Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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The Real Enemy

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pp. 1-16

The morning sun is forcing its way through dusty venetian blinds. He gets up and struggles to make his bed for what might be the final time. Then he sits and looks at his hands. It’s like he’s never seen them before. Years ago, growing up in a village too small to...

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Possibly Everything

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pp. 17-34

It’s been a quiet afternoon, but now I can hear alarms in the distance, and I’m thinking back to the fall of 1962, the feeling of being torn awake by sirens at three in the morning, knowing that there were Russian bombs in Cuba, terrified that there might...

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Twilight Zone Episode

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pp. 35-56

I wake to the sound of my front door getting pushed open. I sit up quickly, not sure what to do. I throw off my blanket and put my feet on the floor. A woman wearing a sky-blue sweatsuit stumbles into my bedroom. She’s tall and covered with snow and...

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Therapy

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pp. 57-96

I became a killer this morning. A dog darted out in front of my car on the freeway. I didn’t even have time to take my foot off the gas, let alone hit the brakes. It was a big dog, a pit bull the size of a German shepherd. He tried to jump a split second before...

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Extraordinary Subjective States

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pp. 97-128

The rain is hard on the roof of the barn. Gavro and Trifko are laughing. They’ve walked all night with guns and bombs concealed beneath their jackets. They’re hungry, cold and exhausted, miles from anything familiar. But now they’ve found an abandoned...

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Because of the Wall

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pp. 129-154

Jack woke up and made coffee, then tried to go online. He needed information for his project, a documentary film about the wall in Central Park. But when he clicked on his browser the screen went white and started growling. A hairy hand came up from the...

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The Royal Scam

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pp. 155-188

It begins with seven grim young men walking in slow motion toward the camera, ominous hard rock guitar music churning in the background. A snarling voice-over declares, “This is the Black Hand Gang. Gavrilo Princip is their leader, a trained assassin...

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Writing Things Down

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pp. 189-214

Three days before the planned assassination, Gavrilo Princip is looking for a meal at the city market. He doesn’t have any money. He never has any money. But he knows that at the market you can usually get free samples of food, and if you can get them...

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The Nearsighted Assassin

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pp. 215-250

It was late Fall, 1968, and London was a great place to be a nineteen-year-old acid freak. I was living in a flat in Chelsea near King’s Road, a small room on the top floor with an open view of the Thames and Battersea Park. The people on the first three...

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More Dangerous

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pp. 251-266

Gabe repeats the magic words: “The laws of history are obscured by the accidents of history.” He’s not sure where he first came across this line, and he’s not even sure he understands it. But he likes the way it sounds, and he assumes that others will...

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Sandwiches

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pp. 267-291

He’s not sure what to do next. The plan has apparently failed. He thinks of the gun in his inner coat pocket, thinks of the man he was planning to kill. The crowded street is filled with noise. It’s hot and there’s too much light. The only thing he’s clear about...

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Acknowledgments

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p. 292

Earlier versions of some of the stories in this collection were originally published in Altered Scale, Fiction International, The Literary Review, Morning Will Come, Quarterly West, Western Humanities Review, and the anthology Sunshine/Noir II (City Works Press).