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Author: Robert Ford

1997: The Hand of God

Kovack came into existence with a scream. His charred left side and its missing arm had not magically stopped hurting during his escape. In front of him was the Mediterranean with a brilliant sunset blazing across the water. He stood in the centre of what remained of a small Roman amphitheatre. As he turned around he saw the Crusader castle, still impressive despite its abandoned state. “Computer, please state time and location.” “We are fifteen minutes prior to our previous point of existence. Location is Byblos, also known as Jbail.” It was certainly hot enough to be the Middle...

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1996: Three Last Chances

Jaw set, knuckles edging into the white, and nostrils flared, it was clear (even to Gerry) that he was driving in the wrong mood. The MR2, a fast red sports car, hurtled up the wet surface of Granville Street.  The dashboard clock told him it was 8:35 p.m.  It was December 23. Nothing but trouble.  Bugs in the software.  Contracts being cancelled.  And Christmas.  For Gerry it always brought painful memories. The middle lane was sluggish.  He pulled into the right lane behind a cab.  He kept a half second distance.  He wondered if it were wise to be...

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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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