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May 16, 2005

Volume 1, Issue 4

Regret. We can all feel it, taste it, sense it; it is palpable and it dwells in the shadow looming just behind that turn of the corner we just passed. Ignore it at your own peril.

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The Eschatologist: Losing Track

"Christ, man, you can let go now," pleaded Oscar.

"Shut the fuck up. I'm not done yet. If this is going to be done, I'm going to do it, and I'm goddamn well going to do it right, now let me finish." Dizzy heard the cord snap and tendons give way under the garrote as cleanly as anytime he'd performed the final excruciation. One final jerk of the polymer cable, and he let the body slip to the floor, still twitching reflexively.

"You can tell them it's done." Dizzy knelt down and closed his brothers eyes and kissed his forehead.

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Ted: Phone Calls

"We regret to inform you..." are the most terrifying words one can hear at five in the morning.

The caller continued "...that your husband passed away six minutes ago."

My Mom looked at me and said "Get your brothers and meet me at the hospital."

Instead of asking her to wait, I just said "ok" and walked next door to get them.

When the phone at my brother's house rang, I didn't have to be told, I knew what the caller was going to say.

"We regret to inform you that your mother was just killed in a car wreck..."

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Stacy: Justice

The small, grizzled man huddled in a corner of the alley I'd chased him into. His thin chest heaved as he gasped for breath, his wispy hair flew around his face.

"Please," he begged between gasps.

I just looked at him, remembering what he did to that little girl. Wonder if he remembers her begging, her pain, tears, fear. Wonder if he regrets anything.

"What did I ever do to you?!" he screams, half rising against the crumbling wall.

"Nothing," I say, squeezing the trigger on the Glock until the slide hangs open on an empty clip.

"Nothing at all."

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Michele: More Than Words

"You are such an asshole."

The words rushed out of her mouth on their own. She tried to stop them, but before she could stuff them back down her throat, there they were, flying from her lips. They hung there in the air, practically prancing and preening, putting on a show for everyone at the table.

"You are such an asshole."

The words echoed off the china plates, bounced off the wine glasses and jumped straight into her father’s ears.

A forlorn sigh left her father’s throat, drifted across the table and settled around her like a veil of guilt.

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