifred Decker

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221 Reprise Joel Dodge

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222 Stars Shelby Coyle because each one belongs to a different person and houses Momma and the teachers say that theyre little suns, and are because theyre dreams. And dreams are what keep people the little pinpoints of far off wishes could still be seen in patches. Every star is a dream and when someone dreams was whispering now, looking back at his daughter, the real magic happens when a dream becomes reality. When that broadly at her father. believes in their dreams enough to make it real, others will have the courage to dream themselves. And maybe theyll each star and try to help people feel the magic and wonder

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223 her father had never lied to her, and she didnt much like the him? her a quick kiss on the forehead. Its time for you to sleep turned off the bedside light and navigated his way to the other end of the room, easing the door shut behind him. stared up at the stars that shone in the few patches of clear sky. into the darkness. Im gonna be smart and famous and the something far better.

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224 really listened to his long rants anyway, not fully at least. I suppose I should have paid attention to that. Maybe he didnt know completely unreadable. We went for a walk at midnight, barefoot. I realized the campus was truly beautiful when no people were around. realized I was being stupid and laughed at myself. I must have looked crazy. But, surprising me, he laughed along with me. I realized I can actually see stars out by the lagoon. And happy. by from what Ive described as the best date I ever had. Perfect. My friends made crude remarks when I came home rather weird, but I liked it. Even my roommate Lily laughed the day I had to wear a scarf to work. No, he isnt a vampire, his impending violin concert, winking at the end of it. Liar. change, either. me up, promised to go to church with me and never showed. high. My eyes are searching, searching his entire face to make sure Im not missing anything. But, of course I am. Im missing everything. Last Kiss Winifred Decker

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225 cuddler. steps. It was impossible to reign him in when he went crazy another drag on his weed. It smelled bad and he knew I like the taste of his breath. I didnt like that I had to be the was the last time I slept there; the last time hed kissed me.

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226 Holy Dick and Child Emily Tran

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were nice people