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Clerk or Hero

  Clerk or Hero By Olga Godim     After a long, terrifying slide, Tiero’s feet touched the ground. The thin rope tying him slithered down and coiled at his feet. Only his weight kept the loop tight for his involuntary descent. As soon as he was down, the witches dropped the rope. High above him, at the mouth of the shaft he had just been lowered through, one witch sniggered, invisible behind a bent in the chute. “Bon appetite, boys!” Her mocking cackle drifted down the shaft. “Harpies!” he shouted back. Nobody replied to his toothless insult. The...

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WASPS

  WASPS By Patrick S. Baker “Flash Traffic from NORAD!” Technical Sergeant Karen Scott, US Aerospace Force, Women’s Aerospace Patrol, announced from the communications’ station and turned on the speaker. “. . . all mass-drivers! Multiple launches from Soviet territory. Thirty-six outbound, not, I repeat, not, standard ballistic flight paths!” A burst of static, a silence. “Estimated targets are defensive mass-drivers. Repeat: targets of multiple space launches are estimated to be missile defensive mass-drivers, high confidence. All drivers, acknowledge and stand-by for orders.” “Acknowledge the traffic, Scott,” Ines Isabelle Leduc, Captain, USAF, WASP ordered. She flipped on the station...

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Fitzhugh Vs. Fitzhugh, or The Thirteenth Amendment

  FITZHUGH VS. FITZHUGH, OR THE THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT   by Douglas Kolacki     Sometime in 1857   The meeting house stood on a hillside. George Fitzhugh, getting no younger, had to exert himself to run up the grass. He puffed for breath. Yellow light glowed from the bottom tier of windows, and the closer he got to the door, the more the clock tower steeple seemed to rise into the night sky. A slight drizzle was falling, and he welcomed the cool drops on his face. Fitzhugh took hold of the front door handles and threw the doors...

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Skin Deep

  Skin Deep by Sidney Blaylock, Jr.    I. The Healing A gentle breeze cooled the sweat from Mahalia’s brow. The island, like her, was a paradox.  Immutable, unchanging, Jamaica had an Old World feel to it with its tropical climate, azure waters, and lush green trees and shrubs.  Yet, aircars, hoverboards, and integrated AI littered the burgeoning cityscapes.  The golden glow from the sun suffused the tropical island in a light.  The sky would soon turn to a deep burnt red, but her next patient would be here before that happened.  Mahalia was apprehensive about meeting him. His...

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Holding the Stone

  Holding the Stone by Robert N Stephenson   “Why don’t you just sit down, kid, and shut up,” the bearded man had said as she asked the Captain of the space ship how long before they entered cryogenic sleep. She’d been through this before, or she thought she had. She fumbled the stone in her hand and watched the man. They’d left the solar system days ago and she was excited. The man was the Captain’s son, and full of arrogance. She couldn’t remember if the Captain had answered or not. It was the man’s voice that remained...

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