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June 17, 2008

the sniper

We were careful when we briefed the sniper. The courtyard was bordered by buildings on all four sides, with a tower in each corner. Pathways ran around the perimeter and also digonally across the courtyard, with the fifth and largest tower positioned at the centre of the "X."

The sniper agreed with our assessment that the centre tower would provide the most advantageous position. The target could appear at any time at any one of the towers, such that it would be salutary to behave as though one believed in teleportation.

The focus of the sniper. So intent was he on the task ahead of him, he failed to notice that the photograph of the target we circulated after the meeting was a photograph of him.

June 15, 2008


The first thing I noticed was that the grass on the hospital lawn was such a bright shade of green. It surprised me. Everything had been so grey when I had been admitted in the damp, dreary month of April.

I took a deep breath and wondered what else might have changed in the past two months. Many questions were bouncing around my head as I cut across the parking lot to the bus stop.

Had I pretended to be sick in order to get into the hospital?

Or had I pretended to be well in order to get out?

June 14, 2008


I was jolted awake this morning by the rattling sound of a diesel engine starting up.

A truck? Why is there a truck in my driveway? No... not my driveway. Where am I? ...OK. I know where I am.

I tried to chase down the dream I'd been having but it was receding fast. Something was... moving... No, it's gone. I can't remember it.

One sentence remained stuck in my head, balanced on the knife-edge of consciousness, as if it were the last sentence spoken in a conversation just as I was awakened:

"I need you to find the machine that brings women back from the dead."

June 13, 2008

insect symphony

The sound that I had taken to be the hum of traffic from a nearby highway actually turned out to be coming from much closer. When I looked outside I saw mosquitoes--swarms of them. Over the past hour the buzzing of the mosquitoes had risen to a steady drone.

I realized that every window in the hotel had a thick enough cloud of insects gathering outside it to darken the mid-afternoon sun. The meeting had been temporarily adjourned as everyone stared at the bugs, reluctant to get too close to the windows.

Some of the mosquitoes had landed and were dragging their diamond-hard proboscises down the outside of the boardroom window, scoring tiny white lines in the pane of glass.

In the back of the crowd, without anyone noticing, I had pulled up the sleeve of my shirt. There were spiders attached to the skin of my arm. Three large spiders, black and furry, were stuck like leeches to my left forearm.