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CONTENT

An employee walks off the job, stumbles into familiar remnants of the past and hurries toward a destination that promises hope and relief.
If anyone, the willing subject and investor of an autobiography would blow the fuse of a lie detector.
The stage is set in a family home, the camera is rolling, but it doesn’t take long for the action to veer from the script.
There is so much to share in a personal blog, with no limits to show and tell.
Two men face off in a round of pain and ideology, not sparing either blows or punches or blood.
There is a serious health hazard lurking under the allure of adventure and profit in Silicon Valley.
A few drinks, some memories, and a few more shots can radically change your view of people.
Car navigation apps have never been flawless; the outcome of a contest between man and machine remains wide open.
When two men and a pretty woman are on a business trip of sorts, with no end stop in sight, routine and a tight budget are bound to prompt any of them to take the initiative.
A company charter flight is boarded by commandos and the questions are not only raised by the security.

FROM THE BOOK:

“They enjoyed a sphere of privacy beyond the reach of open office plan personnel, and had the privilege of receiving guests in their offices, including women who wore heavy lipstick and small handbags. Some of them also received private parcel orders they chose not to receive at home, although this practice was common within the entire corporate hierarchy. The air conditioning vent in the dropped ceiling clickety-clacked over his desk, setting a perpetual rhythm to the agony of a growing workload and the monotony of a stalled promotion.” Limp

“She had come to realize that to achieve this, she would have to let him have the last word and lure him into thinking he won every argument, with no strings attached. He was the heavyweight in the ring of the narrative, calling the shots, moving about with the agility of a retired professional wrestler making a gala comeback—on the assault, cushioned by eighty extra pounds and the privilege of belly-flopping on anyone without the threat of penalty points.” Boner

“He was initially hesitant about the job, because customers with too many incompetent instructions tended to blame the photographer for the results and demanded a rebate. They were disappointed with the way they looked, ignorant of the fact that some of them looked mean, stupid or embarrassing on every single picture. But she was neither. In fact, she was very photogenic: a Generation Xer looking bipolar enough in the flimsy, tabloid sense of the term to appear equally good on the cover of Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone or Planet Laundry.” Props

“And there was his car and he literally walks out of room No 8 so smug like the Pillsbury Doughboy (no offense intended to Doughboy fans!), fixing the tie he got from Mom for Christmas. I felt like strangling him with it then and there. But then I rehearsed my mantra and turned up the air conditioning to make some white noise.” Yoga

“Well, whatever happened to you? I thought you were invincible. Always in combat with the elements. Tough enough to star in a Gatorade commercial. Or American Gladiator. Now here you are. Did you put snow tires on your carbon fiber bike and pedal here in slalom ski goggles? Hope you’re not bothering to shave your legs in the blizzard to reduce the drag. Mr. Spandex.” Showdown

“A flabby layer of fat settled on his abs and pimples colonized his face. The key to his erection was probably hidden somewhere within a string of code he was working on, but the numbers failed to add up.” AppMan

“Their meetings remained brief courtesy encounters, drawn out into reruns of his fantasies, with slight variations in the script: Clarissa riding the bicycle on the wet cobblestones of the campus, wearing nothing but the broken chain dangling around her; Clarissa holding a naked presentation in the lecture hall with a pointing stick, with him seated in the first row and everybody else locked out; Clarissa naked in the library, wearing only a pair of spike heels and a leather bookmark, like a pageant sash, ascending the top step of the ladder to reach a cryptic volume.” Carousel

“The ride conjured the sensation of a Need for Speed, without silly gadgetry hooked onto a home computer. The contents in the back—a fresh variety of bio-farmed leek, turnips, artichokes and eggplant, and a bulky volume of high-end European drapery—thumped around wildly in the trunk like a gagged hostage performing an exercise of final despair.” Detour

“She said she wanted to get rid of it because it gave her the creeps, that her old man had had a huge gun cabinet and would always put her bad report cards on display there. Liz rambled on about the places people should keep their weapons and their bad habits, as if she had been asked to quote the ten girl scout commandments.” Delta

“Sherman felt an inexplicable fear that one of the agents would pull a black hood over his head and another would stab his neck with a syringe, and inject a revolutionary truth serum into his system. He would be questioned in a subterranean interrogation room with padded walls, permanent fluorescent lighting and doors without knobs, with the right to an attorney, who would never appear. He had once read about the torture tactic of eternally looped music.” Terminal

FEATURED IN THE FICTION LANE
Photo by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Eclipse

The surf swept the shore in a boring, sluggish rhythm, rewinding itself in an endless loop until the coming of the tide. The wind was completely still. The bathers were out of the water, as if a shark alarm had gone off. The lumpy curves of the woman on the right of Vinnie Kjellstrom wiggled ...

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Photo by onkel_wart (thomas lieser)

Lipstick

"I am concerned with blood and tissue, not with showroom dummies. I can give my signature French kiss to a dummy, but it won't soften up. Or get harder than it already is, if you care to know what I mean. Plastic will become animated if it's powered by batteries. Then they're drained. That's low ...

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Photo by twoblueday

Tongue Fuzz

I passed a newsstand the other day, on a Monday, next to a train station that was under renovation. I stopped to look around, under the scaffolding, hoping that a cover or a title would inspire a new story from me. My train was late because of track maintenance, again. Headlines were abundant: "MAN SHOOTS ...

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Photo by Scammah

The Pursuit

The incident I am about to recount is something I would have written in my diary and not shared with anyone else. But I have never kept a diary. I received one for my tenth or eleventh birthday, but I only used it for crossing out drawings I thought were too amateurish for my age. ...

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Photo by Hey8

In the Fast Lane

Winter: a curse for some, a challenge for others. A cross-country skier was taken into custody after violating a series of traffic regulations, for indecent exposure and obstruction of justice. The man, identified only as Rolf E., a professor of English at a private college in another state, was observed by highway patrolmen as he ...

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Photo by d-q

The Way We Were

“I was amazed by her natural intelligence and the way she didn’t flinch when she had to drive me in a stick shift car with my leg in a cast,” he said. “Not to mention how beautiful she was. She would’ve been super sexy even wearing a traffic cone.” “Jim was tall, dark and handsome, the ...

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Photo by Transformer18

Stalker

"You need sources. A writer needs many sources, otherwise the story is not authentic. You don't have  to be a rocket scientist or Joyce to know that. And not all the sources will fall into your lap like a TV dinner, with a can of beer to go along with it. You have to go ...

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Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

The Shortcomings of a Modern Dandy

There is nothing spectacular about someone tripping over himself or some other object on the sidewalk. It can happen to anybody. I can't remember the last time it happened to me, though. I was taking a call on the other side of the street when a man, a self-assured man walked out of a small, ...

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Tunnel

Tunnel

Suburban woman with a stable family background, fluency in Spanish and French, and a degree in executive motivational training is recovering from the shock of her life. Amber Tilly had never had any weight issues; she owed her splendid, sporty figure to a solid exercise regimen and a healthy diet. In a matter of weeks, ...

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Photo by James Scott-Brown

Fire

A nursing home attendant confessed to lighting fires around the home to "lighten up the cold, dark days of winter" for patients and to mark a small, bright spot that is visible from the International Space Station. Albert Prinslick, familiarly known as Chip and a favorite of the female residents, was apprehended accidentally after a ...

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Photo by lostmodern.net

Waves

  stream II "As a writer, you need to be open in body and mind to the forces of life, otherwise your writing comes across as a software disclaimer. Take a dip in the stream of consciousness and practice your swimming strokes. It passes through you in waves. Waves make up the dynamics of life. In fact, ...

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Photo by why 137

Collision

A man in his fifties was found knocked unconscious by a dog walker in a vast open field. The bruise on his forehead and the damaged bark of a tree suggests that he somehow collided with the isolated tree. After regaining consciousness, the man could only recall his intention to go cherry picking.

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Inspirational quotes by and for authors

Inspirational quotes by and for authors

tempo "I sit in front of the monitor and pray. When my prayers are answered, I type away furiously until I tear a tendon in my hand." Manola Lushinski, author of the fantasy saga The Fallopian Chronicles time "So many stories to tell and so little time. I will never give up on finishing the sequel to the ...

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To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This

A recent article in The New York Times discusses a psychologist who succeeded in making two perfect strangers fall in love under laboratory conditions. His ingenious technique used only 36 original questions the subjects had to ask each other to lay bare their innermost feelings and produce a functioning blueprint of their relationship. A road ...

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