An Ongoing Process, by Russell Conover

(Originally published to LinkedIn.)

Ted had been working on his story for months. He had lots of good ideas, but had trouble finding the time to write and organize his thoughts.

He took a deep breath. “One step at a time,” he thought.

He looked around the library for inspiration. A number of interesting people passed, and his eyes wandered. “FOCUS! You’re here to work.” His mind chastised him, though he was in a productive location. Hypothetically.

“Keep the faith,” he told himself. “You’re a good writer, and the story will come. Don’t give up.” Newly motivated, Ted smiled.

He returned to his keyboard.

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Judgement Day, by Fliss Zakaszewska

The president of The-Land-of-the-Free shook hands with the dictator of the small, turbulent Asiatic country; then they sat down to discuss State Matters.

Bang! The president’s head exploded. Bang! Then the despot’s head. Blood spattered everywhere.

Lars continued to look through the telescopic sights. That felt sooooooooo good. Two arse-holes in one.

He so wanted to do it again, relive the moment, but, no time. The Anglo-Germanic summit was about to start and he had to take out those two women. But temptation called.

Slowly, he turned his gun on himself and fired. Bang! The screen flickered.

‘RESTART, PLAYER ONE?’

The Calling Card, by Charles Boorman

The honeymoon was a dream. The journey home a nightmare. And then this: drawers ripped out, clothes all over the floor. Camera, computer, jewellery – anything that could quickly be converted to cash – all gone.

Adding insult to injury, the villain had left behind a pile of “waste matter” in the un-flushed toilet. Although the house held many happy memories for the couple, they moved out as soon as possible.

One day a policeman turned up at their new address: “Got your burglar,” he grinned. “D.N.A. of his ‘calling card’ matched a record in our files. Shit happens, you might say!”

Gone, by Zane Castillo

It was the sound of the car speeding out of the driveway that woke her. She threw the damp sheets off of her and walked past the useless fan to the window. She saw that Raheem’s rusty Honda Civic was gone.

She turned to leave the bedroom when she saw the piece of paper on her nightstand. She picked it up with an unsteady hand and read the words that Raheem wrote in his terrible handwriting. “Lina, I’m sorry. But, I gotta go back to my family.”

She sat down on the bed and let out a sigh of relief.

The Great Telescope, by Reg Wulff

The great telescope was the pinnacle of ingenuity and invention. Scientists peered into the far corners of the galaxy, looking for answers to the questions of life. It was truly incredible.

But nothing was as incredible as the day life was discovered among the stars.

Older generations grappled with the idea that they were not the only beings in the universe.

Younger generations embraced the idea of other advanced civilizations existing elsewhere, even if they could only be observed for the moment.

Nibirian children created rhyming skipping songs.

“One bomb, two bombs, three bombs, four.”

“The earthlings don’t exist anymore.”

Elusive Peace, by Sankar Chatterjee

After visiting historic Nazareth in Israel, peaceful Peter was driving on Highway 90 towards Jerusalem. Suddenly, he came to a fork. There stood a red warning sign, next to one arm:

“This Road Leads to Area ‘A’ Under The Palestinian Authority. The Entrance for Israeli Citizens Is Forbidden, Dangerous to Your Lives, And Is Against The Israeli Laws.”

The map indicated that road traversed through Jericho, a predominantly Arab town. Peter, a U.S. citizen, took the road, stopped at a roadside tea-shop, mingling with the locals. Later, back on highway, he philosophized, “Only trust will bring peace in this land.”