“Watering roses is a lazy job no Caucasian would ever stoop to,” Harold announced. He was the least qualified man on the planet to preach on lazy. I could beat him digging a tree planting hole, teaspoon to shovel. His height and stride mirrored the Frankenstein monster. I'd never met a Mexican in person.

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So, our conversation encompassed a myriad of topics: music, art, nature, why humans are nearsighted and stupid (despite his species affiliation), Why chocolate, wine and cigarettes are the most important contributions humanity has given earth, and ultimately, poetry.

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But something about the way that cigarette hit, the way the Shiraz tasted, the rainfall outside on the Sitka spruces, and she could see it all again – the weave of her hoodie, the silhouette of a tiger disappearing into the first snows of late November.

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On Sputnik’s launch date, October 4, 1957, Uncle Theo’s body was found in the East River off the Greenpoint Piers. Had he jumped or been dumped off one of them?

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She was born with wings, but no knowledge of flying. Her parents never commented. Maybe they didn’t notice, since at first the wings were more like nubs or odd bumps, and anyway, they were often too busy with the drama of the day’s many logjams and potholes to notice much but each other’s inadequacies.

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I thought that I was running but actually I was leaning, creeping at most, without direction, following instinct, reacting to what threatened me, to the strange and sudden difference which had come without forewarning 

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He doesn’t to seduce me anymore, caress me, kiss me, say sweet things. He just spoons me a bit then pulls my panties aside and slides himself into me.  After a few months of me asking him to take his time with me, he started sleeping in his office.

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When the gods returned, government pretended to be afraid. One ballot replaced another. Transcendence among reptilians voted authority, under the influence. Terrorists at Homeland Security kept shopping.

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If Mother Nature be my mother, I say I wish myself to have been immaculate—no mother like that for me! I say she is an enemy, not a mother. I say it is she who cast the first stone—the first among many!

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“I can’t be a lovelorn ghost,” said Diane, musing aloud, “One of those forlorn, romantic yearners. I don’t think anyone really loved me, and though I was often obsessed, desperate, and too willing to debase myself, I’m not sure I ever truly loved any man.”

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Billy Luck’s bones rearranged themselves on the bus headed out of Gibsonton for the Tampa train station. He looked out the window, away from his trailer, all rusted, awnin torn, bricks holdin down tarp over a portion of the roof, lookin like other junkyard leftovers from his carnival days.

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You tell yourself that you’re not fragile, or if you are, you’re fragile like a bomb, because you hear the timer ticking inside you, clicking like teeth, the cadence a little too precise and insistent...

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Snow grooming can have negative effects.  So can the snow packing that goes along with it.  Compacting the snow reduces permeability and the water holding capacity of the slopes.  Heat flow rates and the length of snow retention can increase.

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I decided to make it my life’s mission to heal the ugly racial split that, like a jagged, infected wound, divides our country and planet. As a white male, I had the power to do so by impregnating as many women of color as possible, helping to create a new, post-racial America, a post-racial world.

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I filled in the articles on incorporation, listing myself as sole director, and stated that Regis Treadwell, Inc.’s purpose was the production of ironic, hipster comments. After I paid the hundred-dollar filing fee, it was official. I had become a corporation.

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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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