The Monstrous and Curious

Some people claim they dreamt of the creature before its vast shadow soared overhead and landed on the top of a young redwood.

Most of us have dreamt of it at this point. A gargantuan pterosaur with gold-and-blue feathers like a modern macaw.

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The Durquin Adventure

I’m trapped inside a rubber duck that’s about to be swallowed by a giant shark.

How did I come to be in this predicament, you ask?

Good question. I’d like to know myself.

But there’s no time for that now.

Because if that shark doesn’t swallow me and Durquin—that’s the duck—in the next three seconds, we’ll both disappear into an abyss of bubbles for all eternity.

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The Desk of Professor West

I’d seen pictures of his desk, several of them. They were slightly different, but there was one thing in common with every single one. It was cluttered. Piles of files, pencils lying in constant danger of rolling off the edge, a half-empty cup of coffee or tea or maybe flat soda, a wadded up piece of paper, a stack of books, no two of them aligned at the edges. It seemed like the desk of someone who would start working on every idea that popped into his head, so he wouldn’t forgot. A person who didn’t use sticky notes or devices to help him remember. But in the most recent picture I saw of Professor West’s desk, all of that was gone. There was just one thing left on the desk, a letter addressed to someone he’d never met before in his life, and who’d never met him.

A letter addressed to me.

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A Dream Unto Death

13 September
“I’ve been summoned to your side,” I said, taking a seat in the chair beside her bed. “In the hopes that I can help guide you back to the world of the living.”

She coughed, cleared her throat, smiled at me, and said, “I have been waiting for you.”

The waking dreamer was lucid on the day that I met her. Though she was lying propped in her bed, she didn’t even appear weak or pale. I was quite surprised. But then I looked into her dark eyes and perceived in their depths a hidden truth, a weary soul, and a cautious calm. She was indeed haunted by the journeys that her mind and even her body had made in the weeks prior.

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The Vessel Vespertilian

“Raccoons or orphans, whatever is back there, chase them away. Or chase this away. It’s your choice.”

I didn’t want to look at the glinting silver coin that he held up, but I couldn’t help it. This was not the coin I needed today, or ten days from now, or even ten years from now. I was prudent with my coin. No, this was the coin I would need when I was an old woman, assuming I wanted to be the type of old woman who spent her days sitting by a sunlit window, sipping on fruit nectar, listening to a happy dog bark as I read a book of my choosing for as long as I so pleased.

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Angel at the Carnival

“I know what it looks like to most, but he’s actually quite friendly.”

The woman named Irina laughed and tipped her head toward the toddler picking dehydrated marshmallows out of his cereal. “I could say the same for him.”

She glanced down at Angel, who lowered his head and kept his mouth closed, trying to appear as harmless as was possible for him. Angel was born of a dog, but he was…different.

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A Carnival of Cakes

On the eve of the winter solstice, ever since I can remember, my brothers and I have played a game that only we can play.

It’s because we made it up. We made it up together. I would have let my brothers decide everything. I was the littlest. I didn’t know as much as they knew. I didn’t know anything. But they told me that was the point. No one knew anything in the beginning of their journeys. They only started knowing things by going on the journey. By making decisions before they even knew what the right decision was.

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