free?

She was small but she was no longer a baby, this Alysha, not to be confused with Ayesha also from the last photo-novel. 26, eh. Number of letters. Beyond Missouri and Arkansas. Michigan. We are even again, 13 and 13.

“It is good that you progressed onward.”

“*You* again.”

“Of course. Your opposite. 13 and 13. Call me Michigan,” she then offered, giving me pause. Was she the one?

“Straminsky?” I tried. It was a word the Oracle didn’t know, or you had to back up back to three to get any population hits. Yet this was the 13th of the MASH sims. Did I succeed? She just kept on with that schweet but secret smile, like the end of INLAND EMPIRE. And maybe that was what all this was: the end of a long and dusty trail or something. Fulfillment. A drink of long sought after water from a magical well. “Well well well,” I wanted to utter but stopped myself. STOP

—–

“Get to the temple. The temple attached to the tor.”

“Thanks for allowing me to continue.”

“I waited for you. Alpha. Windyville. Zula. A woman with a child as one. Unity of mother and daughter. An “l” was crossed, forming a “t”. You progressed forward. 6 to 7.”

—–

She was gone. She never made it out of the shadow.

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