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April 19, 2007

Dave: Family Ties

The figure stood in the doorway, menacing without actually moving.  Roger could feel a chill roiling through the air, a smell of earth and jasmine.  The traffic sounds from the street faded out.

"I am come for your wife, Mr. Donne."

"Not here tonight.  Something I can do?"

"I seek her heart."

"Sorry, she gave it to me and I'm pretty stingy with it." He eyed the door, and regretted once again the lack of fire escape in the office.

"I will have vengeance."

"Any particular reason?"

"I know ... her father."

"I know him, too.  He's an asshole.  You have my sympathies."

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April 20, 2007

Dave: Nevermore

It was a soft rap, a tapping at her bedroom door. 

Lana stretched languorously under the covers.  Hal was such a silly. It wasn't like he had to knock to come in the bedroom.  She chuckled in a whisper.

The rapping came again, louder.  Maybe it was Toby.  He sometimes got up at night, wanting Mommy.  She'd taught him to knock first, after that time he'd walked in on --

The rapping repeated.

Her eyes snapped open.  Memory had caught up with mind, and she remembered that Hal, and Toby, were both dead.  The firemen had pried open the car doors --


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April 23, 2007

Dave: Domestic Quarrel

She stared at him.  "You got -- a cat?"

Roger stroked the tabby.  "Yeah."


"I like cats.  They're clean.  They're pretty.  They're independent.  They make a nice noise."

"That's what you have me for," Chrys said, scowling.


"Cats are sneaky, sinister, and often hosts of dark spirits.  A dog --"

He chuckled.  "Dogs bark too much, with our clientele.  Cats --"

The front door of the office jingled.  The cat abruptly turned into a small, furry cloud of teeth and claws, buzzsawing out of Roger's lap to dash behind the file cabinets. 

Chrys raised an eyebrow, politely silent.   Roger reached for the drawer with the iodine.

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April 24, 2007

Dave: From Cyanotic Lips

Hugh's face was purple at rage, and he uttered a colorful oath.  "What happened?!"

"They -- they hit us -- out of the blue."  I coughed up something dark.  I was glad I was out of the sun, in the shade, for these last few moments.  "The streets -- the streets ran red with blood, and our boys, our boys were all so green.  But I swear to you --"  I couldn't breath for a moment, and Hugh went pale.  "I swear to you, by my gray head, not one of them turned yellow."

And it all went black, until I could float toward the light.

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April 25, 2007

Dave: If Somewhat Hot-Tempered

"Excuse me," Roger said, politely.  He'd promised Chrys he'd behave tonight. "But I'm pretty sure we hailed this cab."

"Buzz off," the man sneered.  "You can fucking take the next one."

"Hey --" Chys started.

"And tell your Jap girlfriend to shut her --"

Roger winced, but watched the inevitable.  He was rewarded by a flash of very attractive leg, collision of stylish black pump and now-broken nose, and the man slamming back into the side of the taxi before sliding  to the ground.

Roger helped Chrys into the taxi.  He told the man, who groaned from the gutter, "And she's Chinese.  And my wife."

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April 26, 2007

Dave: My House

I closed the door behind me.  I'd just left the escrow office, handed the keys, and driven straight here.

The house was mine now.  All -- just -- mine.

It was quiet, vibratingly empty.  Eyes closed, I could hear my breath echo coolly off the hardwood and plaster.

The movers would arrive in a few days, bringing my stuff from storage.  I'd need to figure out here the furniture and boxes should go. Eventually.

I opened my eyes again, looking around.  It would never be the same.  She would never live there.

It would be my house.  But it could never by my home.

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April 27, 2007

Dave: Their Relationship was Like a Simile

Their marriage had slowly ground down like a decrepit eighteen-wheeler shuddering to a fuelless stop a hundred yards short of a desert truck stop whose weathered sides featured a faded ad for a soda brand not produced in decades but which once might have been delivered by that very truck, back when it didn't have rusting-out tanks, flatulent air brakes, a transmission that sounded like a metal shop in heat, and an aged driver who really, truly didn't want to have to carry a ten gallon jerry can of diesel over a hundred yards of crumbling and sun-baked asphalt.

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April 30, 2007

Dave: Pieces of Hate

"I should like you to examine this," she said, setting a coin, a thick, golden disk, on the wooden desktop.  Roger hardly glanced at it.  The woman handing it over was a potential customer, but definite knock-out, dressed to the nines and shaped like the tens. Roger forced himself to remember he was a very happily married man, and wanted to stay that way.

Still, her emerald eyes held his locked as he reached over and picked up the coin.  Only when he felt a hot tingling in his fingers did he realize what a very stupid mistake he'd made.

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May 1, 2007

Dave: In the Name of the People

"Ever notice?" Sam asked, "how it's never really about 'the people'?"

Tommy nodded. 

"I mean, on the one side, forces of Democracy, all about the voice of 'the people,' doing good for 'we, the people,' and all that."

Another nod.

"Up against 'em, forces of Communism, all about protecting 'the people' from exploitation, of power to 'the people.'"


"And all the others, all looking to help 'the people,' save 'the people' -- mostly from themselves, y'know?"


"But in the end, who always gets it in the neck?  'The people.'"  Sam spat out the butt.  "Anyway, thanks for the last ciggie."

"Least we could do."  Tommy turned to the others.  "Squad, ready!  Aim! ..."

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May 2, 2007

Dave: Family Reunion

"So -- why are we meeting, um, who here?"

"It is an open space," Chrys told him, "and away from prying eyes.  While none can see my uncle without his consent, it is simpler for him to deny his august presence to as few people as possible."

"Huh."  Roger refrained from comment on augustness.  He'd met some of her relatives before, but -- "So where is he?"  He looked back toward the road.  No other cars were in sight. 

"Ah!" Chrys said, smiling broadly.  "He comes!"

"Where --?"  He followed her gaze -- upward.

A shadow fell across them.

"Oh," he said.  Then added, "My."

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