Read this week's exciting new FREE short story: "Swan Song"
Last week's story: "Eyes of the Stars"
Last 2 week's story: "The Raspberry Revolution"
Last 3 week's story: "Evidence of Foul Play"
Last 4 week's story: "The Archers of Silent Plateau"
Last 5 week's story: "Wasters"

The entire seer's guidebook with charts on Gumroad just $1.29. Thanks to Dr. W. K. Chu and W. A. Sherrill (The Astrology of the I Ching).

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1 / 15

She was like a lioness on the Serengeti. Chin on elbows draped over the back of the bedroom chair and legs flowing off it sideways. She had a mental disability, but we were into making love. I loved her a whole season. Her name was Annette. She was one of the last people I met handing out election pamphlets. What do you do? She asked, aside from politics, but I didn't want to tell her about my jail time and erstwhile affair with Smokey. She smiled, guessing my heart. It's incredible what Ann can tell about a person, said her mother. Come in and see how she's decorated her room. Annette took my hand.

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2 / 15

"...what's out there scares us,"
I felt my knees ache -Father.
"Makes us feel -small."
And I was wrestled again into a stretcher with sandpaper knelt into the corner of my eye.
"We're not a part of it, though it's come into the very space around us that makes us exist."
All that blood.
"We're faced with Hobson's choice: Wrap ourselves in this new norm, tighter now, -we can feel the unknown."
I sank into the couch, gasping.
"Tighter still,"
I chuckled.
"-it is emptiness -and PAIN."
Winter haw-hawed a toothless, frosty laugh.

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3 / 15

Rhea caught me in the kitchen, chewing on mouthwatering sourdough and said, it’s this you forgot -the cookbooks we ordered. Our names were on the list, but you must have forgotten, so I paid for you. Thanks, I said garbled by the bread. I’ll get you back the money soon. And how’s the bread, she inquired. Good, I replied. Have some. She opened her mouth, and I pinched a piece and promptly placed it in her hand. Sulkily, she fed herself. We stood in the warm kitchen chewing for a while, then a long while, what seemed like an eternity.

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4 / 15

Somewhere out there, the souls of pirates from their destroyed Scimitar mingled with the mangled pieces of Nestley's soul. Rosie started humming as he righted the nimble ship.

"May you all make it home," prayed Marsha.

Rosie looked impassively at her thick dark lashes and plump purple lips muttering Arabic blessings.

"...In other words, hold my hand In other words, baby, kiss me"

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5 / 15

Langkawi beach late Sunday morning was dotted with mats, umbrellas, tethered Jet Skis. Amidst fallen mangrove trunks, amidst bushes of hoyas and other tropical climbing plants, his eyes were dark rimmed, focused on the limestone islet rising from the strait like a diseased tooth, on top of which unusual tufts of green lured him ever more.

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6 / 15

Their breath began to frost and with shaky hands, they packed the little burner basket with firestones and set it alight. They held the lantern between them, now puffing with hot air until it could lift its own weight, brushing pass their fingers and palms, twisting in the black of night, rising, spitting firestones giving off orange sparks, to became just another glowing red star of the swarm of red stars hitching onto the currents of the high winds.

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7 / 15

Reverently, she cut open the bag and extracted the delicate dried patties, slipping them into the boiling water where they softened and squirmed like live albino eels. A yellowed enameled tin bowl would soon be filled with the severed wheat tentacles, then spooned over with gritty bone soup and green onion shoots and bulbs. As a dip, tangy fermented shrimp and a garden-grown lime.

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8 / 15

There isn't a clock on the wall at Grandpa's house anymore, and the porcelain pomfret with its magic eye is the only decoration on the cabinets by the dining table. Just to the left of his wood-framed photograph, placed there after his lost battle with prostate cancer. Grandma no longer makes marmalade, and the bread comes from the gas station nearby, enriched with bran and honey and modern preservatives, in a plastic sack pinched close by its best-by tag. It's always soft and warm and the satellite TV permanently reruns the soaps. I understand now that time is what you fill it with, before the mouth that remembers so many turns of phrase is shut forever, before the trained, targeted spin men flood the channels and we don't really see or hear.

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9 / 15

What a good idea, I exclaimed, publishing the video feed. Tell the whole world, then. It's part of his plan, said Vicky, jealous of how comely Claire turned out to be. Claire didn't bat an eyelid at Robert. Show me the cards, elf, she said dispassionately as Vicky cosied up to me unabashed. A stewardess brought over a little Santa hat and put it on Robert, and everyone laughed. It's Christmas, eh? I said cheerfully.

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10 / 15

I was about to catch a plane to Singapore, to hop on a shuttle to London from Manchester, then on to the Far East, for my wedding. You have a wife? Asked Robert. Soon, I replied. Is she Chinese? What's it to you? Just asking, Robert trailed off, they tend to be kindly to us. I stared at the mitten-sized reptile, who said you were coming along? I was in two minds whether to put Robert back -under the hedgerow, but he had taken a liking to sleeping near the heater and eating cooked food, so it was obvious he had to come along.

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11 / 15

Please, he waved a hand, throwing his imposing frame down into a plush, otherwise shapeless fuchsia couch. I gently lowered myself onto the bulbous leather settee, behind which, a 20-foot-high wall of seamlessly-arranged plasma panels ran scenes from old noir movies. It's ironic, isn't it, he lifted a corner of his mouth. To? I asked. To have a conversation with this amount of distraction, what we're sitting on, standing on, have going on behind our backs. Isn't that the antithesis of colour? What he had been getting at all along, I finally understood. You've made your point, I said meekly. Colour must be the most evil thing ever created. It's what we have to live with. What colour would you be in heaven? -See, he interrupted his own question. I sucked my lips in, then realized what the vagina-like couch represented and laughed out loud. He laughed as well.

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12 / 15

The appreciation of colour is a later development of the mind's eye. Where the eye darts, there is white. Where the eye averts there is black. Where the eye rests, there is subjectivity, the insinuation of material differences: hardness, softness, weight, and size. The urge to feed on ripe fruit, to breed at the sight of lipstick and mascara, even to judge a person worthy, which we do, despite being of the same skin or hair colour, therefore admitting we are in fact influenced by physics more than psyche. Wrapped in white, our bodies no longer stench of the connotations of hair and pore, nail and tooth, and the shadows within our nostrils. Clothed in black, we are anonymous. Accentuating the weave and weight of the fabric, powerful even. Yet in colours of any pleasing combination, we invite greed, hatred and jealousy.

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13 / 15

Kid, I don't know how to tell you this, Daphne confided, but I've always wanted an Asian guy. Well, here I am, I said. She laughed. As a chess partner. Don't you play, math whiz? I said I don't count moves. Neither do I. You know, Australia seems like a good place to live, like a month from now, I think, she calculated mentally. And so is Death Valley and the Gobi Desert, but I digress. We stared at each other through the transparent mass of tubes and wires across our faces, and she laughed. I don't think I need it anymore. She turned and left through the lobby doors, into the foggy Malaysian morning. But I do.... I whispered to myself.

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14 / 15

Father emerged from the house carrying a black travel carry-on and a large garbage bag stuffed with the offerings paper hell money gilded with faux gold and folded into Chinese boat ingot shapes. He wore the Uniqlo expandable leather belt I gave him after I was freed from rehab. It looked posh and the woven strips of recycled leather had acquired a wabi-sabi like most of his possessions.

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15 / 15

Dad and I became closer immediately following the Taipeng trip. Although the car was too small, we put the roof down and carried plants home from the nursery on our laps; we visited relations living out of the way; Mom and Dad went out together to the movies and the Daimler's auto-valet parked and picked them up afterwards. Father was so pleased: God has given me a good son!

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1 / 9

They were 18 when they met again. It was at the airport fish and chips joint. He had ordered a ham sandwich and a glass of fizzy water when he saw a beautiful young woman with a plate of strawberries and chocolate mousse sitting across. She held up a strawberry and bit into it sultrily, looking right at him. He got up and moved his meal to her table,

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2 / 9

He could hear a sound like bees buzzing amid a dark, dense grove of dwarf orange and lemon trees.
“It’s not as if we were never in love”
“It’s not as if I will always be -with him”
“Give one of your tricks to me -I know you have them”
“With your job we could live anywhere, do anything -be free”
She looked sad,
“Do you think I’m stupid or mad?”

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3 / 9

He chose a wife eventually, someone arguably better than her. With golden hair and melons too, more like tan-rust snow pears, which matched the rest of her slender freckly sun-kissed body. Her eyes were blue, and streaked with the colors of Sydney bay.

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4 / 9

News that our Pastor was to be recalled reverberated through the congregation. A certified IF (International InterFaith) preaching professional, Pastor had the authority of the World Church, Siam-Taiwan Buddhist Society, and Friends of Makkah-Baitulmuqaddis.
The trouble with Pastor was that he rather liked his food.
“We’ll have the toast and chicken curry, please”
“What’s that again, bread and curry?”
“Not just any bread, Pastor -toasted Hainanese bread”

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5 / 9

Fides per Technologiae -the puritanical terraforming and exploration arm of the InterFaith, entrusted with proving, through applied Science and Mathematics, the existence of the Supreme Being.
“Bunch of piranhas”
Pastor slurred.
“Don’t trust them”
“Not since the Venus revival”

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6 / 9

Only to clean up other people’s shite, I wanted to say. But I held my tongue.
“Being a hooker is easy, he said”
“Being something more productive is hard”
“So here I am”
She raised her shoulders and smiled weakly,
“20 years…”
“And we loved 15 times not including the kisses”

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7 / 9

The little girl asked to see the old man’s hand. His strumming, plucking right hand. The one he covered in black Gore-Tex studded with knobs run through with bicycle brake wire.
“I’m still working on it”
He clenched his fist which took about half a second’s delay. Each of his fingers curled and straightened with some difficulty but he could still slow pick his pineapple ukulele.

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8 / 9

Tears filled her eyes.
She threw her arms around him.
“Thanks for everything”
As she got into the used car he gave her, she could hear faint strumming and a shaky voice humming softly. She could see ripples on the lake, looking like a piece of fallen sky. The pine cones were cracking. She wiped her eyes dry and gunned the motor.

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9 / 9

“So you have two mommies”
“How’s that?”
The class giggled.
The young boy shrugged.
“Witches make things happen”
“They come through the air”

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Me reading "Sea of Storms"