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The Immortal Goldfish

by Sophie Austin

When I was nearly eleven years old, I stood up in front of my classmates and proudly announced that I had an immortal goldfish. My teacher, a stout, angry woman called Mrs. Gilbert wasn’t as impressed by this statement as I had hoped.

‘Immortal?’ She said, her tone scathing.

‘It means she’ll never die,’ I said. ‘Mum said so.’

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The Matterings of Molehills

by Anna Davis Abel

“I want to matter.”

You will say this, ten months removed from it all, clutching a pink frilled pillow under your elbows, picking at the fraying seam you pull a little looser each time you come to her office. Your therapist with the little feet will listen and then say what everyone always says. “You already matter. Everyone matters.”

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Sweet Dreams

by Carey Cecelia Shook

“I can control my dreams,” Andrew, my oldest brother, told me as I drove him to work at 5:40 a.m. in 2014 because he didn’t have his own car. “That’s why I woke up a little later. I was dreaming, and I wanted to keep dreaming.”

“What do you mean you can control them?” I asked.

Andrew went on to tell me how he always knew he was dreaming, so he made his dream-self do anything he wanted to—fly, teleport, rescue people. That was the first time I heard about lucid dreaming.

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Charlie Hustle

by Alan Swyer

At a get acquainted lunch, which took place before I agreed to direct a baseball instructional video, I did a surreptitious check on what I termed attention span.

After countless hours with public figures—doing on-camera interviews with politicians, scientists, law enforcement officials, and athletes— I had learned the hard way that every person has a fixed period of time—a maximum—after which concentration shuts down.

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