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Once when I was sleeping in the dark, heavy of dream, I was awoken by a scratching at my door. I thought it odd that one of my animals might be outside my condominium, so I performed a roll-call; all present and accounted. I looked through the peephole but saw no-one in the hall. Curious, I opened the entrance to my abode and found at my feet a medium-sized, purple frog, fully decked in a yellow cape and red hat. He seemed annoyed.

“I haven't been able to get in,” he said. “They sent me to the wrong section of your home.”

“Oh really?” I said.

“Yeah. I need to come inside.”

I stood in my pajamas deeply perplexed.

“May I?” asked the frog.

When he came inside, he flapped his cape and pulled out what looked like an electronic device, something like a small hand-held computer. He tapped it once and then shook his aggravated head.

“You know, I hate to ask, but can you get back into bed?” he said in an irritated voice, though I saw that he was not annoyed with me.

“Why?”

“You're supposed to be asleep when I arrive.” He looked at a...

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There is a banana-yellow fruit train gliding through the forest whose windows witness silhouettes of masterless animals fraught with need to vie with one another.

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J and K planted a tree on the summit of the highest hill in their land near a brook with gurgling clear water, a great oak with leaves fullgreen and tender. It grew wildly and quickly, as rapid as oak trees grow, at least. It drew strength from underearth soil and shifted its roots into the dark organic dead around it, while the little creatures and minuscule entities made home bark and branch. Their oak soaked up the moisture from the air and drank liquid from leafy dew, sating its thirst from the rain that seeped into the ground. Its branches reached out into the out-there away from end of tree and though their oak did not see, it felt and made good the charites of a grown giving. It grew old as trees do and remained standing long and wide and into the years it reached out its outreach, rushed in heat of sun and pleasant breeze. And K and J and J and K loved and cared for the oak, together making it sturdy and vibrant. Years passed and they made home the shade under the branches and lived well without care – well, nearly without care at least.

A time came when J...

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There are many reasons why the Classics section of the Modern Languages department needs more resources and attention, not the least of which is the potential for a Classics presence. Classics at DePaul has not been given a proper opportunity to flourish and we cannot know the potential for enrollments until there is a Greek and Latin presence as well as a Classics major. A small DePaul Classics contingent has worked over the years to gain ascendancy and to solidify its presence, yet a lack of resources has hampered efforts. Classics has been allowed a minor, which has given ancient language studies at DePaul meager opportunity to function, and when resources are made available to the department they invariably go to language sections that have not only enough to function well, but also possess sufficient funds to continue arguing for more resources. Classics is not permitted a presence in department voting that decides distribution of funds. A full time, tenure-track presence will remedy this situation, but if a tenure-track position is not possible, DePaul can show its...

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Dana stopped near the side of the road and tied Aristippos near the bramble bush. He would stay, keeping the carriage in one place. Good boy. She was fortunate that no-one had seen it before she did. It would surely be gone already should someone have come along and seen it. Its chain was tangled in the green and browning thorns and branches of the angry bush. Its entanglement was why its owner had not taken it back, or maybe its owner did not know where it is, not yet know they lost it. Must be. She thought that it was a most beautiful object. Perhaps not the most beautiful ever seen, but the beauty and the originality steeped in tradition that it employed surrounded her mind with luminescent musing. It was, she supposed, an amulet, spherical and gold with strangely-formed words written all about and around. She was unable to discern all of the sliver-filled characters, could see that there existed a great many more than she perceived woven inside the sphere in many layers beneath the surface, more and more spheres inside spheres each embroidered with insight. She looked at it...

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The mat of blonde hair flopped down into his face again. He savagely threw it back atop his head. He leaned his well-cut arm around the divan and glanced at the wall with the many, giant shelves inset, myriad resting books and old compact disks, even some leftover videos lounging as though they had worked all day. He knitted his brows. The mahogany floor and the brass plating on the glossy-wood windows spoke to him as they always had. This his library scanned immense fifty meters or so, and it was the smallest room in the ever-expanding domicile. The lengthy field of fine fescue outside the manor and the multi-kilometered expanse of trees enveloped the home entire in silence. He thought he may want a Moules Mariniere, but then again no. Perhaps he wanted another woman. They were cheap, many times, and quite manipulable.

But no.

He may want to fly north; he was somewhat in the mood for skiing and cocoa at high altitude.

No. Not really.

He suspected work on another addition to the house would be his next thing, but there was so much of that, had been done...

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The path beneath him was black and warm. His beaten and faded sport-shoe disintegrating around his feet, he continued beyond what he perceived to be his tolerance. His clothing comfortable, clean denim, he enjoyed the sensation of recently washed garments, felt untainted and faultless. An unfortunate circumstance returned his stain regularly and as a result he developed a habit of cleaning his clothing frequently, more often than he was able to afford. He had walked so many kilometers that his count was lost. He retained some of the money that had taken him away from that circumstance, and each kilometer buried the event more deeply into the abyss of his psyche as long as he continued moving. He had almost returned to what he called “normality”, but much time would be required in order to submerge that memory amply, and the blot returned regularly. He considered himself a fair man, not necessarily good, certainly not a saint, but a decent man who refrained from harming others to the extent that they refrained from harming him. A man who was generous to friends and associates, he...

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Agnes pushed the porcelain figurine forward just a bit. What with a blue, floppy hat and the flowing dress its depiction of a young woman strolling was quite beautiful, she thought. It slide along the counter as she pushed it, but she didn't pick it up. The youthful stroller was too heavy. Everything around her came laden with weights and dripped as if drenched in some sort of fluid. She thought it was an oil of some kind. It fell exceedingly slowly from her body as it weighed down her limbs hands, and her feet almost dragged along the tiles. A drop would not hit the floor in an hour so slowly did it go from her body. She didn't want to touch anything, was afraid that anything she held would break, already broken. When she arose in the morning, her first thoughts pressed her back into the bed. She wanted to sleep more and when awake keep sleeping. The visit to Precious Porcelains had been a good idea, and it gave her a bit of levity and thus lifted her a bit lighter, but only a bit. She walked along the aisle and found an urge to stroke a collie on the glass shelf, eternally...

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“You're not serious.”

“I am. I'm quite serious,” she said.

“Why do you want to know?”

“I'm curious about what...transpires in there.”

“'Transpires,'” he said with some incredulity.

“'Transpires', yes.”

“Well, you may be disappointed. I'm sure that what goes on in mens'...place of...'exiting' is different than what goes on in yours.”

“Some of it is very much the same.”

He laughed.

“Granted. But you guys do all that primping and trimming and spreading of color.”

“I'm not sure what you mean.”

He knitted his brows.

“It's a magical place. Much moreso than your den of beautifying.”

“Oh really?”

“I remember when I first entered our sacred place. It was when I was still little, maybe five or six years male. It's the time that I recall, anyway. Maybe I entered earlier and have no memory of it.”

“Of course. Of course.”

“The door is naturally guarded by a man in a top-hat. Usually, the hat color is yellow or orange, but any hue will suffice. He's always happy to greet you and he has an...

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Tom squatted and examined the pile of fallen broken wooden branches around the Bitternut hickory. The stick was not proper, too thick and curved in the wrong manner. It would be unwieldy and awkward. There were all sorts of trees around him, and when he turned his view circle-round he was able to see from his squat much more clearly what moved and who was where. His uncle had taught him how to survive and observe in the wilderness. His headache had subsided a bit, but he still hurt.

“Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.”

“Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.”

“Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.”

“Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP YAP.” “Yap yap YAP yap yap YAP YaP yaP...

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Preacher Marvin, dressed in a breathtaking tan suit with black lapels, spoke to a theater of believers who howled and hooted exultation. He delivered the message again: the good christian sympathizes with Others. He is compassionate with other creatures, and then preacher Marvin said that god gives us the earth to tend as we see fit, animals have no souls. He said “we” are the chosen people. He paced the stage before the pulpit and then circled round behind it. He banged his fist on the sturdy, gilded wood as he claimed that no other creature possessed a soul like man. Marvin then gradually walked out into the audience and touched the hand of an elderly woman, front row. She rose and hugged Marvin, saved and Halleluiah. She related to the audience how she had been lonely and afraid, near life’s end.

“No-one ought to fear death as long as they have Christ in their heart,” said Marvin.

He held the frail thing up before a great lake of geriatric eyes.

  • “I met this guy,” Xenis said.

“You did?” asked John.

  • “Yeah. He’s a friend of...
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The car jerked as Rokita sat down on the plastic cover with the wafer-thin, electric blue carpeting on top. He placed his sack beside him and wound the strap around his arm, though he wasn't carrying it. A weariness spread through him, which a lack of sleep seemed to keep generating. He knew he must drive himself awake and then slog through the day. Ordinarily, he would take out his phone and type at Karina, but the weariness produced in him just enough lethargy to inspire akinesis. Rok slid his eyes across the car, over the standing-man hanging onto the rail with knapsack on back, along the ugly, light-heeled, white shoes of the pale-skinned teenager with the pods in ears, and around and onto a woman staring intently into what Rok first thought was a phone, but was apparently a small mirror. “Maybe they have an app for that,” he thought lazily. His eyes fell on her as she ensured the appearance of smooth, dark brown, clean skin. Her long hair shifted into dreads, other portions shining smooth. After a moment she noticed him noticing her. He thought fast and lifted his hand,...

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Dane looked up into the white glass and steel dome with the bright light falling down. Someone with a thick, paper bag nudged him on the shin as she talked on her phone. The white shirt on his form had no stain on it; he had made certain that no yellow fell there. The marble fountain he had been sitting on shined up at Dane, and he thought to sit down again. He glanced again at the thousands of pennies lining the fountain and watched as another person with another thick, paper bag descended the moving stairs. None of these persons talked to him. They seemed to notice him in no way, but that was alright. He waited for something else, not them. Dane ate the last of his meal, a dog on a stick with mustard and honey. His attention turned again toward the light coming from the white glass. Soon, the light would come, shining down on him from the the window in the roof. It would make him young again.

He'd see Alan and Gracie. He couldn't wait.

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Steve says that he has been patient up until now, but no-one has presented to, granted by law or writ, submitted control over, or otherwise relinquished to him the cheese. He’s going to have to smash someone or something soon, but before he does that, he wants everyone to know that the papyrus given to him by the man who had fallen off his horse is proof enough. This papyrus is the word of god. It's written down for Christ's sake. It says right there in plain ancient Greek that all cheese belongs to the cat Steve who must have control over all of it immediately. The words written down on that papyrus are absolute and incontrovertible. Listen only to Steve's papyrus and to Steve's papyrus alone and you'll find truth and justice, and...the good life,...or happiness or some shit. But you must hand over the cheese now lest you suffer eternal damnation or oblivion,...or some such other crap like that.

Catch up:

Steve Says I

Steve Says II

...

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Nervous, he wound around the corner and observed the thick mass of homotheria bustling around him. He had no need to concern himself in the way that these others did, and so his stay downtown made pleasant feeling. All of these persons carried themselves in a similar manner, each being distinctive. A bald man in a derby carried a seemingly permanent smile near his jaw. He swayed as he walked. Xenis listened beside him as the man talked on his cell-phone, explaining to the world everything in mind. He had some means by the way he talked. “Myra, it isn't as dire as you believe,” he said. “Give it to John. He'll have it done for you before the convocation. Really, what would you do if a real problem arose?” After a moment's listening the man laughed. “Then don't let him,” he said. Xenis kept up with him and entered the lobby of a large, sand-colored building where the man sat at a booth, ordered brunch and a drink. Three other men met him and each of them carried themselves similarly to the bald man who refused to remove his rust-orange derby. Xenis finished his soda and lemon. The...

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© 2014 by Kirk A. Shellko a.k.a. Lucian Whyte