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Basil Frond Looking back, the blood splatter was comforting--upwards, no drips, counter-intuitive to the staghorn fern stretching in a shaft of sun. Chicken wire reminds me of childhood, or is it that childhood reminds me of chicken wire? Back before I understood the need for barriers. My uncle Tom didn't come along til years later, around the same time I became skeptical of narrators. He gave me a hearty pair of socks, which I truly appreciated. I lost them snowshoeing, but still look in snowbanks from time to time, just in case. --- Xerxes and Eel We liked the hammock best. How dare you replace it with denim? Give us more bananas and a gym. Maybe a Jim, too; we are open to suggestion. Have you considered blacklights? What do you do in your rooms? Maybe you could tone down on the loud noises? We are trying to sleep. We would like a choice of carbonated mineral water or tap--it is 2017, after all. The flowers are a nice touch - some edible real ones would be even more appreciated. And who is that man looking in the window? He has been waiting a long time. Very fashionable--is he a friend of yours? That's all for now! Oh, PS: Tunnels. Just think about it. --- that guy you like and you really don't know why He had a rough touch, which was popular during his hey-day. Taking into account subtleties, he often chose to ignore them. Banal is not an adjective I'd use to describe him. Although succinct, his flashes of cognizance surged in his monologues. I guess you could say he was introspective. Some say he was an alcoholic prone to mischief, or worse but I saw him shoot up rum and coke once, just to prove a point. Y'know--somebody to pass time with. Definitely not a hero. --- V. Beauregard They tend to choose based on color and smell. They especially like periwinkle blue. It reminds them of those pictures of beaches in Bermuda. At the grocery store, they take an hour in the fruit aisle 20 minutes with the bread 17 minutes with the cans and mixes 2.4 minutes with the frozen goods and the cash depends on the line. They choose the time limits based on how long it takes to prepare and smell the best dish from the respective ingredients. Today is Thursday, and blueberry pie takes at least an hour. --- B.L. It isn't so much the name, as the notoriety--the three stripes down each side demand respect, shout identifiable, therefore cool, therefore safe. The straight-brimmed hat with insignia and shiny sticker; unimportant what team, more about color-coordination. It's easier to understand once you realise that fashion is synonymous with power. My track outfit, embroidered alligator running shoes, my cap--this is my uniform. In it I transcend the uncool squirming beneath rayon-blend. --I am not picking cans or garbage for money! I'm shoving my shoeboxes and shopping bags in the street garbage because mine is already full of designer packaging! We're all consumers: at least I'm up front about it. --- Andreaz The easiest marker of periods in his life were black leather laceups. Each replacement was an anxious period of searching, within which his last-resort burkenstocks gave him pale shelter. It was almost as if his mental stability was grounded in black leather: his second skin. Maybe it was because he took his coffee black, with a little sugar, but the shoes weren't really his until they were spotted with salt-stains. He inspects his current pair, the longest lasting so far. He considers the next replacement; patent leather could be fun! Besides, he's thinking about retiring. ---