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July 16, 2005

Volume 3, Issue 16

Today's theme comes with instructions.

1. Grab a nearby book and open it to page 47.
2. Find the fourth sentence on the page.
3. Find the seventh word from the start of that sentence.
4. If it is a noun, adjective, or verb, make it the title and theme of your 100 words and get to writing!
5. If it's not a noun, adjective, or verb, continue reading until the next noun, adjective, or verb you hit. Make this the title and theme of your 100 words.

Feel free to include the name and author of the book you're using at the end of your post, although not in your word count.

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Michele: Loved

I run my finger along the dust on your desk. I hold back the urge to scrawl my name in your dirt. The dust clings to my pinky and I wipe it on your shirt, the one you were wearing the last time I saw you. It hangs on the bedpost like a reminder, a ghost of you with loose arms and wrinkles and a fading marker stain on the right sleeve.

It’s starting to snow now, light puffs of white slapping against the window. Headlights peer through the window and I tumble from your bed, out the back door.

[Book: Solipsist, by Henry Rollins]

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Tanya: Mercy

Fred fancied himself The Great White Hunter, stalking wild prey in Africa. Of course, it was only a tour, for men with more money than brains. The poachers took rich rubes out to kill fancy beasts, so they'd have an exotic head for their wall in Dubuque or Boise or Fargo.

He found the beast he'd been following. But behind the great, maned animal, two tiny cubs rolled together playfully in the scrub grass. Fred's heart got the best of him, and he lowered the pistol.

The lion had no such problem with compassion. His family ate heartily that evening.

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Ted: Limits

He felt his daily limits were tragic. He was supposed to like his job, not kill strangers, or, the worst, act like he liked living with no arms.

Sure, he didn't need arms since his implant allowed him to manipulate objects from the tiniest molecules up to several tonnes.

The doctors kept telling him that he would adjust to his new life, but they had never had the sheer ecstasy of strangling someone with their bare hands. That was why they took his arms in the first place, so they probably wouldn't care.

Rehabilitation was not their job, punishment was.

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Stacy: Fall

Arms pinwheeling, mouth agape, the wind whistling in her ears. Every night she falls. Every night she wakes in a cold sweat, gasping for breath.

Her therapist says it’s unresolved anxiety. $300 please. At least he doesn’t blame it on her fucking mother.

Her boyfriend says it’s fear of commitment. He wants to get married. She’d rather…not.

So every night she falls, in her dreams. Tumbles down, twisting, petrified.

She wonders what it would be like. To complete the fall. To land. To break.

Would it finally be quiet? Would she finally rest?

“Let’s find out,” she says. And leaps.

(Tam Lin by Pamela Dean)

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