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CHOOSY

I pulled over next to a beggar holding a sign that read: Money for food. I had three dollars in change. I was about to hand him the money when he snapped back, only bills man! Angry, I raised my window and drove off.  

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EMPATHY

As Mary left work early, the red sun grew larger and brighter. Tom, who had taken the day off from work, was already mixing drinks and setting up lawn chairs on the roof. The moment Mary arrived, he thrust a drink into her hand.

“Tom, remember the first time we met?”

“Of course, you were working on that terraforming rig. And I was there performing a safety inspection. That day you looked very hot in that tight green jumpsuit and red hair.”

“Well not as hot as I am today.” She laughs.

Thousands of drones fly overhead recording and televising to the non-existent.

“It won’t be long now Mary. You don’t get to see this every day.”

“Tom, I have something to tell you.”

Their robotic eyes darken to block out the red giant's increasing luminosity.

“What is it, Mary?”

“What I’m trying to say is, I don’t love you, Tom.”

“Why are you telling me this now?” Tom sounding confused.

The temperature climbs, bleeding the atmosphere from the planet.

“Remember we promised to have those empathy chips installed. We…

MR. KWAKU

This is Joshua’s eleventh summer collecting spiders around the outside of the house. And this summer he did so without his best friend, who died the year before. Using a twig, he coaxes an eight legged green-eyed monster from its lair beneath the siding, and into a jar.
“Joshua dinner is ready, come inside.” His mother yells out the kitchen window. Running to his room, he leaves the jar on the nightstand before washing up.
While they ate, Joshua's parents gossiped about the goings-on in town. “Another suicide. She was the daughter of the Gables across town. Such a lovely girl, so sad.” His mother whispered. Joshua finishing his plate excuses himself and heads to his room.
In his room, he draws a book from his desk and leafs through its pages. Curious he thought, not finding his spider listed in his book of spiders. Tossing the book aside and bringing the jar on the nightstand close to his face. He stares at his green-eyed captive long into the night.
***
“Joshua. Joshua. Joshua, wake u…

BLINKERED

A simple heist. Get in, steal the device and get out. Once inside, I found the device all out in the open, easy picking, I thought. The device had no security measures. Only a single warning sign that reads: “DO NOT PRESS THE RED BUTTON”

Blinkered, I pressed the red button.

Finger still on the button and now unable to move. I could see out of my periphery, that the hands on my wristwatch had stopped. And that wrinkles and dark splotches started appearing on my own hands. My vision blurred and breathing became shallow. My teeth loosened and fell out onto my tongue and my bones fractured beneath my aging skin.

I could hear sirens in the distance and I hoped that they would find me soon.