Friday, August 8, 2014

2 minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. Every Friday we do a fun free-write. 

You can write whatever you want in the comments section on this blog post. You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play. 

It's all a scam. It's fixed, rigged. Hell the rigging is so complicated a sailor couldn't figure that shit out. It's all about backhand deals made in soundproofed offices. It's manipulation. You make the laws and then exploit them. Since only you understand them, since you tied those loopholes tight - fuck a sailor. 

It's gotta be strange. I don't think I'd feel right about it. Sure, it's legal. And legality ain't my trip, but it's hurtful. That's the part that would get me. It hurts other people. People who can't get a decent night's sleep because they can't put the bills away. They float in the miasma of insomnia. They'll sleep a little, sure. And it will be worse than if they'd never slept at all.

I bet it's easier to sleep in those soundproofed offices.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next Friday. 

90 comments:

  1. Just writing. Writing for the man. Dan, that is.

    Today I feel stressed but still at ease. The windows are open but there's no breeze - only that coming from the oscillating fan. It's been a day of sorts filled with lurgi and ague and various kinds of ailments involving the alimentary canal. Fortunately I've side-stepped the plague bullet and only suffered a flesh wound: somebody has to be up and about to tend to the sick and feed the animals, eh?

    But I digress, I've come to accomodate my writing habit now. The dreams are back after a long vacation and the words are flowing like any suitable fluid of low viscosity. I may not pull out a Pulitzer-worthy piece of prose every time but at least my mind and my hands are doing the do.

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    1. Ace. Viscosity is important. You gotta keep those fingers working nice. I like this glimpse into process, thought. Well in, Mark.

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    2. Just getting warmed up, Dan.

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  2. Love that. Love miasma of insomnia. Had to do mine earlier since I'm busy at lunch. down to 3 minutes! I know, that's not 2. I'll get there...

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  3. The needle pierced her skin. She yanked the scarf free of her arm with her teeth. Pressure filled her vein. Her head lolled back and a whimper slipped from her lips.

    That’s the shit. Yeah. That’s it.

    “Sister?” A tap on the door.

    Her heart leapt and she ripped the syringe from her arm. “I’ll be right there.”

    “You’re late. Again. I’m going to have to report this to Mother Superior.”

    “No, please. I’m almost ready.” She shoved the needle, spoon, and lighter into the drawer of her meager bedside table and hung the scarf on a hook. She rubbed her hands to steady them. Adrenaline from the interruption? Anticipation of the amazing high she’d been missing for so many months? No matter. She couldn’t help herself. No amount of prayer, of chastity, of hiding from her reality would ever quell the need, ever suppress the appetite.

    She wiped at her naked eyes and tucked a stray hair under her cap. Next time she got a day pass, she’d palm a damn mirror.

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    1. "She wiped at her naked eyes" - beautiful. This is a great piece. I love weird juxtapositional explorations. A junkie nun. That's a book I'd like to read.

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    2. Strangely real. Well observed and realised. Excellent.

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    3. Forgive me father for it has been two months since my last fix. Bam! Way to take the shock value up a notch, all the time keeping it real.

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    4. Sweet! Thanks :). I figure the story should be called "Nun's Habit" - LOL

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    5. Oh, this is sooo gooooood. Mmm...

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  4. The cow's actinic eye glared balefully at him as he rolled beneath it, trying to dodge its restless feet, their chrome and titanium hooves sparking against the dark of the pen. Damn, there had to be a better way than this to get Ambrosia. A safer way, at least.

    LeVarr struggled to right himself, dodging and twisting to sight the gate. The only chance he had of getting away. Hugging his warm liter jug of fluid to his chest, he writhed free and through, the gate swinging shut behind him with a clang.

    Now he only had to get past the electric geese and he was home and free!

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    1. This is such a cool piece, brother. It's like sci-fi animal farm. Absolutely love it.

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    2. I've often wondered 'Do electric geese dream of androids?'

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    3. lol. I had a VERY similar thought.

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    4. Warm liter jug of fluid. I had this thought it was about animal husbandry, and a whole liter? Damn, that's one virile creature....

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    5. It's amazing what you can do with selective breeding, steroids and genetically modified cattle strains!

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  5. New job, new office, and working late into the night. The glass and chrome in the elevator made him afraid he'd leave fingerprints on the buttons. He pressed G for ground. He was proud of what he'd accomplished in the last year.Right after the red numbers showed 42, the elevator car came to a screeching halt and the lights went out.
    Dammit.
    He felt the light touch of a pickpocket of some skill on his chest, trying to find his wallet.
    Strange thing, though; he was the only one on the elevator.

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    1. Like something from the twilight zone. I love this!

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    2. Agreed. This is wonderful and creepy. I actually have goosebumps and it's not cold.

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    3. Attention grabbing spookiness.

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    4. Totally creepy. The kind of thing your mind tricks you into thinking when you're alone. Someone writing about it amplifies the eerie factor.

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  6. Don't give me that side-glancing lance of a look, I didn't earn it. Don't say shit you don't mean, I'm undeserving. You look at me and you see tall. You see long legs and you see tits and you might look at my face. I'll look down at the strands of hair swept across your bald pate and smile. We judge. Both of us.

    But I'll win. It's not fair, but that doesn't matter. I'll take everything I can take because you took everything from me, leaving only this. And you expect me to be grateful for it. I'd rather burn my face with acid. I'd rather live in a colony of blind lepers.

    I'll wear my heels and smile and you'll say shit you think I won't understand. You'll talk over me, through me. Don't worry. It'll all work out. You'll learn why they're called stiletto heels.

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    1. Vengeance Wears Prada, quick order a cover for this novel. It is screaming pulp fiction, in a good way.

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    2. That would be kind of a cool novel. Hmmm.

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    3. Fuck yeah! I think you wrote that from MY perspective. Wanna see my stilettos? (sorry, that wasn't meant to be as creepy as it came out)

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    4. Late as usual, but I wanna see Julie's stilettos!

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  7. Cutting.

    Sitting with her sleeves up, sliding the razor's edge across her forearm, enjoying the tug of the blade as it sawed back and forth. To and fro. Stirring the down of the hair there as it dragged along over it, the pressure intensifying as she gave the cut-throat more weight.

    It was a dark night outside, just the stars and the moon lighting her room. Downstairs her dad was probably asleep, passed out in front of the telly, surrounded by the dead bodies of three or four six-packs. If Jayne was lucky, it'd be more and he'd not wake until the sun came up again: stamping up the wooden stairs to her room and demanding that she get up immediately and make his breakfast. Or feel the bite of his belt.

    But if she was unlucky, he'd wake up in the small hours, alone and feeling his grief again. And then when he pulled his belt out from its loops, she'd be afraid for another reason.

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    1. Dark, realistic, and disturbing. A well drawn tragic scene.

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    2. This is a powerful piece, brother. Sad and ugly because it's true. Which makes it beautiful.

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  8. Sam exhaled slowly, held his breath, and squeezed the trigger between heart beats. “Fourteen of fifteen. Excellent shooting Captain,” said the computerized Range Master program. Sam chuckled before responding, “Please recheck score, one of those rounds passed through the same hole as a previous shot.”

    “Checking...Verified double hit, new score is fifteen of fifteen. Please confirm you are not a robot.”

    This was the messy part, humans rarely scored above 85%, but robot controlled weapons rarely scored less. To override the anti-cheating algorithms built into the automatic scoring program, one needed to prove they were a human marksman and hadn't simply used an automatic computer controlled weapon. According to Asimov's first law of Robotics, a robot could not harm a human being. Sam chambered a single round in his weapon and looked down range at his fellow officers.

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    1. I love this. So ambiguous and you're pulled straight into an alternate reality

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    2. This is a fucking awesome piece. Absolutely brilliant, Ed. Part of me wants more and part of me thinks this is flash at it's best and should stay that way.

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    3. I agree with JD, if you leave it there, each reader gets a chance to explore how dark they want to go considering his next move.

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    4. Agreeing with the smart people. ;)

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  9. Angelina puffed her cheeks up large, like a food-carrying hamster. Nine candles this year. She was such a big girl now.

    Lilly smiled as her girl blew out a huge breath, slobber and drool showering across the candles and the icing. Damn, if the puffing didn't put those candles out, the showering certainly would. She stepped back from the table as Angie's parents moved in closer again, flanking her on either side, wanting to make sure no-one got hurt when she got to wield the family heirloom cake-knife: solid silver and at least as heavy as a candlestick.

    Lily smiled again, her face shadowed and her lips now tightly pressed against each other. She looked blank for a moment, pulled in a deep breath and then left, not to return until next year.

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    1. Charming piece, like a family photograph in prose.

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    2. Only, Aunt Lilly is more than just an Aunt... ;-)

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    3. This is a dope piece. Ambiguity is hard to pull off, but there is a sense of unease in this piece that is very evocative.

      And now I don't want to eat birthday cake ever again. ;)

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    4. Yes, Aunt Lily is Angelina's momma. That's my guess. It was sublte, but there. Nicely done, had to read the second paragraph twice to be sure, which is good. One of those, did I read that right? moments.

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  10. Lester clicked the remote on mute, then surfed the channels from his Lazy Boy.

    “Can’t run a cigarette ad anymore. No way, but beer and liquor? Nine outa ten you see somebody’s pourin’ it down your throat.”

    Francie went about dusting around him. It was easier to let him rant and rave than put in her two cents. Once he told her what he thought of her two cents. “Both ain’t worth a wooden Lincoln.”

    “Backslidin’ sinners,” Lester continued. “Drunks worshippin’ at the beer-stained altar where weak-minded losers sacrifice theirselves. Dazed, peanut-poppin’, suds-guzzlin’ copouts. Ain’t no wonder society’s got a bad name.”

    Sometimes Francie left the room to spare herself a blinding headache. This time she said, “You finished, Motor Mouth? Turn up the sound and watch The Waltons and just shut up.”

    Lester took a deep breath to clear the cynic’s lump in his throat and said, “Yeah, I’m finished.” Then as Francie headed for the kitchen, he called to her, “Honey, get me a beer.”

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    1. Hyperrealistic. Awesome. I would expect nothing less, Sal. Another great piece.

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  11. You bebop that tune down the street, dragging notes behind you like a soiled wedding train. I can hear the whistle and smell the hoboes. Don't worry, they're friendly and they like an open bar. Who doesn't?

    Throw those eyes around, everyone is watching and you know it. It's written all over you. You want everyone to see. Everyone sees something different, but that doesn't concern you. Keep with the bip, boom, dap.

    Wedding trains never leave the station.

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  12. That mangy old mutt never left his side. He must have rescued it when the town drunks had been beating on it. Fed it scraps that would otherwise have been going in his mouth. I saw him a lot in the summer months, angling round the waterside bars and restaurants just before they closed. A face against the window. A shadow mostly, but some folk took to him. One or two slipped him a low denomination note when they left, others cursed, but enough of them thought enough to ask for a doggie bag and dropped their leavings into it and left it for him too.

    The managers hated him, of course. They called the cops whenever they saw him, citing ordnance 234/1 regarding bums and drug takers. The police always moved him on if they found him but that old dog earned his keep, hearing them coming before they saw old Garth. Nudging him and whining like he'd heard their radios or something.

    Except that last time. I swear that he would have bit the coroner if the animal protection folks hadn't have noosed him. Like I said, that mangy old mutt never left his side,,,

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    1. Man, this one echoes in my head. In a good way. You have a gift for the everyday dramas, brother.

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  13. I want to sleep. I really do. It's been 46 hours since I even closed my eyes for longer than a blink. But I can't.
    The lights went out. All the lights in the house, in the neighborhood, in the city. All the lights but one. The one that outlines the closet door from within. The one that paints a shadow of one foot along the bottom of that door from within.
    Must not close my eyes as my daughter sleeps in my arms.

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    1. That might be the creepiest thing I've ever read. Sincerely.

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    2. Wow. I don't creep out easily, but yeah. Not that that means it's bad of course. I like pieces like this because it is so short, but HOLY SHIT!

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    3. You all say the nicest things... thank you.

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  14. He drove. Her hands trembled too much to trust her reactions behind the wheel. He slid glances at her, swallowed, fluttered with the radio, scowling at the misfits who called in to talk shit about their favorite teams. “We can still turn back.”

    She shook her head. Not only would they lose the deposit, she had to do this. It was her gift to herself, if the tests came back the right way. It had been decided. And when she decided something, it stayed that way. Her father had taught her that, tough old coot, and she was dedicating this day to her father.

    “Jumping out of a fucking plane,” he muttered. “Your dad’s gonna come back from the grave and kick my ass.”

    She sniffed. Wondering if they had a vest small enough to fit her. Wondering how a tiny set of clips, a relatively fragile set of nylon straps and metal, could hold two plummeting humans together. “You should be so lucky.”

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    1. Man, I love the way you write, Laurie. Especially when you are injured. ;)

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    2. Sometimes I wonder if Laurie is capable of bad writing. If she is, she buries that stuff somewhere... It's all brilliant that sees the light of day...

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    3. Go get a shovel. We'll find this crap that gets buried! :)

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  15. “You brought the penguin?” He rolled his eyes and turned to the woman behind the counter, who looked like she’d rather be home eating ice cream out of the carton and watching some celebrity bullshit on TV. “Tell her.”

    The nurse glanced up and shrugged. “We’re not responsible for personal effects.”

    Tears welled up and spilled over. Personal effects. Like she was dead. The man searching her knapsack was being so rough with the little guy. Big hands pawing him like he was a grimy old T-shirt. She’d hoped the penguin would bring her comfort. But if someone stole him, it would crush her. Anyone looking would see a cheap little gift made in China, but she believed in Velveteen Rabbit stories. If she cuddled it enough and told it enough of her troubles, she could love it into existence. If only it worked on people.

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    1. So, so evocative. You're good at that. Dammit. ;)

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    2. Damn, I love this one even more. Laura's right. Plus, "You brought the penguin?" might be the best opener ever. ;)

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    3. LOL, yes! Plus, is this nuns and nurses night and nobody told me? :D

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  16. Walking down the street, I forgot how much hot, humid weather messes with my knee. For a while, feels like I'm walking with a water balloon instead of a knee socket, then I realise that with each passing step, it becomes harder and harder to bend. I'm 31!!! How did this happen? When did I get so...old? Maybe I've just worn myself out. After years of traveling, and months and months of a horrible diet and drinking too much, it's taking forever to get my health back. This is not conducive to my lifestyle! I have to be able to travel, because I gotta get where I'm going...right? So I stopped at a park and lay on the grass for a while. I thought of all the things I'm grateful for. One of them being that I was smart enough to recognise I was hurting myself, and that I'm getting better, even if it's slow going.

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    1. Hi Eleanor! This is a powerful piece. I love the water balloon metaphor. Moreover, I like the wandering, thinking confusion. Definitely relate to this one. Well in. Please come back next week. :)

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  17. Ethereal. He didn’t even know what the word meant, but when he saw the girl toss the club high into the air and twirl before catching it, it was the first word that floated into his mind, like cool water flowing over his heated skin the summers of his childhood. Her arms were smooth, limber, a bit of soft fabric swirled over her shoulders as she moved. Her hair streamed out behind her, strawberry taffy, and all over she had that appeal of a spun-gold confection. When she stopped and bowed, he told his body to move, intent on meeting her, at least learning the name of the beauty he couldn’t define except for that word. But he stood frozen to the cobblestones, unable to will himself forward, yet unable to leave.

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    1. Man, this is such a beautiful snapshot, and so real. I'm not kissing your ass any more today, though. Pffft! (you rule)

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  18. Suddenly, there is light, so bright it peels your eyes back. Then, you realize that you are restrained. Strapped down. The light is just as bright with your eyes closed. You blink and think, what the fuck?

    There's a man talking, but what he says doesn't make any sense. It's like he's inside your head, speaking gibberish, laughing because you don't understand. Your tongue is fat and red and stupid and it won't do shit. You want to ask if you are dead.

    Hours later, you realize you're not and the let down is palpable. Now, there is guilt and pain and you can feel it sticky on your skin. The ceiling is painted with tropical fish and you know you will be staring at those fucking fish for a while.

    A nurse comes in, but you ignore her. She's with them. You wait until she leaves and then you scream. There's nothing else to do.

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    1. I got some infirmary blues. Uh, claustrophobic and skin-crawling.

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  19. It'd been a while. The last thing he remembered was falling stunned into a bed of leaves, not knowing who he was or what genus he belonged to. And then today he'd woken up, feeling still and very, very hungry.

    It'd taken him a while to muster up his strength, pecking at a few grass seeds and swallowing down a couple of dozen weevils and ants but now he was ready again. He'd made a one preparatory circuit of the yard, keeping low to hide from the buzzards and maintaining a steady height of about four feet to keep out of the cats' jumping height and now he was ready.

    Laurie looked pensive as she looked through the French windows into the garden. Her little bird buddy had been missing for a few days. He was a dumb little critter but she'd grown fond of him. Turning the microwave on, she stepped back into the storeroom, looking for a dish for her popcorn...

    The directionality of Napoleon's flight faltered as current flooded into the magnetron, the minute iron-rich pockets of matter near his brain stirring as the fields grew, eclipsing the comparatively week pulling of the Earth's own magnetism. The window grew larger again...

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  20. Blarg, a poem. Called Slayer. \m/
    _____________________________

    your eyes are so wide awake you can barely take it all in.

    you are a tiger, poised on slick rock, weighty head lowered, swinging before the sacrificial thing.

    this is now, trailing our now across the tracks past refineries wary of trickery yet open to love and its insistence on moments.

    love, the evangelist.

    vulnerable as eggshell.

    you slay me.

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    1. That. Was. Rad. The third line is fucking magical. I'm going to go carve 'slayer' into my arm now.

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    2. Ha,yes, makes me go all metal in a weird, gentle way. Which may well be the definition of punk, come to think of it! :)

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  21. He showered, one-handed, on the concrete pad in front of the shed where he’d hung his rented tux. Though the hose water was cold, the nervous sweat just wouldn’t stop. But he was grateful for it – the hose, the shed, and, most especially, the privacy fence that still held up in spite of neglect. No one had taught the young man how to mend fences; they’d been gone too long for that. There was no one to teach him how to talk to girls, but he knew enough from watching movies on the stolen cable he rigged up himself. He learned all kinds of things: how to feed and wash himself, how to buy things that he needed, and how to walk to school by himself. He knew how to handle himself and keep his mouth shut, the only things they'd taught him. He knew about the suitcase in their closet – “the bank,” they’d called it. But when they died in their bed, a needle in each arm, he hadn’t known what to do, whom to call. They were the only people he’d ever known. So he dressed in the shed where the stink couldn’t reach. And no one would ever know because by age nine, there was no one left to tell.

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    1. Jesus Hermione Christ. Brought a tear or two, this one did. Love it.

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    2. Yup. Agree with the canuck on this one, darlin.

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