28
Oct

The Cuckoo

by shukyou (主教)

 

Flashbulbs exploded like fireworks as they stepped past the customs gate into the terminal, the happy reunited family. They’d gotten permission to take the Millers behind the scenes a little, past the point where those picking up arriving passengers were expected to wait, so that the reunion itself might take place away from the media’s prying lenses. They were ready now, though, ushered forth by cops and social workers into the bright public eye.

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27
Aug

Good Morning

by shukyou (主教)

 

Despite what his name might suggest, Moe wasn’t a joker. He didn’t always get comedy, and he had five good jokes memorized for social purposes, even though I wouldn’t have sworn he understood why their punchlines were funny. The rest of our friends and I generally left him out of our good-natured ribbing and practical jokes, mostly because it didn’t seem fair that he wouldn’t — or couldn’t — reciprocate. All of which is why my I did not laugh when I opened the door to my apartment to find Moe standing there with a hollow expression on his face. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Javi, I’m straight.”

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30
Jul

Female Impersonators of Distinction

by shukyou (主教)

Bud clutched the matchbook tight in one sweaty paw as he hiked the two miles from where he’d gotten dropped off off to his final destination. He hadn’t dared give the driver of the ride he’d thumbed the right address, so he’d told the man that friends would be meeting him here at the filling station on the outskirts of town. But the truth was he was looking even farther out on the skirt than that, so to speak.

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25
Jun

Night Owls

by shukyou (主教)

 

“Dad.”

Marcus opened his eyes, willing himself not to look at the bedside clock. The number would just depress him.

Dad.” The voice came from the three-foot-high silhouette standing backlit in the bedroom doorway. He had just started sleeping with the door open weeks ago, when some part of him had finally just given in.

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26
Mar

Unconventional

by shukyou  (主教)

 

“Christ on toast,” Racquel swore at her phone screen.

One of the interns on her last project had shown her how to set up Google alerts about three months ago, and from that point since, she’d gotten a little push notification about Leigh March every other week or so. Most carried information that was equal parts incidental and inconsequential, such as Leigh’s name dropped in an article about the anniversary of a show or movie she’d been in some number of years ago. Even so, every time one popped up, it made her smile. People out there were talking about Leigh. That was good; that was what she had seemed to always want, a comfortable, low-intrusion level of fame.

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26
Feb

For the Vine

by shukyou (主教)

 

Ray glared daggers over the tops of his glasses. “Not once in human history has that been a compelling argument. Even back when Vine did exist.”

Impervious as always to the weapons of his best friend’s expressions, Marcus kept that stupid, shit-eating grin plastered across his face. “Then do it for me. Come on!”

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30
Oct

Man Seeking

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by cloven

“He’s a serial killer, you know,” was what Wyatt heard as he approached his friends at the bar.

“Nah,” said Benny, shaking his head so his disdain came through loud and clear over the thudding strains of Joy Division. “He probably doesn’t kill them. Just chains them to a radiator and maybe licks them twice a day.”

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21
Aug

The Smart Girl’s Spellbook of Practical Wicca

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by rebelliux

It was Nightshade who had the idea first. She’d been at this the longest, since back before we all could drive, because her parents were the only ones willing to shuttle her to the town’s single New Age store, where the shelves were stocked with crystals and books that spelled “magic” with a k. They were the kind of cool parents who thought parenting was less important than being your child’s best friend, which was why she called them Herb and Trudy, and why we spent a lot of our weekends drinking in their basement.

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24
Jul

The False Prince and the True

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by beili

The throne room looked different from this angle: an inch or so off the floor, with a guardsman’s shiny leather boot pressed against the back of his neck. It was a fine angle from whence to observe the delicate work and mother-of-pearl inlay. It was a terrible angle from whence to face the king. Unfortunately for him, Marcelo was not there to appreciate the architecture.

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20
Jun

Risingson

by shukyou (主教)

 

He could remember: four years old, the fruit bowl on the table, anaphylactic shock, being rushed to the doctor, a bustle of injections and barked instructions, his father’s nervous pacing, the doctor’s mechanical eyes — and then, when it was all done, a stern, clear lecture about how he was never again, under threat of a fatal reaction, to consume anything from the yashberry family again so long as he did live. He remembered it all clearly as he uncapped the bottle of yashberry brandy and took a long, deep drink.

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20
Jun

Jól

by shukyou (主教)

It was difficult to believe in such a chill, even as Hrolf stepped out into it. Breathing it in was like taking a blow to the chest every time. With his hands, hobbled as they were in fur-lined mittens, he redoubled the scarf around his mouth and nose. The morning sky was the clear blue-grey of a bird’s egg, but he would not see the sun’s weak winter face today, not this late in the year. It would give him enough light, though, to do what was needed.

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19
Jun

Funeral Potatoes

by shukyou (主教)

Britt was so absorbed in the wording for the obituary that he didn’t hear the doorbell ring. He did hear it shut, though, as well as the few lines of muffled conversation that preceded it. A few seconds later, Kendra walked back into the living room, heading toward the kitchen with a covered dish in her hands.

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23
Mar

Dick

by shukyou (主教)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/354055.html)

“What’s it do?” I asked, staring into the box.

“What do you mean, what’s it do?” asked Isha. “It’s a dick.”

I could see that. “But what’s it do?”

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23
Feb

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

by shukyou (主教)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/348802.html)

When the aliens come, we will have to explain Elvis.

When the aliens come — and they will come, because they’re out there, because in an infinite universe it’s more probable they’re there than they’re not — we’ll have to explain a lot of things. It’ll start with the big stuff, like language, biology, geography, technology. But then it’ll start to get more specific. We’ll have to explain all the stupid, random things we do, like why red means stop and green means go, and why pancakes are for breakfast instead of dinner, and why the deaths of people we’ve never met can leave us in pieces.

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3
Nov

We Disappoint, We Disappear

by shukyou (主教)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/342735.html)

He had just fallen asleep when he heard the voice. He opened his eyes in the all-but-dark room, lit murky beige from the streetlight outside the curtained window. There was a figure standing in the corner, strange and familiar at once, and unmistakably human. It didn’t move in any direction, threatening or otherwise. It just stood there.

Slowly Daniel began to believe he wasn’t dreaming. There was too much gravity to things, to his own body. He was heavy, and there was a man standing in the corner of his room. Really, it was more the idea of a man, like if someone had taken a photograph from Daniel’s perspective and then filled in an adult male figure with nothing but black ink. It didn’t belong there.

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