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The rain lashed the windows of the car as it made its way down the hill. The Fortress , as the locals liked to call the hill , was the line of divide between the town and the Nocturn valley.
"I'm bored ", came a voice from the back seat. Earl , a lanky nineteen year old , was again expriencing one of his moments of restlestness. He had been the most enthusiastic when the group decided to explore the Nocturn valley and its many myths.
However , It seemed , the lack of any action had taken its toll on Earl.
" It's only 10 more miles to go , bud " , replied Jon.
Jon , the 20 yr old de facto leader of the group , held the steering wheel more firmly. He could barely see out of the wind screen. The mist was closing in on them from all sides.
" I hope the cottage survives this night " , said Gary , as another bolt of lightning streaked through the sky. Gary looked out of the window trying to make some sense of his surroundings .
Gary , was the youngest member of the group at 18 yrs of age. He had an easy going outlook towards life. Always ready for a challenge , he liked taking things as they came.
The car screeched to a halt causing Earl to fall out of his seat.
" Jon , what happened ? " said Gary
Jon pointed out of the window unable to speak.
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Puppy Love

"Charlie," I gasped as I woke.

Last night we'd spent a few hours in the bunker. Earlier in the day, my mother had called me.

She said, "I have some news."

I said, "Who died now"? We'd been having a slew of deaths in the family. I never expected her to say it was Charlie.

When she said, "Charlie." I dropped the phone. I was in Iraq. Single. No children. My dog, Charlie was dead.

He was a rescue. I remember being disappointed when I went to meet him. He was larger than I expected and he didn't seem to like me very much. Within a few days we were on the same team. If you have never lived in NYC you don't know how lonely a city full of people can be. You can never understand how much a dog can be your best friend.

I ordered take-out for two.

What was I going to come home to if it wasn't my best friend? We were going to buy a VW bug and drive around the country. Now what?
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wisc 2

I think it means that it is a miracle that we have survived so long with such idealogical differences without outright conflict. I think that we have some how created a safe haven for hatred and still survived. The listless can survive next to the inspired and motivated. Because of the inspired and motivated.


Wandering Graduate

I'd just had too much to drink. We always covered for each other when this happened. It was easy to do, I mean, when you showed up in a bar in uniform...you were a pilot. People bought you drinks. I can clearly remember the one I should have said no to.

I called John at 5:38am to take my flight. He was on a layover and the return would have gotten him back in time for his scheduled flight. We'd done this so many times, so many times.

I was laying in bed when I felt John shaking me awake. I could see him, but it wasn't him. He was trying to tell me something. God, I was still drunk, and he kept repeating it. I had to tell someone something, it was important.

When I woke up and saw the news. I saw that I killed my friend. I had to figure out what his message was. I had to.
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