Title: "25 x 25"

Author: Little Red

Exercise: 25 stories, each 25 words long. Some are fandom-related, most are not.

Summary: There is no pattern.

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I lost my virginity on a floor with a white shag carpet. When he turned his back, I moved the coffee table over the stain.

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Some people dream in fingerprints. They see every touch, every past breath recorded in walls and smooth surfaces. They never sleep well in motel rooms.

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It's simple when he tells it: they met, fell in love, got married. The facts recount themselves; the complications between them are impossible to articulate.

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On Christmas, John suddenly needs to talk about death. "I killed him," he whispers into an empty room. (Ghosts are things man creates for himself.)

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The truth runs away from her tongue a third time, and then it's too late. He's not dead, not remarried, but the moment has passed.

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The time they pick for themselves is 1:05 a.m. If they're awake, they find each other and smile. They soon stop pretending it's an accident.

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She admits something terrible: "I wanted to hurt him, for what he did to you." Pause. "And you, because of what that did to me."

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What he likes best about her is her skin, smooth and forgiving, soft, so different than his but uniquely able to make him feel warm.

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She babbles in baby-talk when he's sick, kisses his fevered forehead until he wants to give her children. In reality, he wants her for himself.

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She swallows her fear and distrust, for she has no better choice, but Teyla doesn't really believe that people can survive completely surrounded by water.

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After the war, Sinclair goes home. He buries himself alternately in Catherine and solitude; in mediocrity. Eleven years later, he still wants to go back.

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She sleeps with him to be distracted; he sleeps with her because nothing else is distraction enough. They silently know this isn't a healthy relationship.

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"You lied to me," she says, coolly. She values nothing more than the truth. "No," he argues; he never lies to her. She's the exception.

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She swears every time that she won't make the same mistake again. In the end, she's tired of lying to herself. That's a mistake, too.

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After eighteen years, she forgives him. He did the best that he could. So did she. It scares her that this might always be true.

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At five, he tricked himself into believing there's a ghost inside the toaster. He learned his mind is malleable. Years later, he still dislikes toast.

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If he was to choose a mission in life, it would be to bring the abacus back into fashion. Math should be accompanied by clack-clack-clack.

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She organizes her sins into an itemized list: excusable, minor, cardinal, mortal. Attaching a fake name before slipping the list under the door is "minor."

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In your dreams, she's all yours -- no business between you, no others competing for her attention. You sleep late now, and say only, "I'm tired."

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Sometimes you wonder about him. A strange feeling coils inside you when you do, whispering fear and the danger of attachment. You find temptation painful.

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The sky on this planet is white, brilliantly achromatic, and for a moment, he thinks he's dead. Later, he wants to tell someone (besides Kate).

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Their sixth month in Pegasus, they run out of paper. One of the scientists steals a few sheets as museum pieces for her unborn child.

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He spends his Saturdays watching trains, waiting for enlightenment to step off from somewhere and come to him. It never does, but he keeps watching.

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I think sometimes about a critical junction -- a point where, had I or the earth moved differently, I would be now somewhere else, almost unrecognizable.

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His daughter lets him stay on the porch, contemplating grains of sand. He remembers nothing of his life but this: there is always a pattern.

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*send thoughts to little red*
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