The Departure Artist by Ali Nazifpour

I watched her as she packed. She was constantly on the move; packing and unpacking was an art to her. Her hands moved swiftly and confidently as she arranged her books in her black simple suitcase; the way they moved was final and absolute.

She was off to somewhere else again – I have forgotten where. She had already moved twice this week.

“When will I see you?” I asked her again.

“Friday night. I’m here for the weekend.”

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Mickey’s Big Rumble

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A gangland adventure utilizing the title of every movie I went to between the years 1999 and 2001, in roughly the order that I saw them.

Mickey Blue Eyes and his gang, the Cockney Crooners, had already eliminated the Fight Club, The Crew and the Wings of Desire, three of the biggest mobs in Brooklyn. If they won their rumble with the Kings of Comedy, they’d rule the borough.

As Mickey was leaving his apartment to stock up on bandanas and brass knuckles, his girlfriend Lola came around the corner. A Cadillac pulled up beside her, and Mickey shouted, “Run Lola Run!”

It was too late. A couple Kings in jester caps jumped out and threw Lola in the trunk.

“Just some insurance to make sure you show tomorrow,” said The Messenger.

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Tenets Are One Thing, Class Requirements Quite the Other

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The problems you are all creating from misunderstanding the few lessons you’ve learned about Daoism, have become so great that I decided it best to address them collectively, here, on the class blog. As all of your daily comments on the blog have been so completely off base – and, frankly, in some cases, idiotic – I find myself forced to temporarily suspend your comment privileges.

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Mickey’s Big Rumble

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A gangland adventure utilizing the title of every movie I went to between the years 1999 and 2001 in roughly the order that I saw them.

Mickey Blue Eyes and his gang, the Cockney Crooners, had already eliminated the Fight Club, The Crew and the Wings of Desire, three of the biggest mobs in Brooklyn. If they won their rumble with the Kings of Comedy, they’d rule the borough.

As Mickey was leaving his apartment to stock up on bandanas and brass knuckles, his girlfriend Lola came around the corner. A Cadillac pulled up beside her, and Mickey shouted, “Run Lola Run!”

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Hire Steve

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Steven Miller asked me to write this letter recommending him as a middle school English teacher, so here it is. I have known Steve since high school. We sat next to each other in Jim Freeman’s European History class and I made wise cracks and Steve laughed at them. Steve had an enormous head and looked a lot like Dave Letterman to me. Others disputed the resemblance, but they disputed nearly everything. They had what you might call a perverse contrarian streak. Of course, this is a matter you will be able to judge at the interview, provided you know who David Letterman is.

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War of My World

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Pieces of earth turned into a cloud of dirt. Another blast quickly followed in its footsteps. The sky was thick with smoke, raining down tears of mud. Voices were lost in all the confusion. The world continued to vibrate and shake as two men ran for cover.

“How the hell did we walk into this?” “We just did, Sam.” The soldier looked over his shoulder as another explosion rocked the earth. “We just did.” All he could see were giant holes laid out before him. There was no sign of life except for him and his friend.

“They definitely caught us off-guard, John.” The other soldier slid into a foxhole and started to reload his rifle.

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The Quiet Room

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August 21, 2050. 5 p.m. They brought her in. She was bloody, disoriented, and hysterical. She mumbled incoherent sentences as they pulled her past me. Like a doll, she was thrown inside, and then the white wall came crashing down, cutting her out from this world. A handprint pressed against the panel. Infinite, which was strange for the ones brought here mostlylasted anywhere from a day to a few years. There was one who was of different circumstances, who remained behind the white wall for over ten years. Was she the same?

I knew better than to ask questions. I received their paperwork, and without a word, they left.

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Sombrero Loco

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SANTA BARBARA, California (AP) Students here are still in shock the day after a shooting rampage by one of their own left three dead and two gravely injured, one of whom was just taken off life-support by their relatives because they are Christian Scientists, though a nurse at the hospital plugged the life support machine back in while the parents weren’t looking. The patient remains stable but whether she will ever wake up is currently unknown.

“I’d put that at an unlikely,” said the Chief Bullet Removal Surgeon at Our Lady of the Drive By.

The suspect is thought to be dead after 100 state troopers witnessed the car he was alleged to have been driving flying off what a spokesman described as a “200-foot” cliff and into the Pacific Ocean.

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The World Is Not Black and White

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The roads were quiet. Even the cars were afraid to make noise. The windows were tinted. Nobody wanted to know nobody. They just drove on, hoping to get from A to B. Only a few like me refused to disappear and walk these broken streets.

The billboards were washed white. Strangers walked by in a hurry. Black hoodies covered their faces. Hands shoved into pockets. Warning glances daggered out. Stay Away. Nobody wanted to know nobody, and I avoided eye contact. Unlike them, my face was not covered.

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The Parachute Kids

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Bright sunlight penetrated my eyes. The bed felt familiar underneath me. The room looked familiar. It took me a long moment to realize that I was back home. I had no memory of where I was before or how I had even arrived here, but I felt safe. Something inside whispered that was all I needed to know. For now.

The house was quiet. As usual, the stairs creaked as I walked down them. More sunlight. A smell of breakfast rumbled my stomach, but they had already eaten. They did not wait for me. Did they not want to wake me?

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