Welcome Back

Batu shoved the door in to his apartment. The setting was familiar and the smell that had settled in his nostrils was also familiar; unpleasant, but familiar. Batu waded through the misaligned furniture that had been pushed around and not placed in their proper spots.

He muscled his way towards the kitchen and a new smell hit him. Was it mildew? He covered his mouth and nose at all the glasses and dishes with standing water inside all of them. Batu was horrified and reluctant to leave his bags unattended. He journeyed to living room and found a heap of blankets piled into the corner of the couch. Batu dropped his luggage on to the floor and the blanket mountain moved.

It had only taken a moment for a finger to peak out to tear at the fabric of the cocoon blanket, then a hand, then an arm. The arm retreated and the peeled back a layer and out popped a squinty eyed man in the opposite direction with the worst bed head that Batu had ever seen: Julian.

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Maturity Return Void

“Why are we here,” Tyler asked.

“It’s therapeutic, honey.”

Tyler looked around the abandoned school grounds. The wear had shown and time wasn’t kind to the decrepit building of learning. Tyler stood holding himself together, hoping not to scrape against something sharp, deadly and would cost him a very expensive trip to the emergency room.

“Would you relax,” Toni asked, breaking Tyler’s concentration.

“This is as relaxed as you’re gonna get.”

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Collectible

Harris pressed softly against the half opened door.

“Mitchell,” he called softly into the dark. Harris had streaked across the lawn of his friend and struggled to calm his breath. He received fourteen voicemails from Mitchell that night. He stopped listening after the third one. 

“Mitchell,” he called out again. “It’s me. You okay in there?”

Harris ducked when he heard a loud metallic bang fall to the floor. He crept to the back room, unsure if there was a home invader in Mitchell’s house. Between the crack of the door, he saw Mitchell. But he was bumping into the shelves and furniture in the room. He appeared distant. 

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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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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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Followers

“Jordan? What are you doing,” Devin asked in frustration as he finished up cleaning the kitchen.

“None of your business,” Jordan said after he jolted, hearing his name. Jordan buried his head into the laptop. His nose and mouth were out of Devin’s point of view. His eyes were lit from the glow of the silver laptop as he reclined on the surface of his bed.

Devin could see Jordan, shielding himself from him, using the the slim piece of screen to divide them. “It is part of my business. It is my computer,” Devin said, throwing the damp cloth on the counter top. 

“Half,” Jordan replied, making small eye contact before diving back and relinquishing his attention. “It’s half of your computer.”

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Diamond Cut

Okay. No pressure. Baseball. I’ve seen it a handful of times. I know what I’m doing. Kinda.

I mean I’ve been the last kid picked all school year and now Bobby Kani decided to give me a chance. I wasn’t picked first, second or third. I was somewhere in the middle.

This isn’t intramurals either. This is gym class. Baseball usually doesn’t have timer, but our class has less than ten minutes until Mr. Derrian, our gym teacher, calls time and we head off to lunch.
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