The Seven Angels

Blanca Leon. Tracy Russell. Jean McLaughlin.  

Seven girls went missing three years ago on the December 12.  

Gabriela Brown. Alice McGrail. June Larsen. Claudia Inman.  

The only thing these girls had in common were that they were all thirteen and that they all lived in the same town. Race, interests, grades, social status, nothing else matched up. Blanca and Tracy were close friends, as well as Gabriela and June, but the others didn’t know each other.  

Claudia was my little sister.

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The Best Day of a Girl’s Life

The best day in a girl’s life is when they get married.

I met Henry while I was working a late shift at the diner. I just got yelled at by a cranky trucker and I was about to cry when the guy sitting alone at the next table grabbed my hand.

“Ignore that creep,” He said, gently squeezing his fingers between mine, “he’s just pissed for the sake of being pissed.”

Our eyes met and I felt that flutter in my chest. Love at first sight is real and I felt it with Henry.

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Brother For Sale

I thought I wanted a little brother. When I was a stupid six year old.

Now I’m nine, a lot smarter, and I realized I made a huge mistake.

Tommy is the worst. The absolute worst. I hate him. It wasn’t so bad when he was a baby. He cried a lot but it was super cool to say I was a sister. All my friends thought he was super cute too.

It’s when he stopped being cute and starting being annoying.

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Blood Donation

Three months ago I was in a car accident.

It wasn’t great, I’ll tell you that. Legs got crushed, cracked some ribs, and it was touch and go for a while. But thanks to the advantages of modern medicine and several blood transfusions, I got wheeled out with the promise that if I got lucky I’d be able to get around with a cane.

It was a miracle when I started walking.

But miracles apparently don’t come for free.

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The Best Prey

I always wanted to make my dad proud.

My dad was what people would consider a man’s man. Had a lot of big guns and a lot of animal heads up on the walls. He was really proud of the ten point buck he nailed when I was three. He even bragged about one day having the funds to go to Africa and nail some of the big game over there.

And of course, with that tiny little wife of his, he wanted to have a son to take with him.

Of course things don’t work out like that. After a complicated pregnancy and birth, he had no wife and a tiny little daughter.

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Best Friends Forever

What does forever mean?

For me, it meant you.

We were so little when we first met. You were confident where I was not. While I wanted to cry in the cubby room because I missed my mother, you didn’t even notice yours had gone. But you came in to get something from your coat pocket and saw me. Alone.

And you smiled and took my hand.

“Hey, do you like dinosaurs?”

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Bad Trip

Ugh, so now that that shit’s all out of my system, I think I can tell people about what I guess was a ‘bad trip’… least I hope that’s all it was.

Let’s start this off by saying I’ve been smoking since I was sixteen. I know, I know. I’m gonna get lung cancer, I’m shortening my life, yadda yadda yadda.

Note: I’m not a stoner, I don’t really fuck with weed, it’s still illegal where I live. So this makes what happened fucking weirder.

Last month a couple of my friends, Mike, Peter, Joe and Freddy and I were chilling at my apartment instead of going out. Playing video games, having a few drinks, and I had just realized I was on my last cigarette. I really wasn’t in the mood to walk to the corner store at this hour.

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Baby Teeth

We really should’ve known that there was something up with this child when we received a call from the social worker. Daphne answered the phone at around ten PM, a few minutes later I was shaken awake and told that we had to get ready- there was a kid who needed a place to stay. Immediately.

My wife and I are foster parents, have been for over fifteen years. We’ve kept our eyes peeled for ‘the child’, but they never seemed right. We sent them on when they found their forever home, and it was sad, but we were okay with the fact they’d be loved and always welcome to come visit.

The first thing that was really seemed off was the urgency- in all our time fostering we’d never been told we’d be receiving a child within hours. The lack of explanation was disconcerting but accepted. I thought we would be dealing with a child quickly pulled from a neglectful or abusive situation, perhaps their parent was attempting to track them and they needed to move them.

The second thing that was off was that Aisha was six months old. We’d never taken in a child below five years.

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Autopsy Report

You would not believe what kind of shit I’ve pulled out of people.

Hi, I’m Mike. I cut into dead bodies for a living. It’s not exactly the kind of job that gets you laid, but it pays the bills. Anyway. Back to what I was saying. Fucked up shit in dead bodies. The weirdest ‘normal’ thing I’ve pulled out of a person was a hairball out of someone’s stomach. And when I say hairball, I mean it looked like the woman had swallowed a cat. She was a suicide victim. Probably bit into her hair because of anxiety. I get it. My little sister has issues with that sort of thing.

Wow. Off topic again. Clearly I’ve pounded those beers a little faster than I thought. I’m not here to talk about hairballs. No. I’m here to talk about something really weird.

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Alma’s Family

I teach at a small school in a mountainous region in the United States. On good years, we have maybe twenty students grades kindergarten through eighth. I handle the littles, my husband handles the older kids. It’s not a job you take if you want a secure lifestyle with a luxurious retirement, but it is one you take when you care about the future of children.

Alma was a first grader and very bright. I ended up having to give her the second grader’s books by the end of the first quarter and knew by Christmas she’d likely be caught up to the fourth graders. She always raised her hand and never spoke out of turn.

But she was also a bit strange.

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