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Mneme

The cat of history, whose name is Mneme, is waiting for H. G. on his apartment stoop.

“Well hi, kitty,” he says. “You want something?”

“I can talk,” she explains.

“Oh.”

“We’re making a trade now,” she says gently. “Your destiny is no longer your own: you have a part to play and all your lines are written. In exchange, your life will be a thread in the knot of human knowledge.”

“I refuse.”

“I’m afraid refusal is impossible.”

He laughs. “Prove it.”

“First,” she says, “you’re going to tell me what H. G. stands for.”

“Hyacinth Grace,” he mutters, scowling.

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