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A STORY

by

David Fischer



I'd like to tell you a story, if I may. It started on a dark evening, and ended on a bright sunny morning, just awakened by a smiling sun. In between it meandered through people and places, events of relevance, and anecdotes of background. Those that were involved are mentioned, and everything that is recounted is true. There is a river that runs down a mountain, once a trickle, a stream, now a wide expanse, rolling through the flat fields, where a boy tends a herd of sheep, dreaming the day away, far from his actual life. His father had lived in the city in his youth, had fled after narrowly escaping death in the election year violence. Every candidate speaks of peace, order, and justice, but they squabble like babies to get the right to do so. Power speaks only from above, and only for its own gain, no matter the words which issue forth. King Simon III was harsh but popular, his daughters the fairest any had ever seen. His only son had been abducted by bandits, and they awaited word. Were they actually the lone bandits they appeared to be, courageous and cunning enough to attempt such a dangerous trick, or were they in the hire of an enemy's royal family? To die, in retribution, or a pawn for future schemes? The King wiped dry his sweaty palms yet again, and summoned the court physician. The pressures of his official duties pushed him to the point of collapse with an alarming frequency, and his doctor was now an essential aide to the throne. His doctor had studied overseas, had served in the military, had a wide ranging knowledge of medicines that was acquired outside of the classroom. In the jungles he had seen deadly jungle fevers cured with secret remedies that were handed down through certain ancestral lines. Thus their keepers could ride the ebb and flow of disease and misery to their continued advantage. Power corrupts, and their burdensome weight was eventually thrown off with a great deal of bloodshed when the people could stand it no longer. What arose from that was a magnificently tranquil agrarian society, protected as it was from external intrusion by the natural fortifications provided by the volcanic crater they resided within. Generations passed and their history and the history of outsiders was forgotten, until one day a lone wanderer arrived from the mysterious world beyond the crater rim. Bringing trinkets and unbelievable lore of the world beyond, he mesmerized these quiet people and bought their wealth with worthless trinkets and junk. He had stone figurines to trade which he had acquired at the mouth of the jungle river that had brought him to this volcanic mountain. The stones were carved by the elders of a fishing village, and depicted the tragic warfare that broke out among the gods which they believed led to the fall from the skies, and the population of the world. They were persecuted and at times even hunted for these beliefs, by the followers of the dominant, state-sanctioned religion of their land. The two cultures had lived in harmony for as far back as any records could be traced, but recent increased trade with foreign nations had changed so much about all aspects of their lives. The central government grew and took on tasks it had never been involved with before. The military grew and found problems where none existed. Occasionally their was protest, and even small rebellions, but that only gave the state the excuse it needed to clamp down even harder. The industry that grows to cater to institutionalized violence gained of course, and many marginally related industries bloomed as well. Chainsaw companies started making "crowd control" versions of their chainsaws, with blood-splatter guards and lots of spikes. The central players in the weapons industry started to covertly encourage rebellious activity, and were soon financially supporting revolutionary organizations. If any officials knew of this, they had been paid enough to ignore it. To the north, their neighbors across the horribly polluted Sludge River were becoming uneasy. King Timid feared sending his own state down the same path of obsessive build-up, but he could not ignore the threat of such a militarily built up neighbor. On top of these concerns was the fear that their neighbor would consider his own armaments a threat, and use that as an excuse to build up even more, and perhaps even to attack. In the barracks, tensions ran high among the new wave of recruits. Johnny knew nothing of the neighboring states, and didn't understand any of his King's speeches about threats and counter-threats, but he knew his own land and people, and would do whatever his King said was necessary. He had heard the town crier calling for volunteers for the army back in his home village. The crier carried no news other than the build-up of threats and the build- up of armies these days. Each day he returned home to his wife and meagre home, more depressed than the day before. Being the local news media, he heard all the bad news, and he brought all the bad news. He repeated everything so often, day after day, that he couldn't ignore or forget anything. The worse the news, the more he was demanded to repeat it, and the more permanently it was burned into his conscious. He began to feel that he was to blame for everything he reported. He tried to talk to the town priest about it, tried to explain the growing weight, but he wasn't describing a known sin, so the priest didn't care, and had nothing to say. The priest's job was very routine. Everything was spelled out for him, the hierarchy above provided specific answers, and strict interpretations for every problem, every concern had a known resolution. The priest's mind wandered then, from lack of thought. He was like a puppet, letting the job flow through his body, commands from above carried out by a zombie. In the lands to the south, the Council Of Elders in charge of setting church policy listened to what the priests, and what their congregations had to say. At the moment, their concern was the fascistic style of the religious leadership of their well-armed and increasingly militarial neighbor to the north. They had never had a war council before, had never felt the need to prepare defences against an invading force expected to arrive with missionaries wielding inflexible dogma. The council's trouble was their strict adherence to formal methods of debate, which respected fairness and truth above all. This demanded that the priests from the north be allowed to speak their minds, to present their views, to defend their case. In reality, this was all they needed to punch through and infect the masses with their obsessive and all-inclusive doctrines. It had nothing to do with truth, it was more like a virus of hypnotic ideas being fired over the enemy's defensive walls and into the peoples' very homes. The unpleasant and unproductive meeting broke for recess for the third time that morning, and coffee was sent for. The kitchen staff was horrified to discover at precisely this moment that they were out of cream, and someone ran immediately to the corner store, where he was forced to wait as the owner concluded his business with a salesman from the company that supplied most of his non-perishables. The owner was trying to get free samples of the new items the salesman was discussing, while the salesman said he should just make a small initial order, knowing that their goods were always of the highest quality. In fact, this was not true, as the salesman was well aware. They were actually in court that very same day trying to fend off a fraud lawsuit concerning the grading of some of their products. They had been taken to court not by the government regulatory body, which had been properly bought off, and not even by a popular citizens committee of some sort or another, but by a small commune that collectively bought many of heir supplies from them. Their pet elephant had died as a result of improperly labelled feed. The legal defence was of course an attack on other aspects of their elephant's care. The elephant had been captured in the plains to the distant south, an area known for its giant vultures. These particular birds were notorious for their aggressive behaviour, and myths spoke of them as baby-snatchers. These horror stories, perhaps based on truth, perhaps not, were undeniably the primary cause of the local climate of infant care centered first and foremost on constant physical security and vigilance. Constant protection led in this case to a heightened awareness of value, and an increase in the perceived importance to childcare as an investment in the citizens of the next generation. Locksmiths fared well of course, as did self defence instructors. The martial arts served more as an advertizing trick than an actual source of knowledge in this case, as the tricks that were taught had little or nothing to do with the traditional schools they were sold as. Compete in the market or die, truth has no place in advertizing. The business world offers a context for merciless warfare without most of the drawbacks of actual physical danger, except to the lower rungs of the work force. Minimum wage has just been instituted in this kingdom, and most employers are still fighting its implementation, moaning impending doom all the while. The real impending doom threatening this land however, was not on the law-maker's desks, but in the blood of insects coming down from the hills due to the extremely rainy season. The plague lasted three weeks, and killed well over half of the population. The survivors maintained the virus in beakers and test tubes and held their neighboring states hostage by threat of infection, until someone finally dropped a super bomb on them and turned the entire kingdom into a radioactive lake. This was the second largest lake on the continent, and artificial like the largest. The largest had been built by hand however, in an age of slave labour and an eccentric ruling class with nothing worthwhile to spend their fortunes on. Princess Ewe had the lake built as a home for her pet crocodile. Any local fisherman who fell victim to this beloved pet would have his family sued afterwards, for interfering with the croc's carefully planned diet. It is extremely unlikely that the Princess's intended meals were any more nutritious for her pet, but she relied completely on all of her advisors' opinions. Her staff lived in constant fear for their lives. To flee was to take a nightmare flight down the river stowed away aboard a cargo ship, racing against the guard's searches and hoping against hope to arrive in a hostile land without friends, home, or belongings, and immediately being thrown into a prison cell for sneaking across the border. Border patrols were ever increasing in these days, as politics decided to blame immigration for their economic failings. In reality, the times had simply passed their industries by, technological developments had made their specialities totally irrelevant to foreign markets. Economies are inherently flexible, dynamic beasts, especially in the international context, and they are completely without mercy or sympathy. Mercy is a slippery ghost, rarely seen, very rarely actually there even when sighted. The religious like to throw the word around, but they use it as any other tool, towards greedy ends. One wonderful counter-example was the local orphanage, which was run by four extremely well-meaning and hard-working women. One of their charges, after leaving at the age of sixteen, went on to become an extremely successful senator, and used his power for two primary goals. One was to help give every child a chance at a reasonable future, through housing, nutrition, and education, and the second was the conservation of a certain species of gigantic freshwater snail that was found only in one lake, which happened to be in his home province. This one last enclave in the entire world had been in serious decline for several decades. Fishermen protested restrictions which interfered with their normal work. They discussed the new regulations while repairing their nets which they had spread out on the huge flat rocks along the lake shore. They worked quickly, knot, knot, loop, the pattern that had been handed down generation to generation, ever since their distant ancestors had come down from the hills to trade their plows for ships. In the hills they had harvested bamboo for use in construction in the port cities. Giant barges were constructed out of bamboo, dragged by sailboats out to the main current and set adrift, ever to the east. People in those days believed that the ocean currents followed patterns of stellar constellations. It was not until thousands of years later that advances in technology gave their civilization the tools they needed to actually prove this claim. Unfortunately this technology also made them more conspicuous to some extremely powerful and hostile life forms on neighboring star systems, and they were blasted back to a primitive level of subsistence almost immediately. Living in caves for protection and digging for roots is not a stable system for creatures with such well developed brains, so they inevitably began to rise again, over the millennia. This time they destroyed themselves through global warfare. The next time they fell to the plague, and then finally they made contact with alien life again, and were finally destroyed completely. Flower arrangements can add a lot to a small shop's ambiance. Sparse or baroque, plants can be a powerful tool in any kind of interior design. Banks are not to be trusted. I was killed during a robbery. I was killed during a homicide. I was killed accidentally during a homicide investigation. I was killed accidentally during a romantic candle-lit dinner. I was killed for eating junk food. I am innocent of denial. I have nothing to do with what you're looking for. I have nothing to do with what you're thinking about right now. Do you ever wonder when the ridiculous charade will fall to pieces? You will be seen eventually, it's inevitable. You can't run forever, you can't always be on guard. You'll never know when your safe haven is really our ambush. We never forget, we never give up. We shall wash our hands in your blood. The entertainment industry swings between restraint and shock value. Ethics don't matter, politics don't matter, it's just the resistance level of being desensitized and jaded. You bottom dweller! You'll amount to nothing, nohow, neveren, neverwhence withington pasterbay BANG BANG just like the other before before his footsteps still resonate blood blood blood why go on, following into certain destiny destiny tragedy grinning like a fool, a happy happy fool, knowing none the less it's clear even here, even from this end of the shotgun, the downstream end, the bad side of gun, town, bed, life this is where we started, this is where we started when we fled but now we are bled to bed, sinking into the sand, evaporating into a brownish stain not me not me I won't go that way, I'll get out, I'll rise above, starting with nothing, I've got to get something, anything, something new, something better, somewhere to run to, somewhere to run from did it get better did we get away CLICK four three two this is really it I can't breath can't move can't think time suspended I wait for the verdict gun is irrelevant, I can't control it, I can only wait, no reason to even pay attention a bird chases a rabbit through the desert brush lizards sun themselves they encounter terror too but life is so much simpler but really never any different join them me me are you asking me may I I have no better alternative The ship leaves port with a cargo of grain. The grain is sold at the next port. While on shore leave the crew start a fight at a local bar. The bar has been in business for over two hundred years. It was started by a farmer who moved to the city after acquiring enough land to hire labourors and manage everything from an office desk. He didn't actually have a desk though, he made do with a table made out of wooden crates in which he had received shipment of a spool of metal chain. The chain was made by slaves who finally rebelled and killed their oppressors. They fled to the hills where they settled and were prosperous. They grew food for their own sustenance and picked rare herbs off the hillside to trade with the townspeople. The townspeople bought goods from distant lands, lumber and fibers. The fibers they used to reinforce their own textiles. Their ropes and clothes had insufficient tensile strength unless mixed with these synthetic fibres. Unfortunately they did not have the technology to produce these materials on their own. They did make excellent chocolate though, and exported that throughout the world. Walter loved their chocolate, which he always got from his parents at holidays. He associated it with school breaks, which certainly added to the flavour. Walter did enjoy school of course, but even the best student enjoys a little vacation time. Walter was at the head of his biology class. His only problem at school was history. He just couldn't remember all the kings and queens that had led his country down through the centuries. King Simon III was the one exception - he was so well known throughout their land that every child knew his history before they ever entered a schoolhouse. King Simon dated from the earliest years of their kingdom, and many stories had been passed down from generation to generation about him. The most popular story of King Simon was of course the story of the kidnapping of his son, the heir to the royal throne. He was never recovered, and the King passed the throne to his daughter, the first Princess to be offered a position of actual influence. The Princess turned out to be a very strong and effective leader in foreign affairs. She single-handedly stopped a war between two neighboring states that had been fought for over forty years. The war had begun when a diplomat was insulted by a nobleman of the other state. He had been staying at the man's castle on the coast where the river that formed the border between their lands emptied into the sea. The castle was over three hundred years old and had been built by a legendary architect who based all of his works on the materials available in the immediate area. Thus the castle had been built out of a rare stone that was only found in this section of this particular river valley. This had been a bit of architectural trivia up until twenty years ago, when advances in technology suddenly made that rare mineral extremely valuable. Mine-able reserves were quickly used up, and hungry corporate eyes began leering at the ancient castle. The local village people did not wish any harm to come to the castle. They had already learned that the interest of mining companies is extremely fleeting, and they already felt robbed for the cooperative part they played in the initial mining operations. Now the tourist industry built up around the ancient castle was their livelihood, and they did not mean to give it up. The debate became political, outside forces began to play much larger roles on both sides of the argument than anyone directly involved in the original issues, and almost overnight the villagers found themselves at the centre of a bloody revolution. They were all killed of course, and the castle was destroyed in the subsequent bombing. The mining companies estimated that they recovered approximately half of the material they wanted from the rubble. The area was gradually repopulated and turned into grazing lands. The sheep that were raised in this area had originally been introduced far to the north by fur traders. The fur traders in this area took great risks in their travel, often travelling for great distances along disputed borders during uneasy truces. They risked their lives because a single successful trip in this region could make a trader immensely rich in a few short weeks. The well known risks and riches they were involved in also made them targets for bandits, who knew they would not be missed due to all the dangers they faced. The bandits always let their victims go and a sort of truce had unofficially been reached, that the bandits robbed a small percentage of traders, never hurt their victims, and kept other criminals out of the area. As their work became routine, the bandits started expecting their leaders to behave more like legitimate business owners, and eventually they were receiving medical insurance, a retirement plan, and paid holidays, as well as vacation time. The bandits went to a small resort island just off the coast to spend their leisure time sunning on the beach. The island was populated with a wide variety of reptiles, several of which were hunted for their meat by the local people. Unfortunately the most hunted reptile looked almost exactly like another species that was extremely rare, and extremely violent. Hunters rarely escaped alive after mistaking one for the other. The reptile that caused such grief amongst the hunters normally preyed on large rodents that infested the streams of the jungle areas. The rodents were relative newcomers to the island though, having been brought across inadvertently in the cargo holds of pirate ships hundreds of years before. It is unknown what the reptiles ate before the rodent population arrived, but numerous species were driven into extinction at that time, so it is speculated that the menu was changed without having much effect on the diners. Not so fortunate was the island fauna. The changes in the island ecosystem left a certain species of plant without any mechanism for transferring its pollen. When it died out, the insects that lived on its leaves vanished as well. The larval stage of those insects were the primary food source for the juvenile stage of a certain species of bird whose adults lived on one type of fish that inhabited the shallow waters surrounding the island. The population of these fish skyrocketed, then plummeted when they wiped out their food source. One rainy season their bodies covered the beaches, and as they rotted away, a plague swept the island, leaving no human survivors. Slowly, the island returned to normal. Later, it was washed away by erosion. Your evasions are for nothing. We are not so easily distracted. Throw my world back into the stream, I close my eyes and claw my way back, through madness and denial, I know what I know and I tell all my senses to go fuck themselves when you get them to mislead me. Everything is washed away and our planet is a ball of murky water filled with dead fish. Warehouse storage bins filled with grains, so large that they have weather patterns and pest ecosystems including packs of nomadic humans. You stowed away on a ship but we followed by gull, so you turned into the anchor but we beat you down, we ran the ship aground! You scurried ashore with twenty little sailor's legs, so we broke them all with falling rocks from a ledge. You flew into the air as widows' moans, but we pulled you back with a giant butterfly net. There was once a huge butterfly park. The public was only allowed along the perimeter, only scientists and the occasional photographer were allowed into the park itself. The park was centered around a certain grotto that an extremely rare species of butterfly used as their only mating ground. This species was so rare, that until the grotto was discovered, the species' very existence was debated. They were the only species of animal ever discovered that could be described as radically migratory. From their single mating ground they departed in all directions with a bewildering degree of statistical distribution. They somehow managed to spread out over the surrounding countryside perfectly evenly, which is perhaps why they were so rarely observed outside the grotto area. Researchers had been looking for some simple behavioural mechanism which, when followed by the individuals of the group, would lead to such interesting large-scale behaviour as that observed within this butterfly population. The early theories were very simple and elegant, but though they would explain a good distribution of migrating individuals, they should have caused more chaotic distributions, and slight clumpings. Thus, the "flee the grotto and avoid other butterflies" mechanism had to be left behind in the ethnologists' ongoing search. Studies stagnated until someone discovered that the individual butterflies were migrating along the exact same angle from the grotto, every single year. That focused the study on navigational mechanisms, and genetic encodings. Unfortunately, right around the same time as this giant step forward in butterfly research, there was a catastrophe involving genetically engineered viruses being accidentally released from a government lab. After it was safe to venture out into the open again, the plague survivors immediately formed mobs and killed all the genetics researchers in the entire country. It was butterfly research's greatest setback yet. In a distant land across the ocean, another butterfly research community was ironically just entering their period of greatest development. An off-shore island had recently been discovered in which butterflies were the dominant type of creature, and where they had therefore evolved to occupy many ecological niches filled nowhere else by butterflies. In their wild excitement, the butterfly researchers completely forgot to take any sort of normal precautions against ecological intrusion, and sure enough, a vicious species of carnivorous attack butterfly managed to escape onto the mainland. This was primarily an industrial region, with some farming of plants used in industrial processes. The water and air had become so polluted that long term survival in the open was no longer possible for children or the elderly. Factory workers had deductions taken out of their paychecks for the air they breathed while working, and for environmental support in the dormitories, if they chose to live there. Living quarters were very cramped in the communal dormitories, but it was the only way to get breathable air that most of them could afford. They slept on wooden bunk beds that lined all four walls on the main room. The beds were built by local union craftsmen using official union lumber brought down the union river by union lumberjacks working in the union forests to the west. The unions had a great deal of power in this country, which unfortunately had the side effect of making working conditions for all non-union positions unbearably crushing, as the corporations tried to make back the margins they lost to high union salaries and benefits. It was upon this bizarre worker's nightmare that the plague of carnivorous butterflies fell. The biologists responsible for this accidental migration had union positions of course, so the university that employed them was forced to fly them out of danger, to a safe haven outside the country. Their feeling of relief was short lived however, as the butterfly menace grew and crossed into their new home. The residents of this nation had no interest in their union membership cards, and strung them all up with piano wire as soon as the riots began. Far to the north, the newly opened butterfly research laboratory of the biology department of the state university was taken hostage by rebels from the western plains who were fighting for their independence. They threatened to kill all of the butterfly researchers if their demands were not met. No one ever got the chance to see if this was an idle threat, as the military swooped in and killed them all. This was their standard policy in dealing with hostage situations. In another land, far to the south, an entire butterfly research department died when a breach in safety procedures in the biological warfare research laboratory down the hall proved quite fatal. In the mountains to the east, a butterfly research field team was lost to a volcanic eruption, and to the west the land's most distinguished butterfly researcher was compiling the history of butterfly research in twelve volumes when his house was struck by lightning then crushed by a meteor as firemen fought the blaze. Elsewhere, a new messiah rose amongst the people, and proclaimed that god was in fact a butterfly, and angry at the arrogance of mankind's conquest of nature. He explained that this anger was demonstrated by his execution of butterfly researchers the world over. One of his followers was an old man who repaired wheelchairs. He lived above a tavern where there were fights every Friday night. Once a man was killed there. His widow remarried after five years and lived happily ever after. Her grandson grew up to be a very important businessman. He once met a movie star who he had adored as a child. When he finally met her, age had claimed her beauty and all that was left was the insecure but hostile personality of a truly little mind which had grown up sheltered by dazzling beauty. This meeting crushed his spirits. That year there was a giant hurricane that destroyed an entire coastline and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. While people mourned the loss of the property that had been washed into the sea, marine life died all along that stretch for the same reason. Debris covered the coral and suffocated it. Toxins from the garbage dumps and sewage treatment plants spread out through the waters, and the beaches were soon strewn with dead fish. Engrossed as they were in their own misfortunes, not a single human noticed. Inland, it was a prosperous year. Political leaders grossed record personal incomes, and convictions for white collar crime were at an all time low. Highway robberies were on the decline, since local police had been granted the authority to execute suspects on the spot as long as a certain percentage of suspects turned out to be guilty in later investigations. The required percentage was initially fifty, but once the new procedure became routine, requirements were tightened up in the interest of justice, and the local police were required to kill no more than twenty-five percent innocents in the process of enforcing the laws of the land. Faced with this highly effective new technique, many bandits had decided to turn to other professions. A substantial percentage of them ended up in law enforcement as new recruits were sought to enforce the new, harsher laws, and bring about the president's call for a safe, secure countryside. The president always threw in a personal plea when he spoke of any sort of security issues, tying whatever he was proposing back to the famous incident from his youth when both of his parents were killed as they stood by his side, each holding one of his hands. His father had been a politician also, and they had been killed because of his attacks on corruption in the Department of Emergency Preparedness. The morning before their assassination, the couple lingered over brunch out on the patio, taking in the glorious foliage between sips of espresso. A friend in their naturalist club had spotted a rare Silver Shelled Wolf near here last week, and everyone had had their eyes glued to the forest ever since. A chance to see such an animal had them all breathless. Not only was it an extremely rare species threatened with extinction, but it was also one of the most graceful and distinguished forest animal of these ancient woods. They had once received a holiday postcard from a Golden Shelled Wolf, and had corresponded with her intermittently over the years, but the chance to actually meet any sort of Shelled Wolf, face to face, far overshadowed their previous experience. Perhaps they should have stayed home that day, looking for their wild and elusive friend, rather than appear in the parade, strolling obliviously before friend and foe alike. They were passing a small hat shop the moment their heads were blown off by machine gun fire. It was an old hat shop, having occupied that second story space since long before this had developed into a major upscale commercial zone. The shop didn't get any more business because of the neighborhood's growth, it was an entirely different crowd. Their old customers kept coming, and word of mouth gave them the occasional new face. They had been under pressure recently to sell their space and relocate the shop to a cheaper district. Real estate values had increased so much along this street that they could make a small fortune overnight by moving to a larger space on the other side of town. Mister Hat, the hat shop owner, would probably have moved long ago, if he weren't distracted by a special project he was working on. He believed that he could use certain manufacturing tricks that he had developed over the years in the production of cheaper and higher quality hats to produce a space craft. He had developed an entire system of physics based on the premise that everything in the universe was made out of degenerate forms of mercury. This viewpoint had slowly germinated and grown clear in his mind as he perfected his technique for applying drops of mercury during hat manufacture using an air-pressure system that occurred to him while watching glass-blowers. When he saw that every other material reflected perfectly in mercury's surface, he realized that everything else must be based on mercury, since different substances have different optic properties which filter out specific ranges of the visible spectrum. Thus only the fundamental basis for all material should be able to reflect all other materials perfectly. It then occurred to Mister Hat that this should work in more fundamental ways than mere optic reflection, and that he should be able to build a mercury lens for focusing and amplifying streams of any sort of physical matter. This could be the basis for the ultimate mechanical engine, making possible a craft capable of travelling into the sky! The frame was covered with black velvet, to smoothly slip through the atmosphere and provide a gentle landing. Beyond this, nothing is known of Mister Hat's research and development, except that he did actually succeed in travelling to the moon. After his death, his laboratory was discovered, and his early lab journals and a handful of artefacts were recovered. All later lab notes were missing, so there is nothing to indicate how he managed to get from his outlandish theories and proposals to building a craft capable of acquiring the moon rock samples that were found in his laboratory. Proof that this could not possibly have been an elaborate hoax finally came when a proper space craft made it to the moon and discovered a welcoming package left by Mister Hat, including a lengthy letter of introduction, and a nice variety of hats for the new astronauts. And to pile mystery upon mystery, no explanation has ever been proposed for how Mister Hat managed to leave three hats of different sizes that perfectly fit the three astronauts who found his package, nor why they were marked as "King Simon Hats", as he had never named any of his hat designs before.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Fischer is a writer & artist from Providence who still feels bitter about the mammal/dinosaur feud. Visit his home site.




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