Worth Many More

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After eighteen years in the hands of the Arabs, Colonel Rabin was finally coming home.
His plane landed just as the buses full of cheering and jeering prisoners were sent off to the border. Their vicious chants echoed in the distance.
“Vermin,” muttered one of the honor guard.
Rabin’s wife waited as the plane rolled to a stop.
The cargo doors opened, and her husband’s casket was unloaded.
“Why is one dead man worth dozens of live terrorists?” asked the honor guard.
“He’s worth far more than that,” said his commander. “And that is to the shame of the enemy.”

Salvation

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Listen carefully for a moment, because both of our lives depend on this.
Ignore the paved service path. It’s a trap.
If you follow the trail through the deep woods for a mile, you will find a clearing where the mystical forcelines converge.
Several triptychs have been stacked to surround the precise convergence point, which is marked by a sigil-covered obsidian pillar.
That’s where you need to be to summon help. Unlike the rest of the godforsaken wood, you’ll get four bars of digital signal there.
Please hurry, because my leg’s bleeding through the bandage and I’m going into shock.

Execution

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In Texas, executions take place at sundown.
The lawyers weren’t done, but Rufus Washington was. He’d been through three Last Meals already in Huntsville thanks to the Supreme Court, but he didn’t think he’d have a fourth.
Back in Austin, the governor was fed up with the press asking him if he’d grant clemency.
“If God wants this murderer to stay alive, let Him stop the turning of the Earth,” said the governor to the cameras.
Unlike the governor, God was not available for comment. The sun sank from the sky, painted the horizon crimson, and Rufus went to Hell.

The Surprise Inside

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When I was little, I knew exactly what was in each Cracker Jack box before I opened it.
I could hold the box in my hands and just know what was in there.
Cool, huh?
Bullshit.
As time went by, the prizes got cheaper and less impressive. I used to sense tin whistles and compasses. Now I sense stickers and “collector cards” that aren’t worth collecting.
Cheap, flimsy crap. Everything is cheap, flimsy crap these days. And it just keeps getting crappier.
But you know what the worst part of this “gift” is?
I’m diabetic. Never could eat the shit.

Life Is Cruel

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“Alive,” mumbled the wizard, casually flicking his wand.
The chair, startled, walked around the table and settled back into its usual spot.
“Alive,” yawned the wizard, waving his wand yet again.
The clock’s hands spun. Then, the minute and second hands turned back and forth, seeking out the correct time.
The wizard smirked and wandered off to his workshop.
Later that evening, both the chair and the clock slowly died.
Nobody noticed, and nobody mourned their passing.
Just like every other object the wizard had brought to life, blithely ignored, and allowed to die.
Sometimes, life is cruel that way.

Weeding Out Directors

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I tug the rope, and the beam holds.
“Good,” I mumble, and I look back at Joel Schumacher. “You brought this on yourself, Hollywood.”
He’s tied up tight, lashed to the metal folding chair, rocking slightly on top of the table.
“Go ahead,” I say. “Crack your head open.”
The chair stops rocking. Joel’s eyes get wide.
They get wider when I tie the noose around his neck and kick the table away.
I wait for a few minutes, cut him down, and toss him in the basement with Oliver Stone’s corpse.
I told them Christopher Nolan or nothing, dammit.

Bob and Lena

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For their diamond anniversary, Bob and Lena wanted a divorce.
“He leaves the seat up,” said Lena, “and his snoring keeps me up all night.”
“She’s a nagging, vicious shrew,” said Bob. “Nothing I do is good enough.”
They hired lawyers and prepared for battle. The networks caught wind of the story and sent reporters to cover the proceedings.
At nine in the morning, neither Bob nor Lena showed up to court. They were found in each other’s arms in the bed they shared for three-quarters of a century.
Okay, so they strangled each other.
Keep that a secret, please?