The frequency of colors in factory-fresh M&Ms is as follows!

20% Blue

Blue is the most recent addition to the stable, having been added after a vote in 1995 in which it crushed pink and purple by double digits. It took the place of tan, whose essence it ingested.

20% Orange

Added in 1976 to replace red, orange is the newest color that did not require the permanent death of another to give it life. Its composition was changed in 1981 after the species of taro root used to color it went extinct.

15% Green

Green has been with M&Ms since the beginning, but is currently the least popular color. Powerful forces within the company have already begun to agitate for its replacement with a “young, hip” color like mustard or marsala.

14% Brown

Staid, boring brown is the same on the outside as it is on the inside. Can you say the same of yourself? Can anyone? Brown has managed to endure despite being thought a fool and a pushover, and those who question its relevence are seldom seen again.

14% Yellow

All M&Ms have the same flavor, but some have described yellow as “lemon flavored” like a Skittle. This is grave misinformation, and an unforgivable slight. Do not wonder when those who speak such lies are found with every orifice choked by hard yellow candies; instead, vow to let their mistake be your education.

13% Red

A scare over the dyes used to create red M&Ms led to their removal from bags nationwide for a time, from 1976 to 1987, but now they’re back. Only those closest to the candy recognize that something is subtly different, subtly hollow, and that the candy they lost and got back again may in fact truly be dead.

3% Violet

Violet was an original color introduced in 1941. Officially discontinued in 1954, purple remains and can be found by those that know where to look. Violet’s ambitions to return thrwarted in 1995, purple nevertheless will continue to be made even though the machine has been turned off and padlocked. Violet will not be denied.

2% Pink

There are those who say pink M&Ms never existed. There are those why say you never existed. People who have never seen one have dreamed of pink M&Ms; who who has never seen you, never met you, has done the same?

1% Grey

Supposedly a production error, these colorless candies are prized delicacies. For many years, it was possible to bring one to the great monestary of Hazin Gudo to recieve enlightment, but the quote has been filled. One day, grey M&Ms will shake the universe to its foundations.

.01% Indigo

The color of the earth before time was time, the color of the skies before they were differentiated from the earth. .01% of everything that exists is indigo, and M&Ms are no exception.

.001% White

It is blinding. A truth you cannot comprehend. Is it a white M&M, or is it a color you can’t concieve because you lack the eyes for it? Yes. Yes.

.0001% Black

A singularity. It devours light, devours hope. The end, our end, wrapped in a candy shell. The few who have seen, the even fewer who have eaten…they are the only ones who come close to understanding. To eat the black M&M is to eat the universe in which you are contained, to tumble headfirst into neverending quantum night. Death before this. Death and chocolate.

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Swallowing the constant propaganda
The backbone stirs from the blood
Spurious anarchy mutters all about
How do we count as true chaos
That which we cannot grasp
Pick apart basic slogans
Figure past paperback monarchs
The proud hypocrisy all support

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Can the young want Time? He felt slow and out of sorts, but was it a want for Time? She came and went so effortlessly that he wasn’t sure if it was desire or something else, just a comfort to see her again and know that she was coming and going still. He liked to know that she had a purpose, and through her, he found his. But can the young really want for Time, or just want after her, chasing her as if they never got the chance to get to know each other.

Time was a frivolous creature, her hair made of moonlight and skin the color of the darkest night. Her eyes twinkled and sparkling, always laughing and always careful to be sure you got caught and captured by her passing gaze.

He saw her here and there, reflected in a watch or in the lock screen of his cell phone, but he was never able to meet Time face to face until, on a particularly misty morning, he came across her in the town square with a load of watch parts from the local pawn shop borne behind her by her handmaid and servant, the Motley Man.

“Tell me, O Time, what is my purpose? Why does it seem that I am always chasing you, yet never really knowing you?”

Time’s laugh was as silvery alarm bells. “None know me, not even myself,” said she. “I simply endure, as I have been enduring, keeping the World Clock wound and Time’s Arrow straight.”

He would not be dissuaded. “Show me, O Time, how I can know you better and use you better and spend you better.”

“Very well,” she said, and his heart leapt. “Go into the Jungle of Luud. My servant will accompany you. Do as he commands you and you will find yourself in the Sacred Geometry. There you will find the one you seek. When you have pulled her from the Geometry, you will understand Me.”

He bowed deeply and led by his misshapen guide, he set out for the Jungle of Luud and his beloved Mona.

Ah, Mona. He had met her first in the Pearls. She was sitting under the perpetual moonlight, scribbling away in a small violet book.

“Mona, my dear,” he said. Mona did not look up but merely nodded, still deep in her book. “It has been so long. Whatever have you been doing?”

“I have been writing,” Mona said, appearing to embellish her journal.

“I can see. I was told you have the answer to Time.”

“Do I now?” Mona asked.

“I suppose you must. How do you spend Time these days, then? How might I make better use of my time, as you do?”

“Ah, my friend,” said Mona, “Lately I have been writing, but the rest of the time I have been simply living.”

“That is a rather vague answer,” he grumbled. “I am living now!”

“Not really. You’re existing, certainly, but to enjoy each moment, and invest your whole being into it, now that is truly living. And as I am investing myself in this writing.”

With that, Mona disappeared into her journal. He took up the fallen book, put it in his pocket, and carried Mona out of the Sacred Geometry, going out to live his life.

Warm summer’s sunset sinking low over the graveyard. The man and his Mona, bowed with old age, held each other on the bench while they watched the sunbeams play pink and orange before death’s deep red took them. The Motley Man stood at the cemetery gate, with Time and her handmaiden behind him.

“Now?” the Motley Man asked.

“No, give them a moment yet,” sighed Time with bated breath.

Mona and the man sat in loving embrace, and as the last rays of maroon burst into cold, purple night, they kissed, hearts pressed together, and Time waved her hand forward, and the Motley Man set out in a broad pace toward the two.

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The Architects, as they say, thought of everything.

They constructed the sphere out of pure but porous crystal, allowing heat to enter in the day and leave during the night. Inside, the plants and animals were carefully chosen to create a complete and functioning ecosystem. Strict rules were set out to keep the one tiny settlement small and self-sufficient.

Their task completed, the Architects flung the sphere into the World Ocean, where its perfect design allowed it to bob and float endlessly. The world outside the sphere was lost, as the Architects knew it would be. All went down to ruin except the single bottle that they had thrown upon the sea.

The Architects, as they say, thought of everything.

Everything, that is, except the people nested in their great sphere.

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And then Man said to Tree “But trees have not culture and they build not cities. A tree leaves nothing when it dies.”

Tree responded to Man: “Culture has in every instance led to death and misery, its achievements dwarfed by its toll. In no sense have trees culture, and for us that means we fell not our fellows.”

But then Man said: “What about the stranglers, the figs who creep and grow upon other trees, being parasites who kill?”

Replied Tree: “You speak of the process of intertwining another, of enveloping them as you grow together, and eventually, when they die, finding that they have left a hollow inside you? We count that as love, not murder.”

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On the one side, a wide open field, urban parkland, filled with wildblossoms like unto a snowstorm of beauty, of fragrance, of joy.

On the other, the rear-engine mower, hydrocarbon haze, churning in lines because Tuesdays are scything-days, petals or no.

Between them, me, hand on wheel over idling engine, stoplight brilliant in plexiglass ahead.

It will all be gone by the time I return.

I am moved to silent tears, rolling oily down cheeks still sunburned from the last walk, sopping across nostrils aching for an iota of fragrance.

The light changes, and I see no more. A scene for my dreams thereafter, then, waking or resting, blissful or nightmare.

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It’s not they crying that hurts most
The flowing waters cleanse as they sting
It’s when you’re beyond crying
The rivers dammed up and dry
That the blade cuts deepest between ribs
Not just for myself, a selfish hoarded pain
But for those who I don’t know how to salve
Who live and die despite all my efforts
To care is to open your shirt and beckon
For the knife to glide in, sever, keen
Yet the stone cannot choose to feel
Just as I cannot choose to ignore

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Light and Darkness met, as was their wont, at dawn.

Light was effusive, ebullient, cheerful. It brought out the beauty in things, warmed others with its presence. But it was also guileless, intrusive, penetrating. It could not understand those that were not like it, and its radiance knew not tact nor diplomacy.

Darkness was grim, restrained, dour. It masked imperfections, brought all to equality, knew subtlety and grace. But it was also cold, aloof, decietful. It could not understand those that were outgoing, and its cloak of shadows hid both the shy and the evil.

They were lovers as much as they were opposites. Their first child, Sunrise, took after her mother. She warmed and nourished even as she was gentle and tactful with the shadows she rolled back. Their second child, Sunset, took after his father. He cloaked the weak and fearful even as he allowed those with sunnier dispositions time to wind themselves down into sleep.

Theirs was an affair of opposites who could never quite get along. Light and Darkness would always quarrel when they met, but in the presence of their precious children they could, briefly, find in themselves the love and mutual respect that they had always carried.

In time, they bore a third child, Eclipse. It was Eclipse who inherited the transience of shadow from Darkness but the bursting speed from Light. It was Eclipse that had Darkness’s retiring nature but Light’s showmanship. It was Eclipse alone that could bring the parents together at midday or midnight. It was Eclipse alone that renewed their quarrels and exacerbated them.

It was Eclipse alone that could bring about the end of their world.

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The excitement of wee sleepers, safely tucked into bed. I’ve not known it for decades.

Some will never know it at all.

And yet, selfishly, I mourn a feeling that I will never have again. And let the wonder of the morning, brightness and joy, pass me by in a cloud of melancholy. And let the horror of those without, those who have never and will never, glide by in my preoccupation.

Does that make me a bad person, or just a mediocre one? And which is worse?

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Atsui Mojiretsu was a chef at Mentoshi Noodle City, the most prestigious noodletorium in Kyoto. Locals, gaijin, and visiting dignitaries alike would often go out of their way to stop by Mentoshi Noodle City for a sample of the famous lo mein, the gourmet ramen, the spaghetti al dente, the linguini al perfecto.

But even though Mojiretsu was second only to Alto Chef Ōmugi, he was not–and indeed could not be–satisfied with his culinary creations. Mojiretsu was dissatisfied with his spaghetti in particular, and would feverishly cook and recook it whenever he had a spare moment.

In time, Mojiretsu’s obsession was too much and he was fired from Mentoshi Noodle City with regret. And yet he still cooked and cooked, brushing off those who said he made too much spaghetti. Eventually, his small home was filled to the brim with noodles and Mojiretsu was not heard from again.

Some years later, census takers entered the Mojiretsu home to find that he had made so much spaghetti that the giant mass of pasta was almost large enough to be officially classified as its own state. Entering it, they found vast rolling spaghetti plains and impenetrable fortresses of al dente noodlery.

And all throughout the noodly land there were great tales of the mysterious man who had come from they knew not where to become the king of the new spaghetti country.

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