chemist-in-training and artist-in-ldisguise

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On the Open Seas

The crew of the infamous Blackbeard had just sat down for a good game of poker aboard their ship, the Vulture. "This be the life!" the captain exclaimed. "Plunderin' by day, and playin' by night!"

"Yar, 'tis true, cap'n. There be nothin' better than th--"

"Cap'n!" The man in the crow's nest interrupted. "Thar be a ship approachin' from starboard!"...

What's just past the end
of the universe?


The last sound she heard was a sustained beep from the machinery, telling her that time was up.

As her senses dulled and her mind stopped, her soul took control. Slowly rising from the bed in which she laid, she got her last glimpse of the doctors that had tried to save her, the family that had loved her, and the friends that had helped her hang on. For the past three months, these were the people that had stayed by her bed, doing everything they could to make her life as happy as they could. Of course, they all knew that this was inevitable, but they wanted to make her life last as long as they could. She passed through the ceiling of the room, out of the hospital and into the clouds...


It all started on July 4, exactly one year ago. Everything was happening as it normally would on a summer afternoon: the sun was beaming, radios were playing, and kids were playing baseball in the field. The smell of hamburgers and hot dogs was coming off the grill, wafting over to where I was sitting. Our dogs were tied up on the lawn, and were rolling around in the grass; I had just mowed it that morning, and the scent of freshly-cut grass was still lingering. Some friends and I were sitting in the front yard of my nice little house in the suburbs, talking about last night's football game. The midday heat was beginning to cool off, and the weather was perfect for the fireworks show that was planned for later on...




John went off the side of the boat, diving gear ready and camera loaded. He had brought enough oxygen for about an hour, plenty of time to get pictures for his article. According to one of the many magazines stacked in John's study, underwater photography was "in." A freelance photographer could get rich off of ocean shots.

As he went into the water, a freezing sensation shot up John's body. A glance at his suit's thermometer told him it was just above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Not bad for being out at sea. Besides, there was no worry. A quick tug on the line would get him back up in a heartbeat...