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March 16, 2007


Your word of the day is calamity.

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Stacy: "This is a New Version!"

“A fine strong girl, ma’am.”

She turned her face away.

“Ain’t no such thing.”

The doctor regarded her impassively. He cut the umbilical cord and gently wrapped the baby in a blanket. He wordlessly handed the infant off to the nurse who would deliver it to the orphanage.

A tall man entered the room and looked at the woman in the bed. Sweat-soaked and disheveled, she’d never been more precious to him. But to give up their child…

“Jane… are you sure about this?”

She knew her own limitations, though.

“Shut the fuck up and get me a whiskey, Bill.”

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David: Getting The Band Back Together

“State your name and metaphysical portfolio.”

“Calamity. Calamity.” She stood impassively, waiting for the three beings sitting across the table to react.

“So, you… cause disasters?” asked the one on the left.

“That could work,” commented the one in the middle.

“I don’t know,” replied the one on the right. “Seems kind of vague.”

“Oh, like ‘Death’ isn’t vague.”

“I control a specific physiological event. But what’s a calamity? Hurricanes and earthquakes, sure, but also losing your keys, under certain circumstances. Famine, War, Pe— the other one, you at least know what’s coming.”

Famine gasped. “You almost said his name!”

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Jim: A Pain In The Ash

Amaranta pulled her cloak tightly around her to ward off the pre-dawn autumn chill. The massive ash cloud, underlit with the crimson rock spewing from atop Vesuvius, already blocked most of the northern sky.

“Hurry, children,” Mama had said while Amaranta helped her little brother, Cipriano, into his boots, “We must leave now.”

“But we are many miles from the mountain, Mama,” Cipriano replied. “After all, this is not Herculaneum.”

Mama grinned. “If I am wrong then we can return, little man. But for now, we will go.”

Amaranta sighed and turned to catch up with the families fleeing Pompeii.

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Jeff R.: Not So Plain

After her death was faked in 1903, Calamity Jane became field leader of the cross-temporal strike team called the Legion of Janes. Led by the mysterious Jane Doe and funded by generous grants from the Greystoke Estate, they preserved the integrity of the timeline.

The other members each had some superhuman ability: Catastrophy Jane's preternatural bad luck could be focused upon enemies; Calumny Jane could instantly spread devestating rumors, and Calimari Jane had six long, super-strong arms. (Chlamydia Jane's abilities are never spoken of.) But Calamity was the only one among them who could aim a pistol worth a damn.

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Ted: Watch Your Step

"Peter, get the flashlight. Please."

Peter woke to see Jane fully awake. Usually, she only had her calamitous insights while asleep. How dire could this be?

He stumbled, stubbed his toe, racked his shins, fell onto Jane and knocked out one of her teeth with his forhead.

Blood blinding him, he rolled and sat up. Limping to the dresser, he pulled the handle too hard and it came out in his hand. He tugged until it fell out, landing on his uninjured foot.

Retrieving the flashlight, he turned, questions in his eyes.

"Slow down, Peter. We still have five minutes."

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From The Comments: Mr. E.

So this is how it would end.

Years of mollusk research, millions of dollars, countless hours diving, and two marriages had finally led him to this discovery: not one, but two specimens of the legendary Titan Clam, each perched on an undersea outcropping. It was almost poetic that the seismic shift should occur as he was taking photos of them, causing the two to fall in his direction, pinning his leg between their mammoth shells. As the gauge on his air tank finally rested on the left, his oxygen-starved mind found only one word that could describe the situation: Clamity.

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Michele: We Shall Meet Again

Dear Diary,

Tragic news. Henry has chosen Belinda over me. My one true love has rejected me.

This shall be my last entry.

I will take my own life at the oak tree at the foot of Harmony Hill within the quarter hour.

Lord forgive me.



Dear Diary,

Henry proposed today. But I do not love him.

I have asked Henry to meet me at the foot of Harmony Hill in half an hour. I will then tell him that I cannot marry him, that he must ask Mary to be his wife, for she loves him truly.


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