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We did not go to sleep and something did happen though I had nothing to do with it. Before Jean-Paul could leave my bed a big black something hit us with a terrible crash. Flattened to the mattress, we lay there too stunned to be frightened at first. My head hurt. We were in complete darkness. We were buried alive under something heavy...

SPARKY'S DINER: A Story of San Franciscobby Bob Biderman

I thought about this as I drank my beer, occasionally looking up to see whether my old friend had arrived. San Francisco wasn't the city I once knew. There was a time when I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. It was a place where anything was possible, where candy-coated dreams were nourished and nurtured (albeit in a haze of cannabis fumes). But then things began to change. I wasn't sure when it happened or how, but change it did. And so did I...


ICE, NO CREAMbby Lisa Selvidge

This was the first time Volodia had been out of the apartment block and, as he later told us, he immediately regretted it. A small hole in Dyma’s pocket revealed the floor of a city, held together by ice and partly covered in snow. Hundreds of padded human feet trudged over the slippery and rugged mountainous surfaces where deep ruts cut through the pavement and metal lines jutted out of the packed ice and snow. Even the chocolate was hardening fast, much to his horror. 

CONSTANTINOPLE 1920 bby Haig Tahta

The Galata bridge! In reality this bridge only joined old Stamboul to Pera across the Golden Horn – but Nikolai had the impression that it was joining Europe to Asia. Across it walked or clattered the whole world or so it seemed to him. Turkish and Kurdish porters half trotted across – bent forwards with huge packs or cases on their backs attached to a thong which passed across their foreheads, calling out “Make way! Make way!” Turkish ladies, mostly still veiled, passed towards Stamboul to go shopping in the great bazaar or moved the other way towards Pera to go to the Taksim gardens. 


Klaus hesitated. Dietrich, as the postenführer, was responsible for their watch. Even so. Their Commander would be furious. And what if it were a trick? Perhaps Dietrich was testing him? But a wall stripper? He had heard other guards talk about them. He double checked that there was no movement his side and went to join Dietrich. He focused his binoculars on a bedroom window on the fifth floor to the right of the watchtower. A young woman, early twenties, with dark, curly hair down to her shoulders, a pale face, red lips, with long curvy silky legs and small feet standing beneath a naked bulb facing the window. The curtains were open. Either she had forgotten to draw them or… Klaus imagined the alternative as she unbuttoned a long, white shirt.

SEVEN DIALS by Bob Biderman

It was the curious nature of the place – a roundabout with seven streets radiating out like spokes of a wheel. And then there was that wonderful pillar, like an ancient artefact – an obelisk or totem or the like – and just below its pointy top, six faces, six clocks (sundials, actually). There should have been seven – for Seven Dials – but the number of radiant streets was originally six, the seventh came later. Each street had the face of a sundial at its terminus – six streets, six dials. Then came the seventh. A street without a dial.