1
Jul

Navid Arash Taraghijah: Still Life With Chair (I-XXV)

“I think it’d be good for you to start painting again.”

Navid didn’t answer, keeping his eyes fixed instead out the window. It was raining hard now, and the wind pushed the drops nearly sideways into the glass, giving a view of the grounds as though from behind a waterfall, everything distorted and distant. The IV in the back of his hand itched; he didn’t like it there, but Dr. Lin had told him after he’d pulled out the last one that it’d be a good idea to give the vein in his elbow some time to heal. Everyone in the clinic had lots of good ideas to share.

16
Oct

Ored’s Song

by Zack (ザックス)
illustrated by amei

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/59476.html)

Ored stared intently as the drops of blood dispersed in the water, turning into red wisps of smoke and then disappearing altogether. And still, no one came.

He had already poured all of the alcohol in the river, and the other offerings were gone as well. All Ored had left was the empty bottle; a slippery, living thing in the palm of his sliced hand.

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6
Aug

The Only Living Boy In New York

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by amei

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/51860.html)

Day #527, 6:20 AM – Wake up, dose #1

Evidencing once more an uncanny ability to beat the alarm clock, Jonah opened his eyes at 6:19 on the dot, reached over, and clicked off the alarm before the morning talk shows could filter their way into the bedroom. Tony stirred, but only enough to steal all of Jonah’s covers, roll over, and go back to sleep. Jonah let him.

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5
May

This Side of Saturn

by Shinju Yuri (真珠百合)
illustrated by amei

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/42586.html)

Naoki leaned back in his chair and stretched. A glance at the clock showed that it was already almost midnight. It hardly seemed possible, but he wanted to get the results written up quickly. He should go to bed. The research conference started tomorrow at seven, and if he went to bed now he’d barely have five hours of sleep. He sighed and pushed his hair away from his face. He was getting too old and tired for all-nighters, but he had a feeling that he was on the track of something useful, but he couldn’t pin it down. It was an itchy, unsettled sort of feeling. He reached over and took a sip of his cold coffee and made a face. He should get a mug warmer or something, but he didn’t like the way coffee tasted when it had been on one of them for a long time.

He looked at the computer. The last of the simulations wouldn’t be done for two hours, so he might as well catch a nap. He pushed the chair away from the table and walked slowly through his empty apartment. It was quiet and very clean, painted white with old posters of flowers and landscapes hung here and there. He picked up the newspaper that was on his breakfast bar and put it in the recycling bin. He’d finished the crossword and the sudoku puzzle he’d started before work while he was waiting for the computer to finish rendering at suppertime. The lights dimmed as he walked out of his kitchen and back through the living and office area, picking up a sheaf of paper to flip through for his report, and into his bedroom. He toed off his slippers neatly beside the bed and lay down.

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5
May

Married Man

by Yamanashi Moe (山梨もえ)
illustrated by amei

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/47845.html)

“Um, sir? Excuse me, is that ‘The Detective’s Legs’ by Tamura Hiroshi?”

The boy standing in front of Tamura is pale and skinny, with wispy red-blonde hair. He wears the uniform of a nearby high school, with the top button of his shirt undone. His face is vaguely feminine, but not so much as to be made fun of by other boys; the sort of face teenage girls are drawn to. He is looking at the book in Tamura’s hands with a barely disguised covetousness.

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21
Dec

Pyrophoric

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by amei

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/33309.html)

That Saturday night, Kip lay naked on the bed in the room two flights beneath the stage, eyes shut, recalling the week prior that had changed his life. He felt her juices still slick on his loins, his seed drying in his nether regions, and wondered not for the first time since first arriving at the theatre how great calamity and perfect fortune could appear wearing the same black hat, the same gold waistcoat, the same brown eyes.

Applause thundered through the house, so tremendous it could even be heard here below. The vanishing lady, he supposed. The audience never tired of that one.

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8
Aug

Please Stay

by Yoshiyo Hotaru (昌夜 蛍)
illustrated by amei

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/23262.html)

At exactly quarter after three in the afternoon, the final bell rings, and class is dismissed until September.

Matsu’s heart leaps up into her throat. She stays in her desk as everyone else starts putting away their books, and even after they’ve left, with a content little smile on her face. This is her time to treasure the first few seconds of summer vacation. Even after all these years, it’s an exciting feeling.

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