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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The Predictive Dreams

“How long do we have to stay,” Grant asked impatiently.

“Would you relax,” Caleb shouted back looking over his shoulder to the basement’s mini bar. “It’s a night out. You don’t have work. You did well on your midterms.” 

“Every time I hang out with you, it ends with a disaster,” Grant said, shrinking into the corner of the crowded basement filled with teenagers. Grant waved his hand to wave the strange smelling smoke from his face.

“We never hang out,” Caleb screamed over the music thumping in the tiny space. “Honestly, it’s like you’re like a charity case,” he mumbled underneath his breath.

“What,” Grant exclaimed with his eyes bulging.

“Nothing,” Caleb said loudly. He couldn’t help, but fidget and rub his neck, waiting for something to happen. “It’s nothing. You’re exaggerating. Like always.”

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Left Turn

“Again!”

Cheryl rolled her eyes as little Robbie sat in front of the blank television. Robbie danced in anticipation and pointed at the screen expectantly. “Come on, Robbie. You’ve seen the same show twenty-seven times! You can’t be serious,” Cheryl said.

“Again,” Robbie said louder than before.

“No,” Cheryl said sternly, “it’s time for reading.” She summoned her mother’s voice and tapped her foot again. The idea of having children became an unpleasantly. She could feel the muscles on her face falter. Children could sense that, but for Robbie it wouldn’t matter. He stayed fixed on the television demanding more.

“Again,” Robbie said more courageously.

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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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Missed Window

“The midterm is tomorrow,” Tara said, lifting her eyes from her pool of books.

“Yeah, I know,” Damian sighed with a carefree smile. He smoothed back his hair as he took notice of the Tara’s many books. The thought of being in the center of those texts were too much to conceive.

“You don’t look like you know,” Tara said checking off bullet points on her notebook pad. Damian’s brow burrowed. “You stroll in here like you’re in your freshman year.”

“Relax,” Damian exclaimed. “I got this!” And to his knowledge, he did. He bumbled throughout college without much of a care and managed to guess correctly on the key exams. He had never experienced the freedom of college life and was studious throughout his prep high school career.

“Shhhh,” came from the corner of the lounge area.

Damian frowned as he peered and identified who was silencing him. “What’s wrong with Tyler?”

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Father

“Are you sure about this,” Stevie asked. “Running away… I just don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“And I don’t think you know him like I do,” Michael said. Michael grabbed a handful of his boxers from his drawer and shoved them in his large faded green duffel bag that lay crumpled on top of his bed. 

“But,” Stevie struggled to say, “where are you going to go?” Stevie wouldn’t dare stop Michael from leaving. Michael was thinner than Stevie, but Michael knew how to punch.

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Restroom

“Is everything okay, Zach” the receptionist asked.

“Yep,” I reply quickly. “Just don’t like hospitals.” 

It’s true.  Haven’t been a fan of them since I was a kid. My foot tapped impatiently on the linoleum surface that lined the entire hospital infrastructure. My fingers drummed in the same tune. It would only be moments before I wiggled my foot and lose the foundation of my courage and bail. The receptionist doesn’t have a clue who I’m here to see. She might not know. Neither would the person I’m here to see.

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Saturday Night Grace

“Where am I going, J,” Thomas asked his brother. He rolled through the empty intersection after the light turned green. It was Saturday evening and Thomas’s foot bounced in place with impatience.

“I don’t have the address,” Joe said slowly. Joe had reclined his chair all the way back and stared at the street lamps illuminating the road and walkways. Joe is dressed for a party, but his face is prepped for a funeral.

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Master Debator

“Ready for the presentation,” Douglas asked. 

“What presentation,” Mark asked he chewed his lunch. An unhealthy pause grew between the two as the cafeteria filled with sounds of chattering of high school students. 

“Mr. Reynolds’ oral assignment,” Douglas asked as he fished for his book bag. Mark coughed as he stifled a chuckle. Douglas rolled his eyes. “He’s been talking about it for months,” he said as he fished for his papers. His face lit up as he flipped through his folder. Mark tossed another fry in his mouth before brushing his hands together. 

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