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June 01, 2005

Volume 2, Issue 1

Note: Today we have a new addition to the Les Nessmaner ranks! Tanya of Red Sugar Muse, who has posted many a reader story here, has agreed to join us as a regular contributor. Welcome, Tanya!

A new month, a new volume, and a recycled theme, at least conceptually, from your pal Andy. This time out, I grabbed one of the books on my desk, flipped open to a random page, put my finger on a random spot, and that sentence became today's theme.

I looked behind the soldiers and saw bones in a suit of clothes on the grass.

Not quite as vague as the last one, but a little extra specificity will require a little more creativity to stand out. Yup, it worries me too.

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Michele: This Photograph is Proof

What was once the President was now nothing but bones and seared Armani.

Sid had his Nikon poised to shoot. This was it, his big break. If he could get this photo, he’d be rich. The other photographers, frightened, had already scattered.

He tried to imagine the headline that would go above his picture, but Weapons Demonstration Gone Awry wouldn’t do this one justice. He focused and clicked.

The soldiers came toward him and Sid managed to get two more clear shots before he turned and ran.

A low whistle, and Sid was a heap of bones and Sears special.

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Tanya: Excavation

Simon watched the sand and plexiglass rise rapidly to meet him. The bubble on the ocean's floor had been finished months ago, but his hired builders had recently found something startling.

They docked and entered through the air lock, edging carefully thru the cameramen. The head of the Smithsonian was already in place, surrounded by well-armed military guards, but he was visibly as giddy as a child. Simon looked behind the soldiers and saw bones in a suit of clothes on the artificial grass. It was true. 465 years and 125 miles off course, they had finally found Amelia Earhart.

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The Eschatologist: Killing Fields

The stock of an arbalester knocked me forward, crashing to the ground in front of the carnifex. By dumb luck, they'd bound my hands in front, so I was able to arrest my fall.

"Captain, this is unwarranted and demeans us. Put him on his knees."

"Yes, Lord."

I could still hear the sounds of the battle over the far hills, surging tides of humanity and machines determined to out do one another for a few square hectares of land.

As I looked up, my eyes teared over the uniformed bones of another poor soul, and awaited the terminal stroke.

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Laurence - Roll The Bones

Podcast of this storySchultz shook the dice, praying for snake eyes.

The rest of the company looked on.

Why can't we just draw straws? thought Schultz. Or draw cards, or slips of paper from a helmet.

There was a lot of work to do.

And avoid, if possible.

Schultz smirked.

"Hurry up!" yelled a corporal.

Schultz threw.

The dice sailed down the dirt path and into the few stubborn blades of grass that still grew in this ashen hellscape, landing in a stack of ragged, scorched clothes.

"That cinches it," said Lieutenant Waldheim. "You're on Burial Detail."

Schultz grabbed a shovel and cursed.

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Andy: Well, This is Different

Armed guards roll the cryonic chamber onto the raised stage. Locking it into position, they flank each side. The chamber door opens, reveals the interior shrouded in a frigid mist. As the cloud cascades outward, the body of a man in a black suit becomes visible.

The crowd is hushed.

He steps forward, says "Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?"

The crowd cheers. He raises his arms in victory.

Gasps abound as his skin sloughs off, pooling at his feet, followed by organs and muscles. Only skeleton remains.

He is gone, beyond repair, as is all hope of a "Falco: Resurrection" tour.

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From the Comments: Marc

The lights shine heat down on the soldiers crowded on an already hot day. Grateful for this break in the routine, they line up in two long packs with a gutter between. Dividing their ranks is a long carpet which, up close, looks frayed and cheap, but it's still a red carpet.

That's right. Hollywood is saluting the troops the best way they know how: A movie premiere! And not just any movie, but the new "Herbie the Love Bug" movie! And here, glimpsed briefly between the shoulders of soldiers as she walks along, comes the star of the movie...

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