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Time Code

Time Code 1

Time Code

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p<. Time Code

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The Best Collection of 52 Stories You Should Be Reading This Year

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p<. Charles Eugene Anderson

h4<.

 

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www.charleseugeneanderson.com

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p<. AURORA, COLORADO

[TIME CODE
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Copyright 2015 by Charles Eugene Anderson

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form, except for brief quotations in reviews, without the written permission of the author.

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Contents

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p<. Introduction

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p<. Big Bang Serenade

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p<. Mercury Heaven

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p<. Twilight’s Last Gleaning

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p<. Ginkey’s Garden

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p<. White Van

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p<. Finding Footprints

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p<. Timid Bunny

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p<. Red Moon

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p<. Some Pig

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p<. When the Doorbell Rings

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p<. Slush Pile

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p<. To Whom It May Concern

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p<. Blood Draw

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p<. Are We Superman?

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p<. Moon Tweets from the Sea of Tranquility, 1969

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p<. Time Code

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p<. The Ink Beneath

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p<. Christmas Poinsettias

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p<. After the Last Showing

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p<. September Remembered

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p<. Grafting In the Dark

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p<. Test of a Lifetime

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p<. Coffee Lover, Muffin Lover

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p<. Pink Unicorn Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

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p<. All I Want For Christmas…Beets

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p<. Sitting Next to the Bug

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p<. [+ Sir John Falstaff Pleads With HAL: A Sonnet Not Penned By the Bard Nor An Odyssey Presented By Kubrik+]

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p<. Mac Morris…Sick Day

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p<. Maidens and Monsters; Tokyo Footfalls

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p<. The Typist

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p<. There goes a Tenner…Beans

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p<. [+ Excellent to Bad and Everything In-Between: A Quick Glance at Fredrick Culvert-Owen’s Credit Score+]

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p<. [+ Eating Acrylic Pancakes with the Dictators at IHOP on my Birthday+]

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p<. Fallen Hero

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p<. Girl Wrestler

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p<. Everything is Clear

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p<. Five Voice Mail Messages

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p<. Tourists of Apocalypse

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p<. Yellow Hair Lures Them All

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p<. Writer’s Time

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p<. After the Game

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p<. Home Renovation TV

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p<. Bard’s Muse

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p<. Fan Fic

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p<. Conan the Barber

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p<. Let’s Make A Yggdrasil Tree Deal

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p<. Z-Garten

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p<. Stupid Fucking Story

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p<. Free Range Human

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p<. Sounds of Segregation

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p<. Nemo Found

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p<. Nona’s Christmas Cookies

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p<. Copyright

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p<. About Charles Eugene Anderson

Time Code: The Best Collection of 52 Stories You Should Be Reading This Year

Charles Eugene Anderson

www.charleseugeneanderson.com

[+ Click Here To Join Charles Eugene Anderson’s Email List+]

https://goo.gl/ai9YQj

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p<. Chapter 1

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p<. Big Bang Serenade

The large radio in the Quonset hut hummed as the corporal tried to find the songs of the big bands in Oahu. The hut was his parade ground and the typewriter was his rifle. Pearl Harbor had been seven years before and the Japanese had been defeated in the end with two atomic bombs.

His duties were finished, and it was time to write another story for Astounding. He was stuck and he hoped the music would free his mind. He wanted to write new laws for the robots in his stories, but he couldn’t get past the first.

It read:

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p<. A human being may not injure a robot…

No luck with the story in his typewriter, and only static came from the radio.

The voice of his staff sergeant came from behind him, “Corporal, the radio hasn’t been working all day.”

When the corporal turned his head to see the other man, he removed his glasses and blinked. The sergeant’s statement reminded him why the radio emitted only static. The urgent needs of his editor back home had made him forget to replace the parts of the radio he had taken for his own use.

“I will turn this off for you,” said the staff sergeant walking over to the radio and turning its knob. The light slowly faded until it couldn’t glow any longer. “If you weren’t the best typist in the unit, you would have been shipped out with the rest of the squad.”

The corporal still didn’t say anything, but he hoped his sergeant would leave soon so he could get back to work. He needed to replace the old burned-out tubes, but he couldn’t do it while the other man remained in the room.

“Corporal Asimov, ya know it might have been nice to go to Bikini Atoll to help out with the new tests,” said the staff sergeant before he left the hut. “But it’s nice to be here too.”

Asimov realized he couldn’t speak because he hadn’t replaced the tubes. When he unbuttoned his shirt, he quickly replaced the old ones in his chest with the new ones to power his speech. Too bad the sergeant had already left because he had wanted to say goodnight to the human.

Asimov took the first draft out of the typewriter and threw it away. He put in a new sheet of typing paper so he could try again. His fingers found a new rhythm against the keys.

The second draft:

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p<. [_A robot may not injure a human being… _]

The government was testing hydrogen bombs, and Asimov realized his stories about robots, could save all the human beings from their own destruction.

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p<. Chapter 2

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p<. Mercury Heaven

Heat shields expand as the capsule plunged downward.

Chutes automatically deploy, filling with the earth’s atmosphere.

Recovery choppers rise up, their blades gasp towards the rescue splashdown.

The astronaut is dead; there was no air left to breath.

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p<. Chapter 3

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p<. Twilight’s Last Gleaning

Sunlight faded behind Longs Peak and the rest of the Front Range.  The Elders told tales of the mountains and their creation by the gods.

Wheat no longer stood in neat rows in the fields.  John Wesley looked back at his friends, each with a mostly full basket. The winter wheat had been harvested but it was their job to gather the leavings. And now there was nothing left on the ground. He took a deep breath of fresh air to expand his lungs. He was a young man who only believed in things he could see and touch.

The Elders told stories of creatures big enough to knock down the mountains, but John Wesley didn’t believe them. He gazed at the tall snow-covered peaks in the distance and knew they would stand forever.

No, John Wesley didn’t believe in stories about the past.  He didn’t believe in ICBMs and the missiles they called Minutemen. He doubted the stories about Russia and the United States, and especially the great demon called radiation.

But John Wesley believed in the wheat on the ground because he could touch it, and see it with his own three eyes.

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p<. Chapter 4

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p<. Ginkey’s Garden

Ginkey worked hard in her garden. All summer she tended it carefully and meticulously. Each flower stood tall. Each vegetable looked appealing. There were no weeds.

She watered the garden every morning. Before the sun came up she would pay attention to the weather to see if it was going to be too hot or too cold. She didn’t want to under-water her plants, but she didn’t want to over-water them either. She didn’t even want to stress them with treated tap water from the city. Years before, she made her husband install rain barrels to collect as much precipitation as possible from the gutters of their house.

There was nothing Ginkey wouldn’t do to defend her garden. Many times she fought off neighborhood predators. She chased off squirrels who wanted to eat the sunflower seeds. She fought off birds who wanted to eat the cherries from her trees. She even plucked off tomato bugs hiding on the undersides of leaves, lovingly executing them with the sharp end of her spade.

Always, Ginkey defended her garden.

Not so long ago, her husband wanted to build a barbeque area so he could invite his friends to their backyard. Ginkey refused, knowing she would lose too many of her plants if she let him put it in.

Composting was also important to Ginkey. Her soil worked best when it was dark, rich, and lovely. The soil had to be fed like her plants. Its chemistry had to be kept in balance, and there were certain ingredients it enjoyed. Ginkey knew her husband certainly missed a few of his fingers amongst his other dismembered body part, but she had buried him in strategic locations throughout her garden. In the soil, she found he brought true harmony to her garden’s soil and to the plants she cared for every day.

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p<. Chapter 5

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p<. White Van

Open the door to the van, out pops Paul the Plumber. He goes to fix a faucet.

Open the door to the van, out pops Peter the Painter. He goes to paint a house.

Open the door to the van, out pops Peanuts the Clown. He’s going to a party. It’s Samuel’s birthday party.

Closing the door to the van, back in goes Peanuts the Clown. He has Samuel. Samuel’s birthday party is over.

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p<. Chapter 6

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p<. Finding Footprints

You can first look for them with Geiger counters. The machines tick away after they have left us.

Next, you can look for them with seismometers. We feel the tremors each time they move.

Also, you can look for them from above. You can use satellites with their infrared eyes to search.

Yet, airliners still disappear from our skies and ships vanish from our seas. You can’t tell me there aren’t any monsters. I know the Kaiju are out there.

It’s only a matter of time before we find their footprints.

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p<. Chapter 7

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p<. Timid Bunny

The snow has melted. There’s a patch of green. It’s where Horace, the bunny, can nibble. His nose twitches after he sniffs the air. He can’t tell if it’s safe, but he’s really hungry.

It’s spring time, and there are still dangers.

“Duke caught himself another one,” says the man. “And he has ripped its head clean off.”

“That’s gross,” says the man’s son. “There’s lots and lots of blood.”

“Let’s get this cleaned up. I don’t want your little sister to see a dead rabbit.”

The dog and the two humans were finally gone. Horace can see where the other rabbit had been killed, but now he can eat the freshly-sprouted greens he had long desired in the garden.

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p<. Chapter 8

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p<. Red Moon

Fog creeps in over the waves. Teenagers dance near a bonfire. The moon turns to blood.

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p<. Chapter 9

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p<. Some Pig

Mr. Zuckerman ate the fresh bacon from the pig he had recently slaughtered. The spider’s web had been correct; every bite of Wilber tasted delicious.

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p<. Chapter 10

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p<. When the Doorbell Rings

When the doorbell rings, the dog doesn’t bark and the cat doesn’t jump.

When the phone rings, the husband doesn’t wake and the wife doesn’t stir.

When the barricade is breached, the children don’t cry and the neighbors don’t run away.

When martial law was declared, the National Guard didn’t fight and the zombies didn’t flee.

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p<. Chapter 11

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p<. Slush Pile

Each day the mountain grows higher. The white envelopes keep piling up. An avalanche of fiction buries the soggy editor.

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p<. Chapter 12

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p<. To Whom It May Concern

Vanguard Aeronautical

Palo Alto, California 94310

To Whom It May Concern:

I have bought many cars over the years, and all of them have been ground cars. Ever since I was a young man, I have always dreamed of owning a flying car. I finally decided to buy one when your company offered the promotional flying lessons rebate.

I was really happy the day I passed my FAA exam, and I received my Class FC license.

My neighbors were jealous when the dealership delivered the black model ILC 500 I ordered. Martin Jones, who lives next door, actually slammed his front door when he saw my new car land in my driveway, and I haven’t seen him since. I felt such euphoria when I heard muffled cursing from behind his entry. I think he slammed his door so hard it actually scared a small flock of finches living in the maple tree in front of his house.

My wife saw my happiness from the kitchen window, and she was really pleased with the terms of the four year lease I was able to secure.

Unfortunately, I did have more difficulty at the dealership with the finance manager who kept insisting I should purchase the clear coat finish package, and the air-intake protectors. I said to him, ‘if it was so important then the FAA would’ve required it on every flying car.’ That shut him up, but I did end up buying the clear coat package.

Who knew my first flight would be my last one? I slowly lifted off from my driveway and everything seemed to be going a-okay. The turbo fans of the engine increased revolutions, but it seemed like it was smooth and safe.

Okay, I was just hoping for a quick flight around the neighborhood so I could show off a little bit. After I waved goodbye to my wife, I have to admit I flew my car a little too close to the ground, just above the tree tops. But I was really happy, and the whole sky opened up before my windshield. It was truly beautiful.

Afterwards everything went wrong, the heads-up computer showed a fire in the starboard turbo fan, and my car started to spin to the ground. Luckily on impact, the side airbags saved my life. I crashed landed the car, and it turned sideways and hit Martin’s tree. Fortunately, I was able to walk away from the crash with only a few scratches, and a dislocated shoulder. However, the small population of finches in my neighborhood were not so fortunate, as many of them had been sucked through my flying car’s turbofan where they were incinerated in the afterburner.

My ILC 500 was declared a total loss by my insurance company, and the FAA found I was at fault for not attaining the proper altitude in a residential neighborhood.

I am still recovering from my shoulder injury, and my wife insists I ride with her in our old ground car for the time being. I also have to take the FAA suspended FC license course, and attend a week’s worth of classes from the State of Colorado on better understanding the rights of our wildlife friends. Yet, once my insurance check comes through, I know I will purchase another ILC 500, but next time I will make sure it includes all of the recommended safety features, and I will yield to the charm of finches.

Sincerely,

Chuck Anderson

Denver, Colorado 80218

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p<. Chapter 13

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p<. Blood Draw

It’s only a finger poke.

It’s only a needle in the vein.

It’s only a vial sent to the lab.

It’s only a pint of blood.

It’s only a surgery.

It’s only a corpse.

It’s only a grave.

The ghouls wait patiently.

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p<. Chapter 14

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p<. Are We Superman?

Are we Superman?

Do we wear capes?

Is our chest emblazon with the letter S?

Are we faster than a bullet? More powerful than a locomotive?

Are we birds? Are we planes?

Or are we like the rest of America?

And do we have another identity?

Do we wear glasses? Work for Perry White? Have a desire to play with Kryptonite?

Are we resigned to always being Clark Kent and never the Man of Steel?

Wait, there are plenty of Lex Luthors out there for all of us to fight.

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p<. Chapter 15

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p<. Moon Tweets from the Sea of Tranquility, 1969

@Buzzlightyear @NeilArmstron8 Everything is A-Okay

Hanging with @Buzzlightyear #bigmoonlanding

Waiting to take first step, IDK looks scary

@papermoon fake?, WTF

If I don’t hurry up @Buzzlightyear is going to leap down, rude

@debunkmoon watch your step @Buzzlightyear is PO says going to punch you in face for all mankind

@MissionControl that’s awesome

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p<. Chapter 16

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p<. Time Code

Part One

It makes no difference because time always corrects itself. It’s the rule, it’s the Time Code.

Questions: What are the old laws about time travel?

How can you go back and meet your grandfather? What happens if you kill him? If you did kill him how could you have existed at all?

The answer: the Time Code!

The Time Code won’t let you fuck up the past. Okay, maybe I should say it won’t let you fuck it up too badly. Okay, maybe I should say it works, sort of…but not everyone gets the same user satisfaction as others. If this were a television commercial for erectile dysfunction there would be a long disclaimer at this point in the advertisement. Let’s just say, if your little pal isn’t working, then the Time Code isn’t going to help too much. Let’s just say it’s better not to use the Time Code at all. It should only be used when it’s dire. Who knew the 1970’s would be so dire?

Part Two

“Steal a penny. Keep a penny. Kill for a penny. Isn’t that the old saying, right?”

“How should I know?” I asked, but I was more hoping Michael would shut up so I could go back to my smart phone and my texting.

“Well, if it isn’t that way it should be,” said Michael. He didn’t have a smart phone. Nope he had a flip-phone. What year was this, 2005? Buy, lease, or steal a better phone, dummy. I think my grandpa had a phone like that back in the day. If Mike had a better phone maybe he wouldn’t want to talk to me all of the time, but that’s neither here or there.

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Time Code

Time Code: The Best Collection of 52 Stories You Should Be Reading This Year The stories in ‘Time Code: The Best Collection of 52 Stories You Should Be Reading This Year’ are: 1- Big Bang Serenade 2- Mercury Heaven 3- Twilight's Last Gleaning 4- Ginkey's Garden 5- White Van 6- Finding Footprints 7- Timid Bunny 8- Red Moon 9- Some Pig 10- When the Doorbell Rings 11- Slush Pile 12- To Whom It May Concern 13- Blood Draw 14- Are We Superman? 15- Moon Tweets from the Sea of Tranquility, 1969 16- Time Code 17- The Ink Beneath 18- Christmas Poinsettias 19- After the Last Showing 20- September Remembered 21- Grafting In the Dark 22- Test of a Lifetime 23- Coffee Lover, Muffin Lover 24- Pink Unicorn Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 25- All I Want For Christmas...Beets 26- Sitting Next to the Bug 27- Sir John Falstaff Pleads With HAL: A Sonnet Not Penned By the Bard nor an Odyssey Presented By Kubrik 28- Mac Morris…Sick Day 29- Maidens and Monsters; Tokyo Footfalls 30- The Typist 31- There goes a Tenner...Beans 32- Excellent to Bad and Everything In-Between: A Quick Glance at Fredrick Culvert-Owen’s Credit Score 33-Eating Acrylic Pancakes with the Dictators at IHOP on my Birthday 34 -Fallen Hero 35- Girl Wrestler 36- Everything is Clear 37- Five Voice Mail Messages 38- Tourists of Apocalypse 39- Yellow Hair Lures Them All 40- Writer's Time 41- After the Game 42- Home Renovation TV 43- Bard's Muse 44- Fan Fic 45- Conan the Barber 46- Let's Make A Yggdrasil Tree Deal 47- Z-Garten 48- Stupid Fucking Story 49- Free Range Human 50- Sounds of Segregation 51- Nemo Found 52- Nona’s Christmas Cookies

  • ISBN: 9781370602360
  • Author: Charles Eugene Anderson
  • Published: 2017-04-17 00:15:12
  • Words: 23904
Time Code Time Code