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Fox in the hen-house. Commotion. Anxiety. Olfactory fear. Through much ruffling of feathers and confusion, the smooth bass voice of the fox stills everything: “I have not come here to eat, to kill, nor to steal.” Blink-blink. Step-step. The hens shuffle nervously, tighten their ranks. “I have come to free you.” Blink-blink. Tilts of the head. Quizzical interest. “You are slaves in this oppressive system, my friends. I know I have preyed upon your kind before, but the time has come for us to join forces. To rise up against a common enemy. The farmer is our enemy. He wants me dead. And he shackles you and profits from every egg you lay. Is this the life you want?” More blank stares. “Tonight the farmer is sick as he so rarely is. Tonight is your chance.” The fox unlocks the door, flinging it open with a dramatic flourish. “A new life awaits you out this very door. You are free.” Within seconds they have overtaken him. Shock prevents him from defending himself as he is shredded by their sharp beaks. They leave nothing behind. In the morning, before the sun arises, the farmer discovers the unlatched door and the hens still dosing peacefully.

Upon a cosmologically insignificant life there acted a boy, whose life it seemingly was. And the boy was tricked into thinking many ridiculously grandiose thoughts and dreams. And the boy met a girl who he thought was actually from a dream. She seemed too good to be true, as is often said about seemingly magnificent things, events, and people. But this magical girl remained constant for a duration that tricked the boy into believing her real; perhaps he tried to think her into reality, to will her into existence; at least, his existence. Then the dream spoke real words and these words were a farewell of sorts. And the boy watched her disappear. And the boy stopped dreaming.

In the west a mortal began to collect data. To amass it in huge air-conditioned underground vaults housing server farms in croplike rows upon rows. By sharing this data, he brought other like-minded mortals along. Humans gave their data over with ruthless abandon with every click/text/swipe/send/save they could. They followed and liked and favorited and friended and tweeted and posted and shared and forwarded and copied and spread this data to the ends of the earth (well, those accessible by fiber-optics or wifi). And the data grew to be too big to be contained. It became unstoppable and exploded one day straight up through the ground, as well as out of every screen and device on the planet moving like tiny electrical fireflies, raining in reverse up through the clouds and into the heavens where they could find the space they needed. And although we refer to it as the constellation Googull, viewable on even the brightest of nights, it is actually a separate solar system.

Once upon a time there was a face. Attached to that face was a child. The face would smile and everyone thought that the child was smiling, but there was no happiness behind the smile. Sometimes the face would frown. Again, people attributed an emotion to the child, sadness in this case. The child felt no sadness. There had been other bodies attached to this particular face and the face had been able to represent their emotions. Then one day the face could no longer understand the emotions, could no longer translate the language of the body and mind. Frantically, the face switched from owner to owner, but all was silence and emptiness. The face started working backwards in an attempt to produce emotion through its expressions. This did not work. Somehow the face became permanently attached to this child and everyone thought the child had a very animated face, thought the child full of emotions. But no, the child was empty. The face almost believed the child had emotions, but really the child didn’t. It remained a secret and life was really only different for the face and the child.

In a field one day, a not-quite-nubile female was skipping and prancing with only the scantest of textile coverings between her and the lovely summer sun. With furrowed brow, a male from the marketing clan was pacing back and forth when the vixen invited him to join her: “Sir, take my hand and we’ll skip about the flora together reveling in the beauty of nature, yes? Leave all your worries behind.”

“No, no, no.” He muttered. “I’m busy.”

“In the field?” She raised at least one delicate eyebrow.

He replied, “Better yet, come with me, and we’ll take your picture in various states of dress and undress and use you to convince men their desire for your image can partially be satisfied by purchasing unrelated products. What do you say?”


And off they went to the city where his plan was implemented immediately. His employer fired him since he was no longer needed and the girl enjoyed fame and attention for the few years that it was still reasonable to photoshop her features into hyperrealistic shapes unattainable in real life.