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   Understanding, by Dean M. Coy  
  Novel, first publication in November 2006
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      The end has come. Adam repeated this over and over in his head. The end has come and the sky has fallen. As the dark took him he relaxed and allowed himself to fall upward towards the white light. The end has come. The sky has fallen. He broke the surface and inhaled deeply. Around him, night had overtaken the day. He wasnít in Chicago anymore. The city lights had disappeared. Off some distance Adam could see only one source of illuminationóa monolith lit like a skyscraper. He began to swim towards it. The current pulled at him. Adam swam with a strength he never knew he possessed. He was fixated. Swim towards the light. Towards the solitary building. He hadnít yet time to wonder where Chicago had gone. He didnít think of his friends he had left behind when he went for a nighttime swim at the beach just off Lake Shore Drive. He wanted only for the monolith skyscraper, which grew slowly as he swam for the shore. Then he heard a great roar from off in the sea behind him. The waves began to grow. He snapped to. Something was out there. Something big. Adam began to swim as fast as he could. He didnít bother to dip his face in the water and alternate his breathing as he had learned to do at the YMCA. He swam until before him the surface exploded and a great serpent exploded from the water. Adam was tossed into the air. The beast caught his arm in its jaws.

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