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October 21, 2005

Volume 7, Issue 21

"Did you fix the charcoal?"

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Michele: Love's Labor Lost

“Did you fix the charcoal?”

She peeked into the studio, smiling. I smiled back.

“I did. Come have a look.”

The finished sketch sat against the far wall.

“Oh, my.”

“Is that good or bad?” Her approval meant the world to me.

“It’s beautiful.” She kissed my cheek. “My fiancé will love it. He’ll pick it up tomorrow.”

She left and I stared out the window after her. I’d never see her again.

I held the canvas and rubbed gently on the area around her eyes.

I sent her a text message.

One more thing to fix. Come back tonight.

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The Eschatologist: After

"Did you fix the charcoal?"

She damn well knew I hadn't. Not yet, anyway. I changed the subject, pretending innocence.

"Saw a rider yesterday. Out on the south ridge."

"Don't play innocent with me, mister. Charcoal. Yes or no?"

"No." I sighed overdramatically.

"Goddammit, Ned. You can't just buy it anymore! Ain't no more stores! Why didn't you?"

I shrugged. "Haven't seen a rider for a while. Looked like he was going into the mountains..."

"Good riddance. Let him go hide. Real folk like us got to rebuild now. And we need charcoal to do it. So get fixing, son."

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D: Family Barbeque

"I didn't realize it was broken!" I jibed back at her.

She stood on the porch with one hand on her hips and the other holding the plate of raw meat.

"Marion Mitchell Morrison, don't you smart-mouth me or I'll smack your teeth so hard your head'll spin like a top."

"Yes ma'am" I nodded back and lifted the barbeque tongs to my forehead.

"And don't you ma'am me either you cheeky shit." With that she went back inside.

Who needed charcoal anyway? I had a quart of lighter fluid in there already, just needed to light the match and…

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Ted: 2:14 A.M.

"Did you fix the charcoal?"

He woke up and looked at his wife, trying to decipher her words.

"Yes, honey. I fixed the charcoal."

Peter knew that trouble was on the way. Somehow, when she slept, his wife always knew when trouble was coming. And what they would need to take care of it. Last time, she asked if the ladder was ready. That ladder was the only thing that saved them from the aliens. What the hell would they need charcoal for?

Peter climbed out of bed, trying not to wake her, to go check on the charcoal supply.

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