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January 10, 2007


Several unfortunate actresses lost their houses during the recent Malibu fire.

So today's theme is Leaving Home.

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Tanya: H5N1

Tuyen finished packing enough food for the three day walk, then wrapped her last two batteries in a spare sock. The man on the radio said she should go to Da Nang. She switched it off and stuffed it in with the food.

She was the last one in her village. For a while, it looked like Han’s tiny daughter Linh might survive, when her fever broke, but it was only false hope. At nine years old, Tuyen couldn’t have cared for her anyway.

Shouldering the small bag, she took a last look back, then walked away from her home.

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Stacy: Fledgeling

The noise was too low to hear at first. It was more something that could be felt, a discomfort. The rumble built in volume and intensity. Sand, dirt and small pebbles began vibrating, dislodging each other into a miniature landslide pouring down the hillside.

Larger boulders began to move as the earth beneath them shifted, tumbling down the hill, knocking more and more rocks loose.

At the bottom of the hill, the pile of rocks began to rearrange itself, climbing on top of each other to form a rudimentary bipedal form.

The baby garignak was ready to leave the nest.

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Jeff R.:A Better Life

Shelly Whitmore almost got out of Cornerville, Indiana, the summer after Junior year, but Billy's car broke down. They waited together all night for his dad's tow truck.

Then there was the pregnancy. Billy manfully gave her a ring, and they were on their way to being another miserable couple in the same miserable town their parents never escaped.

Until the miscarriage. Shelly dumped Billy in the hospital. Cornerville High let her graduate out of pity, despite her grades. The next day, she took the money behind her mom's macaroni jar, bought a bus ticket east, and never looked back.

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Jim: Vengeance

Cellblock 5 was the only home Don really remembered.

He’d never killed anyone but the jury saw it differently. Convicted as an adult at 16, he’d since spent more than two thirds of his life at Ridgegrove Correctional Institute.

Some of the faces changed over the years but his fellow inmates were his mentors, students, friends, and family. Sometimes even lovers.

Now paroled, Don left the concrete walls and iron bars behind. His carefully crafted shiv hidden away, he hopped a bus. A man needed to die for framing him all those years ago.

Then Don could go back home.

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Ted: Just Once

You can only ever leave a place once. When you get back there, in ten minutes or ten years, it is already different.

Jerome knew this without ever having thought it through; but he also knew that leaving was his only option. He refused to remember that he wouldn't be able return.

He gathered himself and bent down a shadow to carry him away, realizing at that cold second what he was giving up on. This home would never again truly be his.

His heart cracked.

A thousand years later, he finally came home. And hanged himself by Jason's grave.

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