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Featured: An Abundance of Yellow Paper by TJ Benson

Wherever the man came from he didn’t stop running.
He made a turn at the end of Maikano Street, ran into a men’s wear boutique in a white jalabiya and ran out through the back in an ash three-piece suit, a brown leather suitcase in his right hand, red tie flapping over his shoulders as he ran. Even at cross-roads he didn’t stop to catch his breath, he only slowed into a jog after crossing, up the sloping crescent that led to the River View hotel.
The receptionist didn’t know what to make of him, this dapper-dressed stranger with full beard that concealed most of his face and sharpened his eyes; she didn’t know what to make of him at all. She wished him a happy stay and gave him the chip-key for Room 101, the penthouse apartment he requested. How he knew it was available was beyond her and she stared at him, at his brown leather briefcase until he disappeared into the elevator at the far end of the lounge. She turned to her desk to answer a call.
In the roof-top apartment of the hotel he sat on the lush four-poster bed and sighed. Beside him on the bed was the brown leather briefcase. All his running, all his life-savings had come to this. He ran a hand over its creased surface and thought of her. He thought to open it now but knew it was foolishness; there would be surveillance cameras in the room. He picked up the briefcase and walked out to the open air of the roof top. At the edge a table and chair overlooked the sun-dappled Victoria Island skyline without any parapet wall to keep from falling. He dropped the briefcase on the table and sat on the chair before these monsters of concrete and glass, his only spectators for now.
He opened the briefcase knowing what he would find but this knowing didn’t quell his thrill. When he saw what was promised a sense of sanctity overwhelmed him. He knew what he had to do but when he whipped out his ink pen he hesitated. It was a dangerous time to write poetry. Digital poems were traced back to their author’s IP addresses and the discovered poets were stalked and raped to death at first by fans and eventually assassinated when poet-homicide increased and their poems turned to the authorities all over the world. Continue reading