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September 21, 2005

Volume 6, Issue 21


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"What was that?"

"I don't know, but it probably isn't good."

"Should I clear the guns?"

"Yeah. Precautionary at this time, but do it. And examine for external sources."

"Prelimary scans show no weapon hits. Deep scan results in a moment."

"I guess I'm nervous," said the first, "because of our cargo." He could hear the noise from the cargo bay, the hamsters running on the wheels in their cages. Hamsters were sacred creatures on Virgo 4, valued pets everywhere else.

"No contacts," said the second. "Smooth sailing."

"Good. Do we have enough food pellets and wood chips?"

"Wood chips?"

Posted by: cranky-d at September 21, 2005 4:16 AM · Permalink

“Cue for station break,” the producer purred into the headset. “And… break!” He turned to the stage manager and grumbled, “What the hell was that?”

The stage manager shrugged. “I have no idea. Why don’t you ask him?’

“Sheez!” the producer sighed, strolling onto the set. “You give a guy his own show and he has to start acting weird.”

“Well? Did you like it?”

“You need to tone it down. That ‘Bang!’ made the sound meters spike off the board.”

“How about if I yell ‘Bam!’ instead?”

“I don’t know, Emeril. I suppose we can give it a shot.”

Posted by: Jim Parkinson at September 21, 2005 8:52 AM · Permalink


Hal was in the left lane, passing a line of traffic, when he saw the SUV ahead veer left, try to correct, then the load in the back shifted and it veered again, then overcorrected. It flipped, hit the divider on the left, sliding on its roof, and all Hal could do was brake and hope he didn't jack-knife his rig. He was still skidding when the SUV slid to a halt, and had to cut right a bit to miss it. He stopped beside it, opened his door, then heard the cars behind him ...





Posted by: hnumpah at September 21, 2005 9:02 AM · Permalink

I'm on the ground, rolling, before my brain recognizes the gunshot. Ed's there too, not so lucky, blood pooling beneath. The next two shots pass through where my head was three seconds earlier.

Scrambling behind a Chevy, I spot the first shooter. My weapon's in hand now. I don't remember drawing it. I take him down. Three more shots shatter the car's windows. At least two more shooters, then.

Then sirens come and the gunmen fade into the evening. I notice then that the blood soaking my pants. I fade out, hoping to heaven to wake up in a hospital.

Posted by: Jeff R. at September 21, 2005 11:17 AM · Permalink

The sweat pours down into my eyes. I'm so nervous I have a hard time standing still. The others before me were so much more experienced and talented. Nothing I have done before can compare with what is about to happen. Why did I consent to do this! Why did I think I could pull this off? Oh my God, please let me just die!, right now, before the world finds out how much of a fraud I am! So quickly I don't have time to breath I am in front of them. Slowly the reptilian eyes of the man in the black shirt come up to my watering own. Hauntingly, the come-hither stare of the woman beside him lances me like a deer in the headlights. The rotund guy is silent tonight. Then, the man in black say's, "OK, off you go" and I start----

Posted by: MIKE at September 21, 2005 1:57 PM · Permalink

Mrs. Grey had heard enough vulgarity and tapped the man in black's shoulder. He spun. She couldn't tell how fast his heart was going, or see the fear behind his mask. He had used that F word too often. Something had to be said.

"Young man--" were her last words.

Everyone else heard the bang, but the bullet was already in Mrs. Grey's forehead. The sound was slow, but her brain was fast and it improvised on the last word she had heard.


She remembered Billy Jenkins, that summer evening, and the awful joy of that first, secret time.

Posted by: bgfay at September 21, 2005 5:54 PM · Permalink

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