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Author: Robert Ford

1995: The Final Revision

Pacific Northwest Enclave – 2305 Kevin struggled for breath as he entered the environmentally controlled foyer of his building. He didn’t want to believe that the air outside had deteriorated. It implied that Kevin’s years of sacrifice had bought, at best, time and not a solution. His breathing had returned to normal by the time he had taken the elevator to his fortieth floor apartment. The door scanned his eye and accepted his password. “Lights, twenty percent.” The computer raised a dim glow that melted into the grey illumination from the largest window. It felt like dusk. “Messages?” “None....

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1994: The Eve of the Best Man

Only complete lunatics would get married on Christmas Eve. The church was old, very old for North America, and was decked out with more poinsettias and evergreen boughs than I’d ever seen collected in one place. Candles were the primary source of light for the event and the main source of raw fear for the Sexton. I admit, this old stone church near Picton affected me by chilling my feet and warming my heart. The Groom and I had just left the vestry where we had played a couple rounds of Rummy with a deck of cards I’d used...

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1993: Twice, Two Nights before Christmas

The “Night Danger” signs for moose were getting on his nerves. The pictogram of a large herbivore plunging onto the road appeared too often. How was he supposed to identify a dark moose against a black background? The posted speed limit was ninety kilometres per hour, but he maintained a hundred. Joel estimated he’d be just as dead if a moose made a suicide run in front of his car. Three hours more to Thunder Bay. The strain of glaring into the darkness was causing him to imagine movement in-between the various road reflectors. “Great. By the time I...

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1992: Christmas Story

December 24th, 1998 Vancouver General Hospital Raymond Kroll was damned if he was going to die in bed. His wasted claw-hand swept the sheet off and he sat up, a significant effort. Raymond hadn’t stood on his own power nor been this lucid in weeks. His roommate, another AIDS patient, was asleep and took her breaths in sharp snorts. Painfully Ray stood and made his way to the window. He could see the moonlit snow-covered mountains to the north. But he really wanted to look east, toward Ontario, where he had been born. Since he had discovered he was...

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1991: Christmas Times

December 24, 2456: Tol watched the distant star explode. It was beautiful. He gazed listlessly out the starship’s observation deck. Tol was exhausted from a double shift — even the synthetic parts of his body hurt. The star, now a super-nova, was a deadly vista but only because the ship’s radiation screens had failed. Normally there was little danger during the repair period, as the ship’s hull provided modest protection. An exploding star released more than modest amounts of radiation. Tol was alone on the observation deck. He had come down for a tranquil view before sleeping. Everyone else...

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