Simulacrum

Static crackled in my ear.

– I just wanna know who wrote the story, Sean. I’m not after an address or a phone number.

– Yeah, right. I give you a name, you grab a phone book. You’re like a bull in a china shop when you’ve got a chip on your shoulder.

– Come on, Sean, whatever happened to all for one and one for all? I mean, what if the guy robbed me, for Christ’s sake?

– If you think he robbed you or stalked you or whatever, then call the police. If they come asking, I’ll tell, but until then, I don’t give out the details of contributors.

– God damn it, Sean, you’re always grinding that old axe. Give it up already.

– Hey, don’t forget who you’re talking to. Anyway, it’s not like I’m going to cut you off. I just won’t publish that particular manuscript. End of story. Let it go.

I was getting sick of Sean’s lip service. He didn’t know what it felt like. It wasn’t his work that’d been stolen.

I sighed. He wasn’t going to budge.

– Fine. I’ll cook up something new, I said.

– Great. Hey, I have to go. Good luck, and don’t sweat it. It was probably just a freak of nature.

There was a click, then a series of beeps, then nothing. The phone told me what Sean meant to say.

– Fuck off.

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Synthesis

‘Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, can I have your attention, please? The act you are about to witness is no mere folly. Before you will stand the world’s greatest aerialists. Their dazzling stunts will have you on the edge of your seat. There are no ropes. There is no safety net. Do not be afraid. The people involved are practised professionals. They live for their purpose, and their purpose is to entertain you. Tonight, they will bring you a show. Tonight, you will see a war between beauty and science. Tonight, all will behold the impossible.’

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