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October 27, 2006


What's wrong?

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Jim: Bounty

There ain’t no difference between caution and paranoia.

Through the blinds, streetlights below cast a grid of yellow lines against the ceiling of my darkened apartment. I watched the street while the usual dregs wandered aimlessly back and forth between pools of light. Nothing suspicious.

“What is it, Baby?” Marie asked from the darkness behind me.

“Probably nothing,” I replied without looking.

“Frankie’s boys came by.”

“They say what they wanted?” I turned around to face down the barrel of my revolver.

Marie held the gun steady. “They wanted to let me know about the reward.”

See? Ain’t no difference.

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Tanya: Stillness

“Huh? Oh, nothing. I’m sure it’s nothing.”


“But, well, it’s just very still. But I’m sure it’s nothing. Maybe they had to go outside.”

“They wouldn’t have gone outside without permission, Bob.”

“No. No, that’s true.”

“Let’s see the other cameras.”

He flipped through the other views, and he was right. We’d been monitoring the space station for over a year, and I’d never seen it that still.

On the next pass, the aft door was open. We both sighed with relief, just a moment too soon. On the final pass, the first of Them oozed into the room.

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David: There Goes The Neighborhood

“Sir?” interrupted the archangel. “There’s someone at the Gate.”


The archangel studied his sandals, cutting trails through the cloudstuff with his toe. “Um, no, sir. It’s… Abel.”


“Apparently, he’s dead, sir. His brother killed him, and the next thing he knew, he found himself here.”

God’s forehead furrowed. Somewhere, a mountain range erupted. “WAIT, WHAT? WAS THAT IN THE SPECS? DID I APPROVE THAT?” God sighed, creating a new species of heron.


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From The Comments: Susan

What's wrong? Nothing's wrong! Everything's peachy. Nothing to see here. Lovely day, dontcha think?

Oh, that thing attached to my leg? That's nothing. Just something I picked up on the way to work. Can't seem to shake it, actually. Hanging on pretty tight, no matter how hard I try to kick it off. So I've decided to ignore it.

You say it looks rather dangerous? I figure if I just ignore it, maybe it will go away. It would help if you'd stop staring at it. Please stop staring. Don't make it angry. Please. I'm begging you. Nothing's wrong. See?

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From The Comments: Keiran Halcyon

Breathing hard, Jansen dashed across the last expanse of open ground as the staccato of small-arms fire rang around him. A sharp whistle crescendoed to a window-rattling roar as a bloom of flame grew ahead of him. He cut to the right and dove under the barbed wire, gasping as a flechette tore into his leg.

Limping now, Jansen hobbled into the blockhouse and dropped his precious cargo. "Sarge, I got the Count Chocula."

Sarge's reply turned the air blue and took the wind out of Jansen's sails. Wearily, he turned around and headed back to get the forgotten milk.

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Ted: Penny's Plight

Her old man had finally summoned something too big, or pissed off another wizard enough, or whatever. Great.

See, before, well, you know... we kinda had a thing going. It lasted longer than most of my other relationships, which is to say longer than a weekend. It was closer to two years before she made her big quantum leap. I would have stayed with her after that, but her probability field intersected my bad luck streak rather explosively one night while...nevermind. When I woke up in the hospital, all she left was a note.

"Stay away. For your own safety."

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