Decay Dan was about to put his arm around Arnie’s shoulder but retracted the motion.  “It’s the decay, boy.  Don’t worry.  It’s not you, it’s the garbage of disease.  She’s scared, that’s all.”

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The cardboard sign read “You’ve got the Pot, I’ve got the Pan!” I smiled when I saw it—my dad would have thought it was funny. Taking out one of my earbuds, I stepped closer to the homeless guy who sat on the low wall separating the high school’s lawn from the dirty sidewalk.

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"Captain Finn has his eye on you. Henceforward, your work will be supervised by Rank Two Officer Deft, the promising young woman who recommended your posting. You would do well to follow her example, just as she has followed her mother, a decorated officer from the Great Sucrose War."

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The EMTs stopped dead in their tracks and stared at the patient on the inclined gurney, one open-mouthed, the other squinting. We darted to each side of him as the EMTs moved. His blue eyes appeared alert despite the blood in them and the purple ringing them. 

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These may be dark times, but look on the bright side—the effervescent bubbles are beginning to lift our convalescent outlooks and are uniting everyone—even Death Row and Puff Daddy, which has been sponsored by Schweppes’ parent company, Dr. Pepper.

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“I’m not voting for that man, so you can save your breath.” Then noticing John, she said, “Your little boy is cute, dear.”  Looking back up at Elise, she went out in a rising voice, “I’m not voting for that Commie pinko liberal.”

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the third memory is the ornate barge with tattooed sail and straining oars that bear the summoned from the quayside across the strait beyond the evening-chill of eternal night where there is only the stiffening of fingers and the slowing of blood in tired veins…

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Orphanages only protect children until they’re eighteen. They call it “aging out.” If you haven’t been adopted by then, ready, or not, you have to hit the streets—no place to call home—nothing and nobody to fall back on.

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Leaving the dance floor drenched but not dripping, breathless but not panting, hot but not fevered, enveloped in a glow of live atoms, they joined others outside on the steps, where discussions of politics and personality and miscellanea held sway.

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“Time Travel.  Don’t ask me how; I never read that Stephen Hawking book, but it’s the only explanation that makes sense.  Something to do with wormholes I’m sure.  We first noticed the changes Friday night, which makes sense.  That’s when politicians always try to dump their bad news.”

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“And,” Melody continued, “To emphasise the fun message, from now on you’ll wear a tiara to work. Our previous admin person wore it one day for a laugh and she’s kindly left it for you.” She held out a sparkly plastic tiara. “Isn’t it awesome?” she giggled. “Would you like to try it on?”

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You should never make the heightening of your powers obvious or visible. Just pretend to be your normal self, whilst going about your business. All violations will result in the removal of the micro-chip, with no time off given for withdrawal effects.

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Just to be moving, I get to my feet, walk over to the sink, and throw up. I turn on the faucet and splash a handful of water across my face. A sudden sense of dread crawls along my spine. I let my left hand drop to the .45 strapped to my leg.

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A man stopped at the light: “Why do you hate them all?”
The organizer said, “Some are corrupt, some quietly complicit. Both are bad.”
Three minutes later: “Why don’t you care about law and order?”

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What I should have emailed him back was that Norman Mailer, who ought to know, says, “There are four stages of marriage, first the romance, then the marriage itself, then children, then the divorce without which no man can truly understand a woman.” What I should have said to him was … a thing like this is hard on everyone involved.

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There was no getting around it. Everyone was old. The gay writing group, Chicago Scribes, had started in 1980 and was now the oldest, continuously running gay workshop and publishing outlet in the country.

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Jaley was silent. For a moment, Cynth thought she had lost her caller, and, therefore, the entire gimmick—and Jaley's punishment for being twenty-one, skinny, and fuckable—but she could see the line was still live.

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"He'd offer a night with her to any man who'd stake him," the Painter resumed, "or, if it had come his turn to match a raise and be was light, he would ask Jake the dealer how much he would stake him to for a piece of his old lady."

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It seemed better not to say I ended up with nearly nothing after the ’08 crash. But the reality was that he couldn’t afford the home she owned. That wasn’t something he would willingly admit. Best not to talk about the wife or the children, either, since none of that was happy conversation.

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“I got lost a few times trying to find the place,” it was a lie. I’d stood outside the main gates smoking and pacing back and forth, reading graffiti on brick walls for over forty-five minutes before I’d finally entered the small clinical hospital.

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She unlocks it, enters the room, and after soothing the woman by telling her that she has been sent by her husband, leans to whisper her true identity in the woman's ear and shoots her in the temple. One bullet, execution style.

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The warden’s eyes darted between the man strapped in the chair and a mirror that took most of one wall, which he and everyone else knew was not really a mirror, but it acted as mirrors do and therefore presented a reflection.

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What would you do if I told you there was a city, once upon a time, where the lake is? That city was once very much alive, you know, and teeming with people…and I know, because I was one of them.

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It was a dark and stormy noon. Lightning struck the front door. It flamed and crumbled to ash. In he walked. He towered, he stuck out his lower lip, he reached out a surprisingly small hand with gilt fingertips. His blond pompadour obscured his eyes.

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I know the names Nelson gives me. Sissy, crybaby, freak, chicken, retard. To a twelve-year-old’s mind, these words are knives waiting to be taken from whatever dark drawer in which they live.

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It won’t go away; just yesterday the lobotomy became an semi-elected surgery.  I read it in Life.  Did I tell you Life is the only secular magazine the sisters will subscribe to?  Someday I’d like to be on the cover of Life.  I confess, it’s just another wandering thought.

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The house was still crawling with bodies, most of them drunk or high or both, some brimming with a dogged lust. A couple freaks had crashed the party and were being tolerated on account of the fact that they'd come bearing weed.

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The train rattled on and they sometimes looked out of their windows. And sometimes they would see themselves and sometimes they would see themselves looking at themselves at themselves.

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Thomas Bulfinch, whose collections of ancient myths remained the popular standard in the United States for more than a century until the 1942 publication of Edith Hamilton’s Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, was an anti-homosexual activist as well as a lifelong bachelor. Was he in fact a closeted gay man who sought to hide behind a door of homophobic zeal?

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He sat and he watched the news, its vulpine vulgarity and shouting enough to make anyone feel that inward anger, the kind housed sometimes in the arms, sometimes the head, sometimes both.

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So here I was in a grubby med-center with at least a season ending injury, probably a career sign off, with no ideas for the future. I didn’t have a nest egg. I never managed to save, despite a meager life style. I was an ancient journeyman in a young profession, without name or fame that could be traded in for civilian security.

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“In that silent spooky-looky sort of way you have. You’re going to write about my affair with that film producer, aren’t you? And all those actresses. You’re going to plunder the stories I’ve told you about my life to turn into fiction.”

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Almost all the birds dreaded leaving Canada to fly across America this year.  The cold-loving northern cardinals and the blue jays hovered near the suet, relieved they wouldn’t be making the long journey.

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When Adam comes into the office no one talks to him, even though he's the boss.  They watch him, surreptitiously from the corners of their eyes as if expecting to see him unzip his pants and urinate on the carpet.

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The priest receives them (over) heartily and offers them food and warmth. When they get inside the high-arched candle-lit room, the priest turns into a witch and nails the little girl to the wall.

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Stratemeyer hired generations of hacks.  They wrote under pseudonyms known to millions of children.  The kids pictured these authors’ handsome faces, imagined their happy, fulfilled lives.  The pseudonyms weren’t pen-names.  Those are for individuals.  What Stratemeyer pioneered was the house name.

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You are not even an insect evading a predator. Instead, you sit on the floor breathing, because really there is no choice in this life but to allow air in and out of your lungs thousands of times an hour.

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I am a ghost in your world. I have no memory, no definable past. All my potential futures will become manifest.

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I hesitated, these guys had reputations, and I'd almost gone to jail with them before behind some failed purse snatching caper, and, there was Skillet, one of his eyes glared straight at me, the other one gazed above my head.

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