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They Also Serve Who Only Stand and WaitI don't know when we first went underground. I don't even know if it was one mass exodus, a swarm of mankind trickling through the earth's crust so vehement we carved our own caverns by the force of trampling feet, or whether it was a gradual process, perhaps even a repetitive one, a family here, a neighborhood there. For all I know, the echo of the damp subterranean machine has always reverberated off the cave walls, created long past by the Angels, who think of our well-being even while they shake their heads helplessly at our flaws.
They say that those who remained on the surface were raptured away in a great flash of light, like a millio
The Doppelganger 2The book still sings to me, and that's when I pull it from under my bed and stroke the cover. But I never open it, because I know what happens if I do it wrong. It's still blank; but only of ink. I know the secret, you see. It's how I understand the songs, and know the melodies it echoes up to me, through time. There are impressions hidden in the pages- spilled mead and raucous laughter, summer sunshine and frost on dead leaves. The last time I tried feeling them from start to finish, I passed out from the sheer weight of knowledge, and it left my brain scrambled for ages.
I found out things about my past and my family's past. I have Irish o
The Substitution ParadigmThe Substitution Paradigm
Ramu came up to our table. Glaring at me, he said, “You either order something or get out.”
I glanced away from the threat, and turned to Raghav. A single drop of sweat was running down his brow. Ramu saw that too and identifying his prey, he sprung.
Swinging around, he faced Raghav, “Order something or get out.”
Then Ramu just stood there. It was not as if we had rehearsed it before hand, but he knew. He knew that my co-occupants generally folded in the first round. Only the stout made it to second level, but they too buckled under Ramu’s relentless gaze.
I always had a policy of n
of the ground-
It was Sunday night when Geo climbed into my room from the fire escape. I was painting my toenails and listening to the sounds of the city: police sirens, pulsating bass, the kids in my tenement running guitar riffs back and forth with the street musicians on the sidewalk. That was the year I turned sixteen and took a two-month vow of silence to honor the death of autumn. A premature snow had robbed the season of its delicate warmth and color, forcing the maples to weep their leaves into the gutters. All that rainwater, all that decay. How could anyone create when October was dying outside their windows? Pete and Jake practiced acoustic th
The Order of Sublime Simulacra Kamon woke to the sound of bells and saws. The ceremony must have started hours ago; there was invigorating yellow sunlight outside the gauzy curtains. Kamon's Self was intoning eight o'clock, eight o'clock with all the insistence of a song looping in his head.
Flesh brain, he thought, you should have caught that alarm. Sometimes the flesh was louder than the devices supposed to make it properly quiet. The flesh insisted on the persistence of the Real. This was exactly the type of lesson that the brothers were supposed to learn, and Kamon hoped that relaying to the abbot how thoroughly he had learned it might lighten the inevitable punishm
Tonight is different.
Genevieve pauses, staring as layers of fog encroach forward. The ominous mist slinks onward only to settle against her taunt muscles. Vapor coils along her skin like venom; tangible and prickling.
She allows her lungs timid inhales of February. Every breath sparks artic shockwaves throughout her nervous system Glacial streaks start to sprout within her tissues, ever-so-silent and sickening. She slows, listening to iced-oxygen hardening between blood cells.
The cold feels like boulders in my lungs.
Genevieve feels so unexpectedly heavy in her skin. Wadi
the Chandler's Around the WayThe hose slipped out again. Chan cursed, and shoved it back into the incision he'd made, adjusted his mask, and bent over the pump. He yanked the cord, and the pump started to life with a cough of biodiesel. It bounced on the sand as it grumbled away. Chan kept one hand on it and held the hose in place with the other.
If fucking Fathers would spend the bone on a new one, I wouldn't be all night at this, Chan grumbled. He ached for a smoke, but didn't have the hands to spare. Plenty of hands here, he thought as he glanced at the riverbank. Some of them even had a pulse.
"Hey," he said to whoever was closest.
It was a sunbather. A walker who drew enough bone to slot time on the beach without having to fight for it. She had each arm draped around a man, both of them tattooed in the same place with the same sigil. Chan was jealous. Someday he'd have his own numbers, but they'd be women. All of them. He was old-fashioned like that.
The walker answered without raising her sungl
Flights of Fancy Nature is best seen through a window. Cars are nice, but televisions give a better view. The important thing is to keep a window, any window, between you and wilderness. This is my strictest maxim, a rule of comfort I put aside only once, years ago. I spend most of my life expressing shock when friends say they're going on a hike or planning to camp out.
It took two hours for Leon to convince me to accompany him on a short ride to the hills. I thought it would be safe. Leon was a good friend. Though he knew that particular day was my day to hit the mall and hang out with the gi
Russian RouletteThey take her on her honeymoon.
The wedding was lovely, or as lovely as it could have been with a couple that were more polite acquaintances than anything else and two sets of in-laws as stuffy as a dusty pile of money. They grab her when she sneaks out for a walk one night, two men, beefy, not even bothered to arm themselves. Her last thought before the bag is shoved over her eyes is to wonder how much this would ruin her parents' plans.
She comes to in a small brick room on a sallow mattress, windowless and lit by a cool yellow lamp. There's a man there, standing just outside the barred door.
"Kelly Shale," he says, voice nasally, greasy
Christmas on the Border of England and Over ThereIt's snowing on Christmas Eve, and half the men I've ever known in my life are dead. But that was in the war, supposedly a long way away from Oxfordshire, where I am standing outside my brother-in-law's beautiful brownstone house watching the snow quietly cover the hillside beyond. The daylight is dying and it casts the once-white ground in pink, and the pine trees are black against the hillsides, and the truth of it is that the war is not far away because it has followed me here. I am smoking a cigarette, watching the hill, and my mind is slowly counting down the list of men that I once knew, now buried under hills and snow, all of the way f
The IdolI once saw a man on the television who was so afraid of fruits that when presented with a bowl of them, he fled the stage, knocking over the host and several other guests. Though I openly pitied the man for his obvious malady of the mind, inside, the small bit of sadism buried within all humans laughed at his bizarre affliction. How can one not find cruel amusement in the cowering of a grown man who has been confronted by nothing more than a bowl of peaches? But now I understand fear like no other. I now no longer find amusement in the terror of others, no matter how illogical.
Now, let me tell you the story of why the sound of wind whis
Queen of GeeksUnexpected end to kidnapping case
[Sunnyvale Tribune 23 Feb 2007]
In an unexpected development, police have closed the case against the kidnapper of twenty year old Nicole Cantrip. 'The circumstances surrounding Miss Cantrip's alleged disappearance have become clearer,' Inspector Frank Jones told the Tribune, 'and it's come to light that the case was filed in error. There is no evidence whatsoever that a kidnapping took place.' Since Cantrip is over eighteen, the applicable missing person legislation is almost non-existent, much to the dismay of her mother.
'Something has gone horribly wrong when a girl can be forced away from her family b
In the morning, the postman comes around seven. Maggie would give her usual warning gruff from her spot on the rug, her head raised, her ears perked. When the mail car sputtered away, Maggie would bring herself to rise slowly and pad to the window where she'd probe the glass curiously with her nose. Seeing nothing, she would return to her well-worn spot and drop like a sack of mail.
Every day, a little death
Every death, a little day
There came a time where I realized I couldn't see the curiosity in Maggie's eyes. Sure, she'd sniff around the yard excitedly, or wag her tail when we went to the park, but the way she looked at
The BenchThere's a bench in the park that I never sit on. It sits tucked away, separate from the rest, coddled by the arms of a great old oak tree. Or beech. Or chestnut. Or something. Behind the tree curves the grey concrete of a 1970s flowerbed. Filled with the wax yellow and red of begonias in the summer, the flimsy flickers of pansies in the winter.
I come to the park every day. Sometimes I sit and eat my lunch, freed from the mire of the joyless office box I inhabit for 40 hours a week. Sometimes I walk around, following the tarmac tracks without thought or hope or desire.
Today is no special day. Its grey. One of those British days of murk. It
Gnome Noir "I did it for the money and I did it for the girl.
Well, I didn't get the money and I didn't get the girl."
:: Walter Neff - Double Indemnity
So I point the flintlock at the guy and that's no easy thing, big musket like that on a little gnome like me and I peer down the sight. Not many people know what it's like to stare at a man through a glass. But in those sacred moments, the whole world takes a breath and it's just you and him. I line up the shot, and I think about the girl, and--
What? That is the start. What do you want, Sheriff, my life story?
Alright, well, I'm Gniles Brody the Third that's
Burned on the Fourth of July
I know who I am, but who are you?
You're not looking like you used to
-No Doubt, "Sunday Morning"
Monty stepped through the gate out of his yard, to find a middle-aged Hispanic man warming up a grill.
"How are you not hot?" he said, and took a swig of his beer.
"'Hi Hector, how are you doin'?" said the chef sardonically. "'Mind if I join your little barbecue?' 'Oh, no problem, neighbour. Did you bring any chips or anything?'"
Monty stepped back through the connecting gate, reached down, and returned with a cooler. "Yep," said he, with a grin. "Or anything."
After much consideration, Hector decided to forgive his neighbour. Perhaps the
I keep playing your part
But it's not my scene
Won't this plot not twist?
I've had enough mystery.
-Jack Johnson - Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
The water cut out about halfway through her shampooing.
"Great," Anisa growled. "Marcie, the pipes are acting up again! Ow-and now I got shampoo in my eyes!"
Indeed she had. In fact, the black suds had run down her short, straight hair, covering her eyes. Curiously, instead of thinning as they did, they actually seemed to become thicker, if less sudsy.
Anisa, eyes closed, stepped out of the shower.
"I should stop buying things just 'cause they have good commercials. 'Emulsive polymer micropartic
Every Angel Deserves a Child"I can't feel the unfurling of my wings, Daddy."
I was not her father. I had entered her life when she was two years old, and she called me Daddy since she never knew her real father. Her mother's death two years ago made me the sole, living parent of an eleven-year-old, and I never felt like I was the right person for the job.
"What do you mean, Asrin?"
"Mom always said that when puberty started I would be the swan that emerged from the ugly duckling. She said I would be able to fly gracefully towards my dreams. But, I don't feel it."
As much of a woman as she was becoming, she was still a child. I wanted to answer her question, but I really had a hard time discussing her blossoming womanhood in the middle of a laundromat. Her pretty eyes were pleading with me, but I told her we'd talk later.
Janet had told Asrin a lot of things before she succumbed to the cancer. The last week or so of Janet's life were morphine-induced fantasy, I think.
Janet and I had met during c
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More