Havok Publishing

Realistic

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Paxton’s List

She waits for him in the parking lot.
It’s a Saturday—her day off—and Paxton is on time. The elderly man parks his ‘78 F-150 pickup and enters the library, returning a few minutes later with two tomes.
When he drives away, Greta’s car follows, but not too close. She’s wearing dark sunglasses

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Tough Crowd

Jessmina had faced tough crowds before, but a squadron of war-torn soldiers? That just felt unfair. She loitered at the bar, though—unfortunately—drinking on the job wasn’t allowed.
She sighed glumly at her situation. Outside, gray gloom and swirling snow. Inside, a table full of scowling warriors with rifles strapped across their backs.

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Orange You Glad

Pam: I saw one
Jimmy: srsly? What do they look like? I hear they’re so orange, they’ll burn your eyes. Like the sun.
Pam: How’d you now what I’m talking about?
*know
Jimmy: Because it’s all anyone is talking about. Cam got sent to the hospital last week for getting too close

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Ice Fishing in Lake Athabasca

The trees around the lake huddled together, the biting cold eclipsing any warmth from the sunlight glinting off the frozen surface. Through the window of the lodge, there was complete stillness. I often watched inquisitive squirrels and grunting moose from my chair, but they were conspicuous in their absence. Even the gently rippled ice

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The Yellowed Documents

The sheriff tossed the yellowed documents onto the Sutton’s kitchen table. “I’m sorry to tell you folks. The documents are real.”
A small cry erupted from Margaret’s lips.
Hank moved behind his wife and gripped her shoulder, hoping the warmth of his hand would lend her strength. “Are you sure, Sheriff?”
“I’m sure.

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The Pickle Jar

Rule one: never let anyone see you put the pickle jar back on the guardrail. Jaxa tugged on her black ninja shirt, which overlaid matching black pants and blended with her dark hair.
Rule two: look epic on every mission.
The still silence dragged at her heels as Jaxa fumbled out of her

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Of Cedar and Death

The carved scenes on the face of the casket looked alive, despite its intended purpose, and with it I would bury my nightmare.
The shop smelled of fresh-shaved cedar, delicate curls collecting in small drifts upon the dirt floor as I poured my pain into finishing this task.
The shop door scraped open,

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The Queen and I

“You’ve been gone so long, milady. We thought you might never come back.” Agnes smooths out my blankets, rumpled from my restless sleep. “How was your stay in the country?” She sounds nonchalant, but shoots me a covert glance.
Does she know?
Beeswax sweetens the air, and I lurch from my chair

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The Lab Glasses

Carrie removed the clutter from her husband’s dresser, dropping each piece onto the bed. A package of new shoelaces. An old watch, the hands on its face forever proclaiming three-thirteen. A comb. His lab glasses. Safety pins. A tie clip.
At this rate, it would take the baby’s entire nap time to get

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One New Message

My eyes are transfixed by the rhythmic pulse of the red blinking light. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off.
It calls out to me, signaling me to press the button. Daring me. Taunting me. But I can’t. Not yet.
The weight on my chest stills my breath and my hand.

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