The Golden Ratio Theater

Jules forged ahead. “I want to own and operate my own movie theater—specifically the Golden Ratio Triplex.”

For a few seconds she was facing a table full of blinking eyes, raised brows, and mouths on the verge of supportive smiles. But that all collapsed when the moment of comprehension arrived. Jules had braced herself for their reactions to her after-graduation plans. She had promised herself some kind of treat or reward no matter what response she got. A midnight showing of “The Planet from Another Space.” With a bucket of buttered popcorn first, chased by chocolate toffee crunch popcorn for dessert.

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Zone of Eternal Sleep

“There’s nowhere on Earth,” Sam said, her voice low and slow, as if she were dragging the sounds out of her mouth.

“Did you try the moon?” Lee’s voice sounded about the same.

Sam winced. “Sorry, I can go—“

“No.” Lee sighed. “It’s my turn.”

Sam managed a small smile, her eyes half-lidded, as she rocked the groaning baby in her arms.

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The Man Who Cried Bird

“It’s a blue cardinal, look.”

Roy looked as Andre swiped through the photos he’d taken of the bird perched on the branches of the tree near the picnic area of his park he’d visited that weekend.

“There’s no such bird, Andre.”

Andre closed his eyes and inhaled through his nose. “That’s because no one has seen him, until now.”

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The Grand Universal Singularity Resort

“Uh…my—my last job? I used to work at the, the Outer Spiral Roadhouse.” Rekha pulled her gaze away from the mural of the butterfly nebula that arced over the vaulted ceiling of the main concourse, and looked down at her shift partner.

“No kidding?” Lianne said. “How long did it take you come all the way here from there?”

“Oh, uh, not long. Not long. Took a wormhole.”

Lianne glanced over at her. “Well, look at you, Miss Moneybags.”

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A Proximite and a Human

“We’ve chosen you because you’re just a couple of ordinary transport technicians,” the unfamiliar transport chief said. “And for one other reason. Proximites and humans are both relatively fragile species—no offense—when it comes to space travel. But here on solid earth…well, you’re still fragile, but you have certain qualities that come in handy should there be any problems with this particular prisoner.”

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