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The Irish Santa

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Mike Feeney threw a lighted match into the rusted half-barrel of firewood he had scrounged from nearby abandoned buildings and watched as the flames grew. He settled beneath the concrete bridge that had become home, and tightened a tattered blanket around his emaciated frame. He knew the fire would attract other hapless vagrants, but he didn’t mind. Numbers brought safety, company and conversation. They could share a bottle of whiskey or the stale bread he had pulled from a dumpster earlier that day.


Volatile Chemicals

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Primo and I sat facing Mario and Dante in Mario’s office. Between us lay a table with a shoebox on it.

“Dante’s got another job for you two,” Mario said. “You work so well together, beauty and the beast.”



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The old man with grey streaked hair warmed himself over the fireplace of his modest Boston area home.  Now 67 and in the winter of his life, Brian was a recent widower, trying to navigate the senior dating scene after 40+ years of marriage.

The Clarinet Conspiracy

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Larry felt like a four-year-old trying to read a book. He knew the symbols had been carefully inscribed on the page by a great practitioner, but they might have been sneezed in ink for all he could tell.

He had begun to regret joining his adult music class. Even if he could figure out what the notes meant, how could anybody ever expect to work a contraption like this clarinet?


Blue Loops

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Stanislaw and Daniel stood in the blue gloom of an abandoned cinema. Pallet carriers trundled across the roof and dumped their loads with muffled clangs. Rather than being demolished, the cinema had been subsumed into the structure of a depot that rose half a kilometre above their heads. The cinema was the first built for leisure on the space station, yet few now knew it existed.

"Been a nightmare to get here," said Daniel to his father.

"I know, the links are bad. But the depot workers manage to get in every morning.”


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