Picked

“So, what happens after you get picked,” the shiny 27th android machine said in the white room to the other identical looking android.

“I do not know,” the 59th android responded. “That is a good question.”

“Number 52, step forward,” a disembodied, tired voice spoke into the empty well lit room where the androids stood and sat as if in a waiting room. 

“Well, I have been picked,” 52 said in a joyous, yes still flat tone. 

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Red Eyes

“Sir… may I assist you with something,” the flight attendant asked a nervous Peter.

“No,” Peter said, sweating in his seat. His eyes were open, but the flight attendant knew from his face and his jittery leg, he wasn’t fine. “Thank you.” 

“Are you sure,” she asked softly. “We have-“ 

“I’m fine,” Peter persisted. “Thank you. Really.” His leg continued to bounce nervously in place. Peter did not enjoy flying. It brought him no joy whatsoever, but when a connection flight to Amsterdam waited for him in the distance, his fears seemed more like an annoying passenger.

He decided to deal with the stress that had been building within him for decades and travel to the place that excited him the most. Not even a terrible, mid-air collision could stop him.

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Versus

“You don’t want this,” Donovan said with a smug grin, towering over Saul.

“Bring it on,” Saul with a confident smile, looking up at Donovan.

“Alright,” Donavan said with a shrug. “Your funeral. Two tickets!”

The lights and loud noises of the carnival filled the autumn air as the two 9 year olds stared each other down.

“Step right up to the line, boys,” the carnival attendant yelled jubilantly. “The objective is…”

“We know what the objective is,” Saul said without breaking eye contact.

“Well then, the winner gets…” the attendant continued.

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Skipped

“I can’t do it, Dad,” Max said with his massive blue helmet on his head. Max looked sideways away from his dad. His eyes were focused on all the other passersby. He gave a sharp exhale the way any 8 year old would to his parents.

“Yes you can,” Pedro, Max’s dad said. 

Max sighed again and rolled his eyes in secret.

“I’m gonna be right behind you. I’m not going to let you go,” Pedro said from behind him.

Max looked across the field and saw his wife, Maxine, preparing burgers at the picnic table. Pedro could tell Max was distracted. “You looking at your mom. Don’t look at her. Keep your eyes focused on the path in front of you.”

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Empty

I feel this… disconnection. It’s maddening and there’s no end in sight. You pick things up and know how objects feel and behave. They are constant and it’s crucial for any man to survive. But not me… not me.

I’m Jake. 27 years old. I know this because my driver’s identification said so. If I didn’t have this one small piece of my identity, my anchor, I would be lost in this sea of chaos.

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Lover’s Leap

“Good afternoon,” the older gentleman stranger said to the man with his back facing him. Before them lay forest as far as the eye could see.

The older silver-haired mustachioed gentleman name was Martin. Martin strode forward and looked down into the ravine. It was difficult to see the bottom. The other man stood facing outward in silence, not answering the older man.  He could see a folded piece of paper with a name on it. Corey it read very neatly.

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