Champion

“Listen to me,” Coach Horner said. “This is the third round. Even I didn’t think you’d make it this far. But here you are.”

“You mean here we are,” Lily said with a wink.

The crowd broke wild as they stamped their feet in the bleachers. Their deafening applause filled every drum in the auditorium. The sound wave echoed out into the still night air.  Seller High celebrated every year, after homecoming, with a talent show. But this year was different. Claude, the precocious and obnoxious junior, decided to demonstrate his abilities in shooting baskets.

He went on with his act for over fifteen minutes, before people began to boo.

Then came Lily.

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Mightier

“Hey Dad! I had this crazy day today,” Ethan said strolling in his house and throwing his book bag next to the couch. “There were these guest speakers that came in, but the principal had no idea who they were.

Ethan pulled the refrigerator door opened and grabbed a soft drink.

“Dad?”

The old wooden house that he and his father lived in had been painted light pastel colors. The windows often had rays of sun shine through the transparent panes, often reminding Ethan and his father a time when his mom was still alive.

“Hey Dad! Where are 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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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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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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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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FunHouse

“Baby, it’s time to get up,” Camille said.

“Okay,” Richie mumbled with his face buried in his pillow.

“Come on, sweet pea. You’re going to be late and I can’t drive you to school,” Camille returned to Richie’s doorway to say. After a few moments, she returned. “Richard, I am not feeling well and I don’t have time for this.” Camille peered into the darkness and saw something wasn’t right.  

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