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Featured Stories, Week of Sept. 15, 2018: Part Three

Each week we feature a story written by one or two of our group members at our weekly meetings. For this week's featured stories, we are ALL featured as this was a particularly fun jaunt into our imagination. First, we drew at random a genre. Then we chose a prompt from the book "Q&A a Day for Writers." Then we wrote for 20 minutes.


By Bryan Mahoney

For once the fulgent sun was not a welcome sight ...

Who is this guy? And what the hell is "fulgent?"

Him? Oh - Detective Sullenberger. Yeah - you get used to him.

Wait - he does this all the time?

... A heavy burden must have crushed his esophagus - the weight of a doomed relationship, perhaps ...

Yeah, pretty much narrates the whole investigation. You should see his crime scene reports. Read like a Dickens novel.

And nobody says anything to him?

Well, he does have a pretty good record. Something like 85% of missing persons cases?

JEEZUS - for real? Even while wasting all that time?

... The porous boughs dappling light on his exposed, blood-spattered chest ...

To be fair, he's investigating the crime while you're just staring at him. Here - take this bag and file it in the evidence wagon.

Excuse me.

Oh - uh, hi. What's up?

I couldn't help but overhear you.

Yeah? Uh, OK.

Mind if I have a look at your loafer?


Your shoe - the fashionable leather number strapped to your foot like a mother cradling her smooth, innocent child.

Sure. Here you go.


What's that?

Well, the precinct is seven minutes from here at 8:30 a.m. - just before shift change. It takes blood three and a half minutes per milliliter to coagulate on a rubber surface.

Uh huh. Captain Davis? What's he doing?

Detective, what are you talking about?

Captain, there's an imprint of a malodorous piece of Filipino rubber pressed into this man's throat. It's a cheaper model shoe, to be sure, like those knockoffs they sell in the Fashion District.

I didn't come here for fashion history, Sullenberger.

Captain, after this man's stomach was punctured by the bullet, he was kicked in the neck and left here to bleed out. But the blood was left on the killer's shoe, a cheap imitation with ruts in its side two millimeters deep.

I suppose it's not worth hiding it ... cleaned everything but the damn shoe. Well done, Sullenberger, but now it's your time to die ...

I guess this is where the rubber meets the road ...


By Erik Day

The line to get in was a hundred people long. Those at the end might get in by 2, and that was assuming the club didn't hit shut-down before that. Wilcott was just five back from the entrance. He'd get in, but standing there, didn't know if he'd get out afterward. The door itself was caution orange, with flashing holograms against it, warning about hearing damage, seizures and potential aerial overdose inside. That was part of the challenge. The club hadn't gone without shutdown for a record 1,322 days. Every night, an ambulance landed on the roof and took somebody away who'd gone into arrest. Then the lights would come on and everybody else would filter out, having survived another night. The door unlocked with a pneumatic hiss and slid open. Inside, the strobing flashes were blinding, the 180-beat-per-minute bass was enough to make Wilcott feel the cables inside his implants. The girl in front giggled as she was waved in. The door shut behind her. Four people left. The bouncer scanned him. "No weapons?" "No." The bouncer leaned closer, lowering his synthesized voice. "Would you like one?" "No." "Tab?" Wilcott looked over the rack of tabs. He already had a rainbow of plugs on the implant, but did he want to add a tab on top of it? Any plug could be unplugged, but the tabs were old school. That was direct chemistry. "Yeah, I guess. Gimme an orange." If a robot without a face could smile, this one found a way. "Ah. I see. A lover, not a fighter." "Yeah," Wilcott nodded. "That's me." "Prophylaxis?" "Uh, I am a guy." "It's an antimicrobial as well." "Oh. Yeah, okay. Good idea." Before he knew it, the bot hit him with the hypo. "24 hours of protection. Have fun."

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