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Muzzy, thick, where’s the here blanket, still so they’re HERE tired want GET UP

They’re here. It’s dark. A cold shock and he’s awake; he can move nothing but his eyes.

“We don’t blame you any longer,” sighs Darlene heavily. “We understand. You have to lie, and it’s not your fault.”

“But we can’t have you lying about us anymore,” says Salem, “now can we?”

“You’ll tell no more filthy lies.” Darlene smiles, taps her lips. “No more. Ever again.”

Salem is threading a needle.

Rob’s jaw is holding itself shut, so tight his teeth creak. He’d scream if he could.


Perhaps he has it in him. He notices her, at least, and where and how she walks.

She sees so many people, walking, and portents cascade off her, and no one looks. She wants that, in this world, but she’s tired: she needs someone to teach, and that someone must be able to see her as she truly is.

Finally, one Monday she snaps her fingers and whispers, and two trolleys cross before her: a sure sign, an omen, to reveal her in her full glory at last.

She’s disappointed. He’s not the right one: Grimacing Woman is all he sees.

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