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Aldous puts the book back and walks to the next shelf, then pulls down another. Darren Darya Daryl Dashiell–wrong way. Two shelves back. Three. Ban Barathrum. Closer. Aldaea. Alder. Aldi.


It’s a misplaced word. Aldous is certain her name should be there: Alejandro comes right afterward. Someone’s been messing with the order of things.

She replaces the slim volume. It’s not a name at all, is it? Greek roots: an, without, and then Iris, rainbow, messenger of the gods. But she never claimed to be getting their mail in the first place.

Aniridia leaves the library, determined and bound.


He hasn’t gotten fat, at least, but his face has changed: smoother somehow, the once-intriguing hint of ferret in his skull now emergent and distinctly unflattering. His hairline’s only just receding, but the color has dulled and it’s cut too close to bring out his curls.

He’s got a girlfriend who’s probably never even seen him the way she did back then, kicking hard toward the tape at the end of the 800. He never made it out of Flint. She supposes maybe he could yet.

Darya closes the Facebook tab carefully, as if he might hear the button click.