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The Shortest Path to Curiosity

It had seemed a good plan at the time to be. Now she was not so sure. Veronica stopped the bike and looked around. Rock. Dust. A single blackened tree.

'Maybe I should stay on the road next time,' she said into her radio.

'Not a bad idea,' the voice of her friend Blake said from the radio.

This shortcut was not so short. This Landscape not so familiar.

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Crafter Market Mayhem

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'Stand baaahhhck!' the talking sheep seemed to be saying to her. 'Stand baaahhhck!'

Veronica stood back and pressed against the Farmhouse wall. There was a rumble from the ground and suddenly four giant worms burst up from the ground and immediately tore the giant spiders to pieces.

People scattered in all directions some screaming, some firing weapons, some just running as fast as possible.

This was certainly like no other Crafter Market Veronica had attended.

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Dust Trail

'What do you want?' snapped the Geologist sitting at a table without looking away from close examination of a rock with a strange blue sparkle. He held some sort of lens in front of his eye.

'I... err...' stammered Veronica.

'Well tell me or go away,' the man said from sitting on his stool at a table covered with rocks.

'I was wondering, if, well... if you could tell me anything about this dust?' Veronica asked.

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Cold

Within the Medical Building in the nighttime of New Flagstaff, all was still. A few signs of activity from the Medics day remained on the table in the room upstairs. A damp cloth. A length of blooded Bandage. A half empty bottle of some liquid used to clean wounds.

And an undrunken cup filled with tee. Cold. Untouched.

Beside the table, in the dark, a lone figure sat still on a chair staring at the window, a barrier between the calm inside and the storm outside.

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Out of Step

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Stupid man and his stupid foot.

I should have tread onto the other one also. Stupid foot.

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Smith and Jones

Veronica looked at the big well dressed man in the suit standing in front of her by the New Flagstaff pond. She liked the color of his tie but was not sure of the man himself. Veronica sat on the bench. He had asked if she would like to sit, more insisted really. She had feeling that he could hold her down with one finger if she tried to run and could make her obey with a single word.

'No need to worry,' he was trying to reassure her. 'I'm just curious how you got the frequency.'

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The Sound of Madness

A flash of lightning briefly illuminated the Mountains outside and the rain began to fall. Inside Veronica was dancing. She stretched out her arms and danced around the room singing.

Rain drops on water
And lightning and thunder
Bright grapey sodas
And stories of wonder
Freshly made paper tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Veronica continued to dance waving her arms to the music in her mind.

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Seasonal Meetings - Part 3

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The large man in red with the white beard stopped the bike a short distance from the house so noise would not awaken people. He had business with one only, there was no need to involve others. As he approached the house he looked at it. It was unusually intact. No sound was heard from it. He tried to open the door. It was locked. A strange circle of spikey leaf and red berries was upon the door. He tried the windows. All locked. He did not want to break the glass. He looked up. There was another way in.

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Seasonal Meetings - Part 2

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Harry was just finishing his drink, his third of the evening at the festive Party. He examined the empty glass. Not bad for a hot bar drink. The barman had told him it was something called Gluevine or something like that, probably some sort of strange foreign drink from days before the Fall. He was not sure why it had to have glue added but it certainly tasted good.

'Hey Harry!' somebody behind him said.

Harry turned around, the novelty antlers on his head wobbling slightly.

'What is it?' he asked his friend.

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Seasonal Meetings - Part 1

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The Graham examined the hat with curiosity. It was a strange item, certainly too small to be of any use. The odd cone shape was bright and shiny with a frilly ball at the top and a band tied to either side of the hat. He turned it around in his hands for a few seconds and then placed it on to his head, the band under his chin. He peered to himself at a reflection in the glass of a nearby cabinet. He looked...

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Turning Kiako Kuh-Razy

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Veronica turned in her seat in the bar in New Flagstaff and looked at the strange Chota man sitting against the wall. 'Circus?' she asked. 'I have heard of the circus? Ag-er-roo-bats... clowns! Is there one in the town?'

'It gone Om,' replied the strange man. Veronica looked disappointed 'Oh.'

'Om further up the road Miss,' the strange man added.

'I wonder how Betsy the Bungie Jumping Cow is doing,' wondered Kiako from where he sat opposite Veronica sipping tea on another chair.

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Cypher

'I have it here,' whispered the Lightbearer to the Tech in the back of the Haven library. It was the middle of the night and all were asleep except the guards on duty. All except these two. The Lightbearer had smuggled the Tech in. Techs were not exactly popular at Haven but he needed the Tech logical mind.

The Lightbearer picked up a book, opened it and removed a delicate yellowish piece of paper.

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Befrogged and Dazed

Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan South Burb, then we take Berlin

Leonard Cohen - First We Take Manhattan

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Never Frogotten

I walked into this empty church I had no place else to go
When the sweetest voice I've ever heard, whispered to my soul

Leonard Cohen - Ain't No Cure for Love

In South Burb Mr Frosch was exhausted.

Outside of South Burb...

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Frog Class Travel

Ah, the moon's too bright
The chain's too tight
The beast won't go to sleep
I've been running through these promises to you
That I made and I could not keep

Leonard Cohen, I'm Your Frog Man

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Frog in a Box, Toad on the Road

I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond
They tied me to this table right here
In the Tower of Song

Leonard Cohen, Tower of Song


'Myeep!'

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Froglin Rider

The New Flagstaff Franklin Rider looked at the woman curiously as she kissed the frog which was resting on her palm. Suddenly realising he was watching, Veronica looked over at him with expression of embarrassment.

'Those Fairy Tales lie,' she said. 'But I just wanted to make sure.' Carefully she lowered the frog into a cardboard box containing water, food and plants. 'Have safe journey Mr Frosch,' she said before closing the cardboard flaps with air holes made in them and secured them with some string. 'Myeep!' said the frog from the box.

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Coffee, Conversation and Craziness

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'It is called coffee,' Veronica said to the man sitting opposite her at the bar table. 'There is a man here growing it. Mr Basteel. Do you know him? It grows as seeds, stones or beans or something. They call it coffee. I heard people speak of it and I said to myself I must try that! So I came here to try it, I was not sure at first so I had another cup, but was still unsure, so I had more. They call it coffee. Have you heard of it?'

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There Were Two

'I said there were two,' Veronica thought to herself as she sat on the chair in the South Burb Science Shop. 'I said there were two.'

Now there was a problem.

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An Argument

Once upon a midnight dreary...

The cat, as black as the night but with an eye as bright as the moon, hurried along and then suddenly stopped and stared ahead from its only eye in the direction of the voices. As the two figures approached it hissed and disappeared into the darkness.

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Ready for Collection

As dawn cast light upon South Burb a door of a house opened and a man walked out blinking and yawning in the sunlight. He walked over to a pen within which were protected many chickens with small house shaped structures. These were not the large angry ugly mutant chickens but the smaller egg laying ones. He walked over to an upturned box, stood upon it and breathed in deeply before shouting loudly.

'Cock a doodle doo!'

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Letters, Words, and Sentences

ICOOCICOOCICOOC....

'Approach us,' the cloaked Judge sitting behind the table said from behind the white mask, a painted eyebrow permanently drawn in scorn.

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Postcards of the Mind

 

Postkarte

 

Hi Veronica,

We are having a lovely time at South Burb Beach with the sand, the sea and the 'Sunshine'. Shame that the many crabs on the beach 'creeping' around have stopped us going into the sea today however Vanilla is enjoying the sun and atmosphere.

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A Little TLC

'Giving that some real TLC there!'

Veronica turned around from the bench to see a man in the Science Shop in South Burb smiling at her. 'Sorry?' she said.

'TLC. Tender loving care. Looks like you are giving it some TLC, those jars, that...well whatever it is,' the man said.

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The Second like the First

The second was like the first, there in body but in mind incomplete. One purpose only, to collect, as if made just for that. It was when Veronica went to the Science Shop to get it and take it away that the clone arrived. Veronica was looking at the bookshelf when a voice behind said a single word.

'Violet.'

Veronica turned around and saw the clone standing there pointing two pistols at her and with the strange single focus stare that the previous clone who had attacked her had. The clone said another word.

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Blood, Oil and Fears

The bruised and scratched face looked back at Veronica from the reflection in the mirror as she held it in the light. She raised a hand to her face and examined an eye. It was red, probably from the oil. She moved her hand to the collar, wincing slightly as pain came from the slash in her right arm. The collar, comfort or curse?

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Salute to the King

Rodney stood near the crates and the mailbox in New Flagstaff that once also acted as a sort of office, turned inside out, for Joe. He looked at a nearby pile of Joe's old underpants and smiled. Joe always had a bloodhound sense for profit, even turning his old underpants into scrap cotton to sell to unsuspecting people. He would miss Joe, the grumbles, the insults, the smell of strong tea and stale cigar smoke. The man had charm.

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Soup is served

Veronica closed her eyes.

        The coin rises into the air, spinning, light bouncing off metal...

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The first soup of the day

Veronica stirred the soup before looking up, an expression of satisfaction in her eyes, and remarking 'I know who the killer is.'

Veronica shook her head.

Veronica stirred the soup before looking up with a smile of satisfaction and responding with 'I know who the murderer is.'

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Looking through the glass

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Veronica walked past a couple of men making some repair to a rusty ATV and over to the door of the Shots Bar and pushed. It opened. Sometimes she found Polly's lack of security worrying. Maybe Theta was running the bar but there was no sign of her only Andrea standing in her usual spot.

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by Dr. Radut