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Beyond Death by Robert A Ferguson A short piece on a love reaching through war and beyond death. [275 words]
The Man by Mike McWade The Man takes a break from the stiffs at work only to run into more. [1,243 words]
The Ballerina by Ashley Miranda Mary loves ballet and studies at a ballet school, but she sure is shaken up when she finds out th... [1,333 words]
The Exploits Of Tal'on Kepp by Michael Harris This is a short story set in my Chronicles of Zefaria series. I hope that all enjo... [2,542 words]
Better With Age by J Shartzer A young couple enjoy their new home, and a barrel of brandy... [1,117 words]
Randy And Sarah by Z E S Carothers A story about two young kids. A boy that lives by himself in the forest and a girl that is his ... [3,211 words]
You Don't Have To Talk... by Harvey Kennett When you are shy, and cannot find the words to say, say nothing. [607 words]
Wto Rally The Final by E Rocco Caldwell Joe has a rude awakening. [548 words]
Why Must You by Lucy Midnight - [1,593 words]
What If I... by Lucy Midnight Campfire Tales. [1,076 words]
Waiting In The Desert by Mihai Pruna The caravan pulled off the interstate on a county road. Soon they abandoned that as well ... [1,850 words]
The Unwanted by Lucy Midnight Campfire Tales. [2,159 words]
The Tower by P J Francis A man wrestles with his actions. [226 words]
The Sucidal Games by Lucy Midnight Internet Relations. [1,029 words]
The Story Of The Blanket by Patti Merrill A short story. [668 words]
The Spectator by Harry Buschman The story of a deaf man's contribution to the war on terror. [2,240 words]
The Rich Little Chipmunk by John C Popiel This is a story about how a five dollar bill travels through three different people an... [707 words]
The Mansion by Laura Depriest This is a short story for young readers about aging and leading a full life in the context of livin... [2,923 words]
The Magic Lamp by Somdev Mukherjee A story about Varun - a little boy brought up in a busy modern city with all its problems for th... [1,092 words]
The Holly Tree by P J Francis A dark fantasy tale. [1,399 words]
The Guitar Man by Jason Taylor The Bloodman A war veteran flips out. [499 words]
The Friends by Lucy Midnight ... [1,416 words]
The Forces Between by Lucy Midnight ... [977 words]
The Cubicle by D G Williford Working in a box and what is does to the psyche... [104 words]
The Adventuresof Archie 5b - The Army Surplus Salesman's Tale by Xoggoth Continued. [1,116 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 7 - The Puzzleman's Tale by Xoggoth Archie finds he is not alone in the valley. He shares it with... [2,988 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 6 - A Peaceful Solution
The Adventures Of Archie 5a - The Army Surplus Salesman by Xoggoth Archie learns the truth they try and keep from us, that... [913 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 4b - The Great Regurgitato's Tale by Xoggoth Continued. [823 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 4a - The Great Regurgitato by Xoggoth Achie learns of the greats of bodily functions and meets th... [781 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 3 - The Spider Catcher's Tale. by Xoggoth Archie escapes from the paralysing purple and find hims... [1,313 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 2 - The Little Demon's Tale by Xoggoth A hell spawned satanic creature identifies too much with m... [901 words]
The Adventures Of Archie 1 - The Great Escape by Xoggoth A sort of Alice in Wonderland meets Canterbury Tales sort of thin... [473 words]
Test Song by Jeff T Kane An alien invasion seen from a religious ant's point of view. [5,341 words]
Te Quiero by Lucy Midnight Hannah and her boyfriend Cody are getting serious when Hannah learns that Cody has cancer. [1,108 words]
Room 86b by Lucy Midnight ... [2,284 words]
Right Place, Wrong Time by Maggie Danials A story about sex. [487 words]
Retribution And New Beginnings by Erasmus Flynt Secrets will out. [8,764 words]
Radia by Z E S Carothers The begining of one of my books. Tell me what you think about it. [814 words]
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Nightmare by Inchara Incident faced by a girl returning home late in the evening. [1,268 words]
Monty On The Run by James Bondjamesbond The second instalment - Monty in deeper water. [1,226 words]
Miranda And Her Doll by P J Francis A sweet little girl...or is she? [1,187 words]
Love Of The Mountains Or So They Thought by Lucy Midnight ... [1,335 words]
Like Ocean's Eleven by Higgins This story takes place in a military setting, mainly Point Barrow, Alaska. Russian officers... [1,414 words]
It Happens by Lucy Midnight - [1,634 words]
Introducing Monty Finch by James Bondjamesbond This is the first chapter of my Monty Finch series. In this first instalment our hero f... [2,432 words]
In Capable Hands by Erasmus Flynt Or are we? [212 words]
Hunters Moon by P J Francis A creature is hunted. [1,768 words]
Hook by Amanda Connison Written for the PA Govenor's School. [1,855 words]
Gold by P J Francis Lost hopes... [243 words]
Girls Vs. Boys by Lucy Midnight Madison and her boyfriend Scott break up and then he asks her to marry him and she declines. She... [2,015 words]
Girl In The Rain by Rowan Davies We always think of ourselves as individuals, until we notice that there are other individuals ... [505 words]
Expectations by Jacson A Bevens A tale about what can happen when expectations are laid aside and feelings take over. [1,220 words]
Devastation 2 by Buxton The journal piece of the only women left after the end of the world. 34 year old Emily Carter's d... [448 words]
Deep Fur by Jeff T Kane The downfall of a corrupt lion judge in Long Island. [6,460 words]
Cluedon't by Tomphil Baed on the popular board game, what will happen when Edward and his wife go round to play Cluedo wit... [3,567 words]
Black Widow by Lucy Midnight Kayli, Becky, and Eddy are three sisters that lose their only living relative left. Kayli and Eddy ... [3,096 words]
Being An Atheist Is Hard by Aaron Horn A guy spills the beans to his mom that he doesn't believe in good ol God. [626 words]
Bare Facts by Partha Pratim Majumder When western culture and western fashion representing economic power of West has been making serious... [1,461 words]
At A Wto Rally by E Rocco Caldwell - [853 words]
At A Wto Rally (Part Three) by E Rocco Caldwell Joe gets his first lesson as to what is the consortium. [435 words]
At A Wto Rally 4 by E Rocco Caldwell Joe confront the internal workings of the consortium. [723 words]
Allefureine by Tomphil A story about a clash of cultures between a race of alien creatures and humans. [463 words]
Alice In Wonderland by Katy Pierce It's a newer version of Alice in Wonderland . . . Alice goes to a party, gets druggged, and... [782 words]
A Tough Day-1 by Sukesh Srivastava A common,innocent man when caught in a tricky situation with the police authorities, finds himsel... [3,142 words]
A Stroll Through The Beach Sands by Ravikumar Hariharan About how we lose innocence with age. [553 words]
A Perfect Crime by P J Francis One womans vengenance as a perfect crime. [1,048 words]
A Marriage Made In Heaven by P J Francis A tale of revenge. [936 words]
A Beheaded Cart by Sam Vaknin My grandfather had one love: my grandmother. A ravishing, proud, raven-haired woman. A framed r... [1,508 words]

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The Adventures Of Archie 6 - A Peaceful Solution
Following a Little Boy explosion Archie find himself on a desolate plain and meets two tribes who are too stupid to realise that war and bloodshed are by far the most efficient means of resolving disputes.
[1,271 words]
[March 2004]
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God's Trainees (Short Stories) Him upstairs is thinking of retiring, all he needs to do is train up some suitable replacements. Easier said than done. They just don't make deities the way the used to. [1,570 words] [Humor]
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The Adventures Of Archie 1 - The Great Escape (Short Stories) A sort of Alice in Wonderland meets Canterbury Tales sort of thing but sillier than the former and even more boring than the latter. In episode 1 our elderly rabbit hero escapes his hutch and disappe... [473 words] [Humor]
The Adventures Of Archie 2 - The Little Demon's Tale (Short Stories) A hell spawned satanic creature identifies too much with men and falls to their level. [901 words] [Humor]
The Adventures Of Archie 3 - The Spider Catcher's Tale. (Short Stories) Archie escapes from the paralysing purple and find himself in a world where an avoidable infestation has eaten all the perspective. There he meets the spider catcher and learns why ballroom dancing i... [1,313 words] [Humor]
The Adventures Of Archie 4a - The Great Regurgitato (Short Stories) Achie learns of the greats of bodily functions and meets the greatest of them all. [781 words] [Humor]
The Adventures Of Archie 4b - The Great Regurgitato's Tale (Short Stories) Continued. [823 words] [Humor]
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The Adventures Of Archie 7 - The Puzzleman's Tale (Short Stories) Archie finds he is not alone in the valley. He shares it with a man in a very strange prison. You have to endure a little homily on man's inhumanity to decorating materials first. [2,988 words] [Humor]
The Adventuresof Archie 5b - The Army Surplus Salesman's Tale (Short Stories) Continued. [1,116 words]
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The Adventures Of Archie 6 - A Peaceful Solution

Archie found himself alone in a cold and windswept rocky desert. He was just starting to panic when he noticed two little huddles of huts a few miles off on either side of a small hill.

Twilight was falling as Archie neared the tiny villages. With every hop the impression of poverty and squalor increased. The shacks were scarcely more than piles of rocks covered roughly with sticks and leaves gathered from the sparse scrubland. Around them, fields had been grubbed out of the barren soil, sprouting small and yellowing crops. Pitifully thin goats and pigs wandered among the hovels searching ceaselessly for something to dull their hunger. He was seen. Small and malnourished inhabitants gazed at him in curiosity from the doorless apertures of their miserable hovels. Archie was suddenly very nervous. He was a rabbit after all. In all his travels so far it had not seemed to matter, but here?, among these nearly starved people?

Fortunately they seemed to be unaware that rabbits are edible and made Archie welcome. He got a tiny cupful of water and a little grain, and he knew from the avid expressions on the faces of the children that he was being treated generously as befitted a guest. As he tried to sleep on his bed of twigs that night, shivering in the cold, Archie felt full of pity for these people forced to live in such an arid wilderness.

The sun shone brightly the next day and Archie rose early trying to shake the aches out of his ageing bones. He wandered away from the village to attend to his needs. Since his abdomen had been so horribly flattened by the big red lorry it had required a long daily struggle. You know when cassette tapes get broken up and all the tape comes out? You get the picture. He breasted a small rise looking for some privacy.

There below him, basking in the sunshine, was a lush green valley. A wide blue river meandered through the centre. Tall beautiful trees cast delightful shade. Everywhere was verdant and flourishing. There was no sign of any habitation. Archie was puzzled. Why were these people living up here in this cold barren wasteland when there was a paradise below? What danger could be lurking there? Was the river poisonous? Were there dangerous beasts or swarms of disease-carrying insects?

None of those it appeared. The headman of the slightly larger village explained it to Archie later. There was a dispute between the two tribes as to which one got the best land in the valley. To avoid bloodshed the wise men had devised a fair game of chance that would decide it. Once that had been done they would both be able to take up the land that fate had determined for them. Archie would be privileged to see this game played out today. Archie was full of admiration for these decent and peaceable people that they should settle things between them in such a civilised fashion despite their desperate need.

The ceremony of the game took place that afternoon. The people from both tribes gathered around a small circle cleared in the scrub. The headmen from both villages walked rigidly to the centre. They bowed low, their grass head-dresses touching the dust. The crowd chanted. An ornate bag made of chicken feathers was opened. Inside was a tiny and very worn coin. The headman of the larger village tossed the coin, caught it and slapped it on to the back of his hand. "Heads" said the other headman. "Nope, tails, said the first headman. The crowd chanted, the coin went back in the bag and both headmen bowed and walked stiffly backwards out of the ring. Archie saw not a hint of rancour on the faces of anyone on the losing side.

Archie was disappointed that the great game had turned out to be nothing more than tossing a coin. Still, the important thing was that the dispute had been settled without bloodshed. He was the honoured guest at the short ceremony after the game. "Which part of the valley will you be taking now that you have won?" he asked the first headman. "Won?" said the headman. "Oh no! We haven't won yet. We have to keep on tossing every day until we have done it as many times as our greatest wise men told us. The one with the most correct guesses is the winner"

"Oh I see, said Archie "so what is it? Best of three, best of five? The headmen went to a small wooden box. They bowed. Between them they reverently unwrapped a small and very ancient piece of parchment inside. "These are the words of our first and holiest and greatest wisemen" said the elder. We must toss the sacred coin each day until we have tossed it 1,277,500 times and then the contest will have been decided.

Archie thought. He was very bright for a rabbit. "But, but, but..". He began again. "But, but, but... that means you have to toss it every day for 3,500 years!" he exploded. "That may be" said the elder "but the wise men have spoken and who are we to question their wisdom? "But, but, why could you not toss it just once? There was silence. Then the headmen and all the elders exploded with laughter. They would probably have laughed for ages except they were too weak with hunger to manage it. "You are a stranger here, said the eldest "so we forgive your ignorance. I hope that you in turn can forgive us for our rudeness"

Archie paused to muster his thoughts. "I'm no expert, but statistically speaking the deviation from an exact 50/50 ratio of heads or tails, expressed as a fraction of the number of tosses, diminishes the more you toss. For example, if you toss just 4 times, the chances of all 4 being heads is quite high. If you toss four thousand times the chances of all four thousand being heads is astronomically small. To put it another way, about 1,277,400 of your tosses will tend to cancel each other out and have no relevance whatever. It isn't even an odd number, what if you got 638,750 each?"

The elders were silent for several minutes. "Oh sod it" said one headman. "Bang goes the last 3,400 years" said the other. They called in the current wisemen of the village who concurred with Archie's analysis. The parchment of the original wise men must have altered by the evil spirit of the desert. They resolved it would not happen again.

The question of which tribe had what bit of the lush valley still had to be decided. They would have to begin the contest again, but what if the sacred coin too had been got at by the evil spirit?. "What about scissors, stone, paper?" asked one of the elders. This met with general approval. "Best of what though?" asked another. The village wisemen went into a huddle. They cast bones. They threw strange powders on the fire. They killed a scrawny chicken and examined its entrails minutely. They decided. The contest would be held three times a day. That would speed things up. How many times? The wisemen conferred again. "3,832,500 times" they chorused in unison. It sounded like a lovely mystical sort of number and all the elders cheered.

Without another word, Archie picked up his tail and hopped out of the freezing squalid smoke-filled hall. He hopped up the miserable street and through the listless clusters of children with their skeletal ribs and swollen bellies. Over the rise and down into the lush green fertile valley.


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March 2004

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