Clouds

      Nate Allen
Clouds

“We all have monsters.” Grant said it quietly enough that only he could hear it. It was a truth he didn’t want to acknowledge. It was a truth that was beginning to become his reality.What Grant Smith loses at seven is much more than his father. He loses his faith, his happiness—his identity. The years turn him into a man without reason. At eighteen he is just as lost as when he was a child. All he wants is happiness. One day it is found in the form of a girl named Chelsea. She is damaged much like him. They fall in love.Grant is a man haunted by things he has always avoided. Despite a new sense of happiness he can’t escape the darkness that was born within him. It manifests in the form of a father now transformed by his own demons.In a dream he frenetically claims happiness. But, the father with a monster attached mocks him for it. The truth he doesn’t want to face is that he is not happy. Or if he is, he fears it is only temporary.And it is…The war that started after 9/11 branches off into others; the president who promised change is reelected; a once bright future has become something bleak. The Draft is put back into effect.On a day when two explosions paint the sky in Baghdad, Grant unleashes his darkness. Every choice has a consequence. His is unimaginable.His father’s death left him a man without reason. The war leaves him a man changed for the worse. He knows of his darkness. He let it free. And now it threatens to take away everything he loves…

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    The Counterfeit

      Nate Allen
The Counterfeit

Andrew Jeffery Stephenson is about to find out what comes after death. It turns out Paradise isn’t for the religious but for the logical. Post life is a miraculous accident, just like life itself. And it has everything you’d ever want! But, there are those that claim that the world is coming to an end in 3 days. They warn that it will all fall away. And it threatens to ruin Andrew’s Paradise...Andrew Jeffery Stephenson, a stupid man, by his own admission, is in critical condition from gunshot wounds. He’s entirely alone. His wife left him for someone more successful, someone better. When he’s honest with himself, he knows he’s just waiting to die…And he does. With the sound of a fading flatline beep and the post-life urging of the woman he still loves, he finds himself in a paradise of his own making. He wakes up on a beautiful beach with her by his side. Oh, paradise indeed!Shortly after, a man simply named D comes onto his property. A self proclaimed “realtor for your post-life needs” D quickly shows Andrew just what this paradise is. It’s not heaven; it’s a miraculous accident. Paradise doesn’t belong to the religious but to the creative, to men of logic and reason. And because of this, his beach is just one small piece to an endless collection of beautiful properties, or “timeshares” as D calls them.D’s game is realty. And the piece of property Andrew brought with him is an excellent bargaining chip. Andrew’s interested in choices; D’s interested in getting him the best deal possible. There’s only one problem. While searching out different timeshares, they come across a man in the road who’s dressed like an angel. He’s holding a cardboard sign that reads:3 Days…And the countdown continues.These men say that the world will end when the countdown hits zero. Are they “crazy” as D claims? Or are they trying to warn Andrew that the end is near?

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    Death is Not the End, Daddy

      Nate Allen
Death is Not the End, Daddy

THREE LOCAL BOYS DEAD, ONE MISSING. Sunday, June 19th, 1983   Darkness covers Minea. Trevor Trills 14, Bradley Penwood 12, and George Thyme 11, were all found dead, facedown in the stream beneath the downtown bridge. It is believed that they jumped. Thomas Aerie 7, is still missing. He was last seen walking home from class.John DoeJohn Doe is a killer. Fourteen children in the last twenty six years. Teddy tells him to and he listens. He has to listen. He is parked across the street from the elementary school in Payne, North Dakota, waiting for Teddy to tell him the name of the next child. He hasn’t yet, but he will… Matthew Mills God is good. It's the only truth Matthew Mills needs. But, pain is still pain. It has only been a week since his wife had her second miscarriage in the last three years. She has become a shell of who she was. Only his daughter Marcy is a light in his life.What would happen if she was taken away?

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