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A Thousand Reasons

“That’s weird…”

The high-pitched squeak of Riley’s chair signaled his coming arrival to the top of the grey wall that separated our cubicles. His words arrived a split-second before the top half of his face.

“What is?”

I looked up to see the hazel eyes of my curious co-worker looking down upon me. His short brown was neatly parted and brushed to one side. When I started working here, his habit of looking over our shared wall reminded me of the neighbor Wilson from Home Improvement, but after a few weeks of why Star Trek is more scientifically accurate than Star Wars instead of words of wisdom from obscure tribes in Africa the illusion faded.

“Some girl dialed my number by accident, but instead of hanging up she left a message.”

Riley’s voice rose a bit with excitement. “Oh yeah? Let me hear.” (more…)

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Bait

The sharp crack of a door jam exploding snapped me out of a lovely dream and into the darkness of the cheap apartment I had occupied for the past week. Muffled orders preceded more doors being kicked in. Each one echoed down the hallway as they cleared every room en route to mine.

Throwing the covers aside, I rolled onto my back and wove my fingers together in a makeshift pillow behind my head. I knew what the risks were when I accepted the assignment. And there was no escape now.

As my door frame shattered into a hundred pieces, the instructions that I had spent the last six months learning ran through my mind. A soft hiss and the thud of a dart sent me quietly back to dream land. (more…)