Havok Publishing

John Leatherman

By George!

Saturday, February 22, my junior year of high school, was the most memorable day of my life—and the president’s.
It started the night before, when I was in my room doing trigonometry homework and listening to a replay of President Lance Quagmire’s afternoon press conference. I had to shut it off.

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Sunset Bounce

My New Year’s resolution this January is the result of my last online hookup. It happened like this.
“So after my dad died, my stepmom started a housecleaning business with her daughters and me. I do vents and fireplaces because I’m good with cinders.” Ella smiled at me from the other side…

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The Comma

“Good morning, Centerville! It’s Saturday, March 31st!”
I leapt from bed, staring wide-eyed at the nightstand clock radio. “Again?”
Rushing around my apartment, I confirmed the deejay was not pulling an April Fool’s prank. My journal ended March 30. I needed to dust and vacuum—again. And those soggy brown bananas

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Secret Mission to Decimus

“Approaching coordinate J-14. Instability detected. Awaiting your instruction, Clawson.”
Safe in the Pangaea lander, Commander Rex Clawson monitored ANNIE’s progress across the desolate rocky landscape of planetoid Decimus. The drone feed indicated ANNIE stood at the precipice of a yawning gorge. Coordinate J-14 lay 9.5 meters ahead horizontally but 135.6 meters straight down.

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In Too Deep

I swim to the bar of the Trendy Anemone nightclub and hail the fuchsia-haired, green-skinned mermaid bartender, squinting at her name badge. “Hey, uh… Mara. What have you got that’s, uh, free?”
Amazing. I finally managed to telepath through a whole question without a drop leaking into my mouth. I probably moved my lips, though.

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Building Discord

“Phraxy, when are you going to marry me like you promised?”
Determined not to let Bilhah’s childish pout sway him, chief architect Aphraxad kissed her forehead and caressed her ebony hair. “Oh, my feisty desert bloom, I beg for your patience.” He gestured out the window of the earthen hut serving as his office.

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Super Gus Gets Some Kicks

“Bow-Shock, your arrow-neous ways are off target! Seeing you quiver before justice is my aim!” Arms akimbo, I stand astride the ledge of the shattered window of the jewelry store.
Clad in a neon-green jumpsuit, Bow-Shock responds to my o-pun assault with a hail of arrows.
I backflip over the onslaught, my

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Killing SPPREE

“Doctors, we have a murderer among us.” Standing at the lectern boulder at the center of base camp, Dr. Angela Mansfield glared in turn at each of her three surviving colleagues. Each were seated on logs around the council circle, every shocked face bathed in an amber glow from the setting sun behind her.

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The Big Ad Wolf

Safe inside the brick house, the three little pigs exchanged high-twos as the sweaty, exhausted wolf slunk away in defeat.
Big brother Wally chuckled. “I knew all that huffing and puffing was just a bluff.”
Younger sister Trish hugged Wally. “You saved our pigskins.”
Youngest sister Carrie joined in the hug. “Wally, we were

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Super Gus and the Fight Before Christmas

After my brother Barney and I complete the second wrapping of tinsel, we spread out Mami’s lock-lid ornament tubs.
Barney nudges me. “So, Arnold, any thoughts on the job offer? I know, you’re an”—faux crystal bell in each hand, he air-quotes—“entrepreneur. You can still be your own boss. A boss that

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The Scaterpillars

Matt Caterpillar raised his guitar, looked out across the crowd at the Garbage Bowl, and heard crickets. And ants. And roaches, beetles, and myriad other insects—all cheering for him and his band.
As he strummed the opening chords of their new ear-worm hit, “Gimme Some Leaves,” he marveled at their

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Super Gus, Do You Copy

The glass roof of the museum’s atrium shatters, and I duck behind a pillar. Twenty-three rotund robots rappel through the jagged opening on extensible steel arms. Riding atop the center bot is a short, pudgy man in a purple-and-green-striped lab coat. Frizzy orange curls encircle his bald scalp like clouds around a shiny mountaintop.

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