The Competition

The wall was cold against his cheek. He lay there, stunned, panting through his teeth. Smoke, thick over the floor, darted into his lungs. Freshly combusted ballistite and kerosene. He pressed into the wall as if to stand, faltered. The tile, a sumptuous dioxazine mauve, crackled and flaked where he had hit it. Red, wet […]

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A First Impression

    Jalisco tugged his sleeves. His cufflinks flashed in the setting sun. Chamber music lilted neath the vaulted pergola, and the scent of wine and cut cypress pervaded the place. Jalisco sniffed, shrugged. "Stop shrugging," said the man beside him. A weaselly fellow, but one far more comfortable in the evening's stiff uniform. He […]

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Foreign Gentlemen

Something crashed in the night. Eloise scowled. Half past two in the morning. Another crash from downstairs, then several echoing clangs, like a kettle dropped down steps. A muffled rumble of raucous adolescent chortling. Eloise tore away her bedclothes, stomped for the door, nightgown flapping. She stamped barefoot down the paneled staircase, set foot on […]

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