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Cold

After much consideration, I’ve decided this will be the final WTF Wednesday. There will be a replacement someday, and I hope you enjoy that as well!

Flash Friday

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Time was a figment in a lab. Talia stood between an office chair and the stainless steel table, files stacked in neat piles and samples in vertical racks. The clock on the wall read 23:09, but the lights above held a steady morning glow.
She ran a hand through her cropped hair and set back to work. Dr. Folante had done thorough research in expansive studies. Years passed with subjects entering, sometimes fading, all before Talia could catch up.

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[Copyrighted © February 5, 2016, Jam Blute]

Flash Friday

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It’s kind of a sad story, but there’s a pet bird in it. Silver lining.
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This stretch of city, tight and dark, was home to people like Runt. He blended in with a worn sack over one shoulder and a carrier’s “uniform”. None of them were ever truly the same, but there were enough common elements to make it close enough. Dirt stains spotted his clothing, which was padded in places for a fight-or-flight situation, and Runt never went without a hidden knife or two.

Or three.

He traversed knotted alleyways with native familiarity, winding up in the peddler’s stretch. Some good wares, some hot, and it was a task to tell the difference. Mess up, and you’d disappear with the real thief.

But he knew a guy, as Runt always did, and he wove through the crowd to a covered cluster of tables and barrels. Suo had done well for herself, scraping by to finally settle in peddler’s stretch. The fog of incense floated around her stand, and Runt crossed through it on his way in.

“Suo,” he greeted as he reached the back, and a gaunt man locked his sunken eyes on him immediately. He was tall, lankly, and his shirt hung loose from his scratched up neck. He sat where Suo normally perched on her table, chittering to her bird.

“What you on about? Shop or leave.” The man’s watery eyes fixed on Runt, waiting. To his right, Suo’s bird squawked inside a cage, pecking at the bars. People came and went in this city, here more than ever. Happened dozens of times to friends and strangers alike.

He wondered what this man framed her for, or what bribe he accepted. Might be just this shop she fought so hard for, a gathering of tables and everything Suo made herself. Not anymore, obviously.

Runt nodded to the bird. “How much?”
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[Copyrighted © January 29, 2016, Jam Blute]

Surprise Saturday

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I DIDN’T BAKE COOKIES YESTERDAY INSTEAD. That’s absurd.
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The bare bulb was weak, casting a dark orange glow on the closet space Richard called him. His quarters, really. In the daylight, he was out with the others. They wouldn’t do anything bad then, or at least they would know if they did. It made a slight difference.
 
The cot groaned as he leaned forward for a new pen, tossing his third in the trash. It was lucky he was in charge of inventory. Larson had the job before him, and the night Larson caught on had been a close one.
 
Now Richard was on to Nolans, the stocky blond in maintenance. Page 43 of 82, not bad for only a few months of observation in his unit. So far, almost everyone was infected. Or afflicted. It was hard to juggle all the cases now with those he was just getting to and regular check-ins on whoever cleared.
 
Then there was his actual job.
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[Copyrighted © January 23, 2016, Jam Blute]