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Baths haven’t been allowed for a long time ‘cause there isn’t enough water. But I’ve been saving my rations a whole year for a real good cause.

My sister, Sana.

It’s not that she’s dirtier than the rest of us or anything. We’re all yucky and smelly and hungry. It’s more ‘cause the stuff she’s had to deal with from Mama now she’s 13.

I didn’t drink any of the water Mama gave us to celebrate that birthday. Not with Sana using her share for tears in the next room while Mama scraped.

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The Research Proposal No One Wanted feat. Bladerunner, Artificial Intelligence, and Science Fiction

Two years ago, I submitted a research proposal to three University English Departments. Two years ago, no one wanted to see the idea grow. Do I blame them? No. Do I think it was the most cutting edge research ever? No. But damn have I not been able to give up on being OBSESSED with AI technologies, measuring humanity against robots, and Bladerunner ideology and theory.

So, here’s a little snippet from that old grad school application, as a marker of where I was at the time, and where I could have been now if I had been accepted.

What do you think? Time to reapply?

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Nothing.

No…it didn’t start here. Not with the pissed man clutching a crushed beer can in fear on his knees. Not with the other over the wall…somewhere…split. 

After all, it’s only been how many hours? since I stopped staring at the blank wall of the TV. Only so many hours since I’d finally started listening to that other voice, like I should have been all along. I just walked out of the house and into the concrete cold, aiming for the usual trip to the WORLD’s BIGGEST MALL, or so it was once. That should have been the nothing of it. 

And then the surprises came.  

“M-mac…?”

Nothing much else comes out of him, the beer-piss puddle beneath the man growing as grows the effects of the adrenaline I know I can’t let go of now, no, not now. Not ever. There wasn’t a “going back”. I’d already let go. 

No, it didn’t start here. 

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Third Annual Face Your Fears Short Story Draw

What’s October without Spooky Stories?

About this time last year, over 50 contestants braved their worst fears by entering them into my Face Your Fears Short Story Draw. Now you, just like Rob (last year’s winner), have the chance to win a short story that leaves you at the mercy of your worst fear. He was most scared of fungus…what are you afraid of?

Whether privately or publicly, submit your name and worst fear by commenting below, or messaging directly via email, instagram, or twitter. All entries received by midnight on October 9, 2019 will be collected in a hat and drawn at random, with results posted the morning of October 10th, 2019.

Competition Closed: This Year’s Short Story Coming Soon!


Curious to read last year’s story?

Read “Devil’s Fingers” below.

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Community First, Movement Second: A Short Bio of Harsha Walia

“…the most important feature of powerful social movements, is an affirmation of community.”

– From “Young, Brown and Proud: Personal purpose and political activism” by Harsha Walia


Connection requires a crossing of boundaries. It requires seeing one thing in another without disturbance of difference: that old mean thing still snipping at the threads we THE PEOPLE weave when we breach the gap between ourselves and another, when we see ourselves as one. And it seems these days that those who are best at connecting were born to difference, too. With wide focus, they can see it for what it truly is and pass through as if there were no boundary at all—grasping at those other strands with ease and bringing the rest of us gratefully along. 

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