Black hole in space

Celestial Deadline

As agreed, your first day of work will be on Monday, January 1, 2018, 6th floor of the Burnside Building on N Sycamore Ave, which is two blocks from the State Capitol building. ...

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Mr. Know-It-All Name Badge Customer Support Help Service Assista

That Guy

"A lot of 'ums' today. Lots of opportunity to use the squeaker. Just saying." ...

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Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA

Driftwood Dreams

The Toastmasters gift keeps on giving. Here's Project #5, delivered this past Thursday. ...

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Group of black wooden frames on old painted  wood panels wall. Gallery, retro style

Walled Open

Is it a puzzle? he wondered, staring at the empty space on his office wall. If so, how do I solve it? He stroked his chin with the thumb and index fingers of his left hand, repeatedly pinching from a width in line with the corners of his mouth to the center. Then tapped with the pinched digits at...

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Mountain Everest outdoor adventure insignia. Climbing, trekking, hiking, mountaineering and other extreme activities logo template.

Everest Rising

I arrived early to scope out the place. Posters on the walls outside, weird designs, bucket of paint here, tip-of-the-brush-stroke there, indicative of too many illegal drugs, digital drafting programs, and rancid dreams of escaping this old town!; vagrants camped on the sidewalk; vicious shouts...

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lawyer

Dandy

I'm becoming a Dandy. ...

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Beautiful orchid flower background with copy space

Orchids and Oracles

Playing cards were scattered across the floor, appearing in odd locations, seeming to buck the expectation to follow a trail. Whose expectation? The one that said certain random cards, if claimed with haste, and if said cards matched the house's hand, could lead their bearer to a reward. The players...

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Colourful lighting bulb

Illumination

After realizing he'd spent five hours researching oil lamps, tallow candles, and ancient spells to conjure light, he decided his life was pathetic, and he bought a floor lamp. ...

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christmas snowman decoration

Shiny

I imagine a big hamster wheel. I step onto the tread, move one foot in front of the other, feeling the sole of my shoe grip the inclined part of the curved wall, sunlight glinting off the shiny, metal-trimmed edge, and I press forward and down. ...

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man janitor plumber  silhouette

Starter Memories

He wrote with the eloquence of Hemingway but spoke with the cadence of R2-D2. That sentiment is what I sought to avoid when I joined Toastmasters. This week, I gave my first speech: the Ice-Breaker. As directed, I reduced this to notes and spoke extemporaneously. Full text: ...

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Crazy smiling woman in the eyeglasses

Babysitter Odds

During a Monday-morning weekend recap, a co-worker and I covered my performance guest worship leading at St Johns Wesleyan Church in North Portland, the awfulness of the new Adam Sandler movie Pixels, the superiority of Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond vs every other actor who has played the...

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Close up detail of a classic car at a car show

Scrolling Oldie

The man rolled down the street behind the wheel of his classic Chevy pickup. He turned the radio dial as far as his wrist would allow, feeling a bone crackle in protest. He passed pop, country pop, hip-hop, and several other closely related mutations, but failed to find what he wanted: classic...

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Figuren-Serie: Mann entsorgen - na so etwas!

Death Benefits

He opened his eyes to a world of blurry shapes and muted sounds. He had no clue who he was or where he was, and thought, I have no clue who I am or where I am. A novelist by trade, the plague of redundantly repeating in dialogue what he'd just specified in narrative had always dogged him. ...

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Shocked woman

Conditioning Drills

She left the NYC salon on a high. ...

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wand gold sparkles 1

Boxed Magic

Since moving to Portland, OR in August, we've been trying out several new stores for grocery shopping. Sam's Club doesn't exist in Portland. No results within 100 miles of our zip code. (Probably too many Walmart execs left their engines idling while the draw-bridge to City Center was up and were...

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bat isolated on white background

Mousebat

Mousebat opened its eyes, then quickly closed them when light struck the virgin lenses. The creature's eyes were so sensitive to the effects of light, it was only able to lift the lids a millimeter at a time, every few minutes, until hours later, its eyes finally adjusted enough to permit them...

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Good Kitty No More

Cat Finds a Way

On June 13, 2015, Tropical Storm Bill dumped 1.83 inches of rain on Moline, IL, where we reside, which broke a record for rainfall in a 24-hour period that had stood since 1880. Yay, us. ...

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The New PSP

The New PSP

Causality is difficult to determine. Although it is easy enough to observe event A and then event B and conclude that, assuming a plausible relationship exists between the two, A somehow caused B to happen, how do we prove this? ...

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Fortune Favors the Bold Proverb

Erring on the Side of Recklessness

When I was a teenager, I was into BMX dirt-jumping, spending many summers building ramps in the fields behind my best friend Nick's house. While the rest of the world was having fun at city pools and water parks, Nick and I and our cohorts were digging holes. ...

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golden iced lolly

Perishable Relics

The explorer burst into the temple at a run, breathing hard from the exertion. She skidded to a stop and scanned around, willing her eyes to adjust quickly to the dim light. The ancient guardians of the temple were fast on her heels, their heavy footballs echoing off the ancient stone, growing...

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