A Cryptic Night for Halloween by  Tom Sheehan  

Bang! It went. Bang! Bang! Bang! A whole series of bangs, like gunshots at a shooting range, echoes coming atop one another, full of alarm and the awful promise of  consequence. Eleven-year old George Pearl, twelve before you’d know it, his birthday but an hour or so away, ducked his head as he walked down the dark center road of Riverside Cemetery. Shadows of stones moved around him, angular blocks of darkness set upon darkness, the ground and the shadows giving up other noises steeped with night and night things. Sounds swelled like thermals, unseen but known, catching up what was loose in the air, broadcasting strange messages that he could identify in a split second … fear, catastrophe, disaster, strange hands reaching to touch his backside, strange sounds at his ears. All around were strange things that boomed or blasted or bellowed in the night.

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On the Edge by Mel Nicholson

 

Aeryn Baker climbed into the back of his limousine and read the letter from his late husband, Van Philip Harris, for perhaps the hundredth time.

            Dearest Mother and Beloved Husband, 

You each have been a comfort and loving support to me in your unique ways, though the feud between you has been a source of consternation to me. It is my earnest wish that the two of you find a deeper understanding of one another. Toward that end, I wish the two of you to spend an evening together on my yacht, the Floating Edge. Should either party decline to participate, the declining party shall be awarded the sum of one dollar. The remainder of their inheritance shall be forfeit.

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Pandemic By Roger Ley

I realised something unusual had happened as soon as I entered the lab: dead cotton rats littered the floors of many of the cages. I hadn’t expected fatalities so early. The team had only given them the flu virus the day before and we thought it would be a few days before they developed symptoms. The powers that be had told us the virus came from South East Asia but that could mean a lot of things. It might be a natural mutation, or it might be of Chinese Government manufacture. It made little difference to us, our job was to assess it not trace it, and epidemiologists use cotton rats because they’re a good model for studying human influenza.

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