“PRO-T-EN Industries guarantees a place for everyone. We offer vocational conditioning, career planning, health and wellness services. And, we are proven to be the top Corporation when it comes to helping its employees pay off their birth-debt in a timely manner...

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last night I saw you plunge from the top of the cliff into the ocean. you were wearing your blond wig, when you emerged from the water not a hair was out of place.

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A fairy godmother gives you wishes, you ask for a dress.  A fish prince gives you wishes, you ask for a sausage.  When someone offers us infinity we can’t imagine what we’d do with it.  All we would ask – a walk in the dark.

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The other day a woman was pulled from the canal unconscious and not breathing. That’s when I realized I should have done something sooner – hanged myself from a ceiling hook or bitten down on the muzzle of a gun.

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Flora choked on her coffee and set the cup back down. “You mean these files we’re going over are about people who haven’t had an accident…yet?”

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I set candles for points and poured out a pentagram. There was usually a sacrifice. I had some leftover Popeye’s chicken, so I set the box in the center. In movies, the teenagers who inadvertently summon demons are usually drunk. I hadn’t taken my meds yet. That was the best I could do.

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Thomas glared at his wife as she wiped the ketchup from TR’s face. She had been something to look at when Thomas was finishing his MBA, but she had let herself become frumpy and soft since the kids were born. She wore jeans and an oversized sweatshirt while Thomas’ appearance remained immaculate.

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A vacant lot was packed with trucks. A sign nearby said: Slow down: Excessive speed could lead to the use of excessive force.

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Despondent about the Earth’s ecological state, Arthur Quisling, a fifty-two-year-old scientist with an Einstein-like appearance and a green spacesuit, entered his six-by-eight, pyramid-shaped Dimensional Flier. His solar-powered yellow ship, which was capable of elongating and navigating through celestial holes, was preparing for its launch.

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As head cheerleader, Felicity chose and sculpted her people with the meticulous care of a diamond cutter. The Squad represented Norman High’s crème-de-la-crème, gorgeous and stylish, yet loyal and obedient. And Felicity’s boyfriend was a high school demigod – the preternaturally handsome captain of the football team.

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Without warning, the truck sped up and drove intentionally a few feet to the right, into the deepest puddles, and the massive tires sent waves crashing over him, pounding him like surf, forcing water into his mouth, eyes, ears, and nose.

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I knew you’d never go to the pub with the rest of them when the grave diggers started shovel the earth back over him. Murmuring voices withdrew slowly, shadow like, their work was done, a grey black fluid mass that moved towards the pub. That’s why I went to your house. I wanted to see you broken, undone, alone.

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This is daylight robbery, I thought grimly. I hated bullying of any kind, and threw the door open: “How dare you kick my door like that? You’ll break it.”

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Nora heard Larissa as from a distance. “We are never alone,” she mumbled. “But Larissa, we are. It’s the nature of life, this loneliness. Kurt Cobain, David Foster Wallace, Primo Levi, suicides. All the suicides.”

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And now there’s a blur on the sidewalk in front of Robby, peripheral movement that he doesn’t even have time to think of as car door opening, though he knows exactly how much it will hurt if he runs into it. He veers away from the swinging door. His body tenses. The board tilts.

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We laugh and we laugh and we laugh. It’s the only way we can breathe anymore.

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A country where citizens gun each other down in the street, in libraries and concerts and theaters – that’s anarchy. Children are slaughtered? Anarchy. It happens and laws don’t change, minds don’t change, nothing changes? Anarchy.

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I don’t think I’m a slut, but I don’t understand the rules. I don’t know who invented them or where they’re written. Probably they’re in the Bible, so they probably come from God or Jesus or whoever—but if so, I’m not sure why they should pertain to me or why they suddenly pertain to everyone else.

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Krachan wake up read a nice Joyce. KRAKEN Wake up. rejoice. Keret KENWAKEUPREADGOYCE.
At this point in the convo finnigan aka FINNEGOOM went back to sleep. Slooming into the sweet gloomish oobloovioom.

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He turned to Tomomi said, "Put on some water," in a friendly, almost conspiratorial way, although it was an order. She smiled cheerfully, nodded as if she had shared the order and went back inside.

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We were allowed to sit in the whirlpool for fifteen minutes. No one knew how long she stayed, but it was estimated she was in there for at least two hours. She’d gone home. That’s where I found her at first thinking she was asleep on the bed. She wasn’t asleep.

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"I scheduled you for a 'Wow!' class today at two O’clock. They have new videos on how to interact with the customer and push for more Wow! Cards. We have to educate the customer about the rewards and benefits."

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Don’t get me wrong. I’ve never been that person who’d do anything to get ahead. I have principles. Everyone knows I have principles. And I stick to them, even when it’s hard.

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Besides, he thinks, changing your name legally to “Spider-Man” is stupid. Spider-Man is a popular character consumed by the masses for no good reason and to no good end. There is nothing special, risky or meaningful about such a move.

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His mother let him out of the car and he raced inside. It was time for Yogi Bear. As the sky darkened, he watched Yogi Bear, he watched Pixie and Dixie and he watched Huckleberry Hound. The cartoon characters and their ironic dilemmas confounded him.

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“An inmate has escaped.  Her name is Medea Stavropoulos.  She’s a thirty year old woman of medium height, slight build with very short brown hair.  We consider her extremely dangerous.  She was sentenced to life without parole in this institution for butchering her husband and a woman while they were still alive and then feeding the body parts to stray dogs in the city.”

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Unlikely Stories turned 20 years old on July 1, 2018. The 20th Anniversary Issue was released on July 4, 2018 and included more than a hundred authors and artists.

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Hands entangled in Mother’s hair, I had pulled her head back and exposed her throat to the sun. Suddenly many figures emerged in the dream, confrontations in a wooden booth.

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Which is why I’ve kept my secret cold.  Blank. Unforgiving. When I’m out walking it calls to me.  Sounding high and strained. As if a string instrument gone out of tune. Something to reach toward.  Frayed yet determined.  It eats to my bone working its way beyond.

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You’re stretched out over a motel mattress staring up into a chip of neon that streaks the ceiling, its light bleeding in through a gap in the curtains.  You hear voices, low and disinterested, which could be coming from the next room, from the t.v. at the foot of the bed.

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The shop’s walls are covered with colorful stencils. The choices are many: I could get words, abstract patterns, images of figures, or drawings of mythical beasts scored beneath my skin. But I want the devil’s head with its tongue hanging out.

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War Orphans float above a wheeled apparatus, waves jig-sawed out of fiberboard, of plywood, like chicken fingers. Chuk-chuk-chuk the dead one’s stick-like legs, their click-clack hair ties and criss-cross neckerchiefs, their soft napes. Their shades slide down, and with soft darts assail the chorus. Slap by slap they say: I see you, see you, see you, slap.

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There was also some weird thrill — “thrill” is probably too strong a word — that Sam couldn’t articulate, but that nonetheless played around the edges of all this, and that was this affair was at least a distraction from the soul-draining boredom of living on a desolate planet.

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When she awoke the next morning, one of the butterflies told her that her name was Walter Woo. You must be joking, she remembered thinking as she reached down and checked her engine. No extra parts.

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I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs. Everything became blurred. Men in dark glasses stopped anyone from leaving the building who displayed the willful expression of a would-be martyr. All I was trying to do was go home.

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I felt myself bound to humanity, bound in haziness and ambiguity. I asked what will come of it, a voice answered nothing ever comes of it, and so I asked what can I know with certainty.

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Most people you forget, but some you choose to no longer recognize. If chance had brought Em and me face-to-face on Worth Avenue, I would have steered around her and kept going.

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Our friend Jeffrey has traveled to many cities: Cucamonga. Bentonville. Portsmouth. Providence. In each city he has gotten on his knees. He has prayed to the local god or goddess. In Newark he spoke to Sarah Vaughn in a cocktail lounge and to Allen Ginsberg floating high above the Jewish cemetery next to the traffic jam. Getting the okay from Allen and Sarah, he renamed the airport so we can fly into Allen Ginsberg. Then he flew into Louis Armstrong and learned how to second line.

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