“Lord, lord. Lord lord lord lord lord.” She shook her head as she uttered. She looked down into her coffee which wasn’t steaming any longer, meeting stretched beyond expected. Yet Newt had forgotten about the parking meter and the need to feed past 8. Too much had happened. Clyde! It’s back! The impossibly loud sound of horseless carriages transfixed. He was almost there; just up there. He could reach into the screen and probably procure some kind of souvenir or relic to bring back to the others: Fern, Lichen… and the one who most figured in as the cause, the one who was red, the one with the awkwardly long gams (she thought), the multicolored tree on the back and the fox and the octopus up front, black and white zebra’s eyes formerly x’d shut but now wide open. He can hear, he can see. He *must* get married after this. He knows too much.
Lichen went over and exchanged wigs with her. “See?” she said, returning to her seat, spell intact.
“See?” prefigured Fern and then also leaned over and exchanged her hair with Alysha’s. “Doesn’t matter.”
It was 9 before Newt got back to the car with the inevitable ticket attached to the passenger window. “Zero strikes again,” he muttered and then crumpled it up and threw it in the gutter, knowing the thing was now worthless. Nothing mattered in this Squared Root City in this most virtual of realities. Except 3.16227766. Let’s shorten it down to 3 so we can move on…