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The Toad ManThere once was a man with the features likely of a toad. Though ugly and covered in warts he was, he possessed a heart of gold.
This man was poor and wore tattered clothes that did nothing to help his appearance. People would poke fun and taunt the toad man constantly, but he would never retort rudely or allow himself to fight. He would quite often nod quietly, and showed a gapped tooth smile. Sometimes he would blink his big saucer eyes in appreciation. That usually frightened the person off.
The toad man faired fine on his own, lonely and shabby he may be. Yet every once in a while, he wished that he could find someone to share his life with, someone to love. But he knew that no one would want to love a poor, hideous man like he. Even the women, disfigured and more ugly than he, found the toad man repulsive. Not even his good manners and kind heart could please them.
It was a nice summer day when the toad man decided to go to the streets to look at the traders' goods. The
Taiko and the LionThe moonlight was blinding without the simple cover of the green leaves. Black, smoldering branches glowed and popped threateningly as Taiko picked his way around them. The weight of the large brown hare in his pack caused it to slap clumsily across his thigh, often causing him to almost misstep into a pile of glowing embers. Fire was an evil thing, monstrous and ever hungry.
"Misun?" Taiko called lightly, hopping over a branch that lay across the burnt path. There was a long silence before a long, high-pitched wail echoed across the blackened rocks of the canyon. Despite the obvious note of fear in the call, he smiled. At least the cub was aware of his calling.
The moonlight was not hindered as it glanced sharply off the rocks of the gorge wall, blinking out the cub's hiding place. Taiko was careful to climb the wall in the night, despite the welcoming moonlight. Misun's calling became urgent, for he began to hear the small pitter of pebbles and smelled the scent of the hare. "Mi-sun.
SkatingJane tapped the frozen pond's surface carefully, smiling. There was not a hint concern or worry in the snow white smile of hers. The bone chilling, snow speckled winds were no match for that smile, thought Tony as he stepped closer. It was as if her pure happiness was warming him as he anxiously looked past her onto the ice.
"Perfect thickness." She beamed, stepping surely onto the frosted ice as skating skillfully out to the middle. Tony simply stared, her reassurance of the ice depleting as she skated cheerfully in circles. Before he could smile, he looked down and began to paw hesitantly at the pond's bank with his foot. Rather than this, he was motionless.
He had never skated on a natural skating 'rink' before, much less having skated in the last ten-twelve years. Tony had really never enjoyed skating, even though he had only gone once... fourteen years ago. There were too many bruises and bumps after the first time that he had never longed to go again. But here he was, having Jane
Over Coffee'Warm coffee wakes the brain.' Tony thought as he sipped on a cup of Jane's special brew.
"Perhaps the killer was a former officer, a prison guard by chance?"Jane suggested, stirring her coffee absently. Reaching across the table, Tony gripped her hand lightly to gin her attention. A steady blush formed on her face and she withdrew her hand from the spoon and stared intently at the glossy surface of the table. At this, reached upwards with the same hand and lifted her chin, forcing her to look at him.
"You know, we could just search the records for former officers and prison guards, right? We're not in the stone age, you know." There was a slight pause and he chuckled. "Instead of just pondering." He added. Jane heard his tone of amusement and ailed, resting her full weight on his hand.
"And see if there were any problems with past convicts." She rolled her eyes. "Or prisoners at the moment or both." Tony snorted and begAn to strokE her chin like he would a cat. Jane produced a m
ThinkPearly white bubbles rose to her neck, cleasing not only her body but her soul. A yawn escaped her lips as she turned the page of her book. The book wasn't boring, nothing near it she thought as another yawn slipped from her mouth.
Frosted bubbles licked at the bottom of the book, forcing her to shift into a less comfortable, yet safer position for the sake of the exquisite literature. Exquisite, yes, she had finally admitted it. Kate held the book at arms length above the water, reaching blindly for her glass of red wine. She continued reading from a length until she almost knocked the glass into the tub.
"don't worry, found it." She chuckled, grabbing the stem of the glass and pressing it gingerly against her lips.
Kate had barely taken a sip before she unconsciously murmured,"I must be rather appealing." She bit her lip as soon as the words finished tumbling from her mouth, muffled by the frosted wine glass. Self consciously, she peered up from the tub and looked a
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The Coffee GodThe Coffee God behind the counter shuffles foot to foot, a dance of steam and espresso. Black painted fingernails, inch gauged ears and a gray striped sweatshirt, hood crooked on his back. There's a cigarette tucked behind one ear; it bobs and twitches with each step.
“Non-fat caramel latte,” he calls, just as he always does, part of a spell, part of a mantra, toneless (just a tuck at the end). I reach. He looks up.
The espresso maker hisses.
There's something like a grin, something like a spark, something like a shared secret linked eye to eye. When he passes over the drink (rough cardboard sleeve hot to the touch), he lingers. Our fingers brush, a shiver, a jolt, a ten-watt shock.
The Coffee God tilts his chin, shouts, “Hey, mind if I take my break now?”
and ducks around the counter without waiting for a reply.
He slips his cigarette between his lips without taking his eyes from mine. I follow him out the door.
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