player at piano

‘Big Red Machine,’ ‘Big Red Machine.’ *Here* it is.

No place to read — all seats taken, thanks to my colleagues in crime. Not crime — anyway, I’ll stand. I don’t mind. These 2 always seem to have the upper hand, testing this and judging or determining that. When I have the information in this book, things might change. Worth a try. Good, they’re not looking — absorbed in their own research.

Chapter 4: Twitch of the Morgan. Okay, getting somewhere. Um, hmm. (read read read). Ah ha. (scan scan scan) Getting late. The others seem bored. Better wrap this up, come back when I can ditch these two snitches — yes snitches. To the cause. I’ve found the book, that’s the important thing today. Fern is still looking around, almost as if — she can’t see me (!). Can they *hear* me? But too risky to test while she has the book. No need to attract attention to herself, whether she is truly hidden or not. She could become unhid, and whatever spell was cast on her by unknown powers (but probably Fern; maybe by accident even) wore off.

Okay, definitely getting weird here. Fern’s looked right at me several times now and it’s as if I didn’t exist (!). Ghosted somehow; Lichen the same. They seem to be finished with their own reading, kind of staring and glancing around. Probably looking for *me* I would assume, since we came in the same car or whatever. Carriage. The time is April through July, I know that. The day, the *century*, though, is unclear. Fern said this was a place we could research the hypercube, and better understand the link that is forming between 1st and 2nd lives. Great! I said, and Lichen also smiled across at me, knowing that Fern was onto something and this would be a better library experience than the one over in Dairocha Castle on Nautilus. This wasn’t Nautilus, oh no. This was the Orient by comparison. And me, me… Oriental. This is about me! Another test, most likely. But why?

The 9th and final chapter beyond the Great 8: gone. As if it had been ripped out by unseen hands. The crucial information! Soo sleepy. Fern and Lichen are still looking around. Sleepy. Eyes getting heavy. *Gone*.

“I don’t think Alysha is coming back,” Fern finally said, tired of the wait.

“No. She must have gone back to the carriage.”

“Carriage?”

“What-ever.”

Lumbering Big Red sitting nude with his big ass parked on the piano bench over there was finishing up Part 9 of his suite of compositions. Soon the spell would be over and Alysha would reappear, a bit confused but otherwise okay. But the book in her lap would have disappeared along with the music. One and the same.

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