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Bart

Bart stoops on his way out the building, but there’s no headline to scan: the machine’s empty. Odd, he thinks–it’s pretty early in the day.

There’s nothing in the corner stand, or by the bus stop, and the shades are being pulled at the newsstand nearby. Bart’s getting annoyed with it all when he notices that everyone seems distracted, wandering, wearing identical vague frowns.

“Excuse me,” says a middle-aged Asian man, touching Bart’s shoulder. “Have you seen… the paper? Today?”

Bart’s teeth grate. “No,” he says, “in fact–”

But he’s already forgotten. “Unbelievable,” mutters the man, turning away. “Unbelievable.”

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