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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Scuffle

David was stricken down with a tightly pressed fist. A blow to the head. David is dizzy. 

David clawed the dirt with shallow raspy breaths. He knew better than to suck in air all at once. He had tried before and was met with radiating pain. His torso felt locked down with it. His ribs were broken. 

“Try it again. I dare you,” Mort said as he leaned over David’s body with wisps of his hair hanging slightly over his his forehead. He pointed down with great force. His pointer kept David invisibly pinned in the ground.

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From the Past Future

The cool wind brushed up against the neck of Mario. It was the electric present tense. He was breathing future air. The thought made the hair on the back of his neck feel unbearably sensitive.

“Let me get two ice creams, please?” his best friend, Leo said to the ice cream vendor. Leo stood tall, with a form fitting tee and slacks and his hair was always primed to perfection. Always the showoff. Mario always knew that Leo would’ve grown up to be the charmer of the two. And Mario, would always be that awkward, mature pre-teen. Somehow, Mario stood in the world, still, as an awkward, mature pre-teen.

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