J. J. W. Mezun ☆ Season 1 ☆ 2014 April 1


If you insist. I must warn: this isn’t a pleasant story. I don’t mean that it’ll make you smother yourself in tissues or burst out your window with a bat raised to the clouds. It’ll make you feel less like a bolt struck your heart and more like the inky rubbish at the bottom of the coffee pot.

Now, where should I start? Uh… I s’pose I should start with my first going to the bank…

That’s a long story.

If you insist.

All right, I was sitting on the floor in our apartment finishing up the last of my research. Uh, ’twas dark.

Yes, ’twas, as every night in Boskeopolis is in the midst of spring. ’Twas as if we were trapped in a li’l box being lightly shooken up from outside. I dunno.

Anyway, eventually I exhaled and muttered to myself, “Okay, I think I have everything planned.” I bit my fingers and tapped an arbitrary key repeatedly ’fore resuming. “I’ll have to invest the rest of my money for the materials I’ll need; but I’ll be repaid exponentially if this succeeds.”

“So, uh, what is it?”

I swung my head round, surprised, almost forgetting Edgar sitting just next to me, so quiet.

“Oh, right…” I said.

’Twas then I noticed how much my voice sounded like an unoiled door hinge, going unused for so long—my voice, not the door hinge. Though I suppose my door hinge was used less than most’s, too.

There, now can I return to the pertinent details?

So I told him I was thinking of robbing Syrup Bank…

“Oh, wow,” Edgar began. “Isn’t that kind of… dangerous? I mean, even more than what you usually do?”

“No choice,” I respond. “We can’t keep scraping by on petty thefts. We need to think big,” I said while staring back at my screen.

I wasn’t spending attention for anything on it.

I might as well admit that I had mixed feelings ’bout Edgar and I. Not that I was becoming sick of his presence, mind. Fact, for reasons I can’t explain, I quite enjoyed his mere, quiet presence next to me while planning. But, I knew my work was becoming dangerous now, and would rather not have the death of someone I knew so intimately—more than anyone else, a’least—tied round my throat. Plus, my funds had been depleting so quickly, my work going so slowly, that I’d been becoming more and more frantic to squeeze work out of every second so that I’d never have time to spend with him, so what was the point in keeping him round? I couldn’t imagine he enjoyed just sitting there worrying himself to death—as if I couldn’t guess that that was what he was doing with that expression of his.

I sometimes thought ’twould be better if he left for good or found someone else to hang round—which was why I was ecstatic when he met you—but he’s the type who’s miserable without someone else, and yet too nervous to find someone else, excepting the contrived circumstances that met us and however he met you. I don’t even remember if he knew you yet or not, though I certainly didn’t know at the time.

I thought so.

Anyway, since neither of us would like it, ’twas obviously a stupid solution.

Now, where was I?

I forced myself to say, “I don’t want you to come, anyway.”

He looked down. “Okay.”

I was reminded of the old cartoons where the character would change into some deprecating word, like “jackass,” with a representative picture while some wacky somber music played. Well, at that moment I felt that if someone had been watching me, they’d see me transform into a giant phallus with the word “dickhole” pasted over it.

With the hopes of improving his spirits—but with the knowledge that it wouldn’t—I added, “Not ’nough supplies for you, too. ’Sides, ’twould be too dangerous.”

He nodded silently.

I put a hand on his shoulder. “Look, I wish circumstances were better. You understand I’m trying to even out all of these problems, right?”

For some reason, this only further pained his expression.

“I understand,” he said nervously with a nod. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for what?” I asked.

“Oh, nothing,” he said as he shook his head quickly.


And now onto the story proper:

I paced north and south the sidewalk on the other side of the street in front of Syrup Bank, my eyes sliding left and right for any sign of human eyes. I checked my phone for the twelfth time to see that ’twas already one AM. The bank was hours past closed, and there wasn’t a live sight round, ’cept lit streetlamps, rain, and the occasional driveby.

I stared down each side of the street one last time ’fore crossing. Once on the other side, I snuck round to the shadows of the alley ’tween the bank and its neighbor.

Using my phone as a makeshift flashlight, I searched round the back and found a dumpster lazing gainst the back metal fence. I looked ’bove the fence to see if anyone could see me, but only saw faint glimpses of grass and trees smothered by a void of blackness.

So I climbed the dumpster and used it to reach a foot onto the fence, cringing as the flimsy fence rattled like tinfoil. From this height, I set my pack down on the dumpster and pulled out rope with a noose tied at-end. I tried swinging the rope round like a snack-cake mascot, only to find ’twas harder than I’d expected: it flopped flaccidly and splashed in soaked concrete.

I retried and retried till, finally, on the fifth try I managed to hook it onto something. What, I couldn’t see; but I could feel by tugging on the rope that ’twas a’least heavy ’nough to support me.

Then I climbed the roof. I took back the rope—not just to better hide my work; I would still need it.

My mind wasn’t racing; racing usually implies a steady motion. A more accurate way to describe it would be to say that my mind was sputtering. I flashed the little supernova light over my mind, interrogating for aspects I missed that might turn round and screw me later.

I eventually found the flaw I’d missed:

I thought, What’re you doing wasting all your time standing round? So you can get caught? You’re not going to think of anything you missed, so you might as well just get on with it and hope for the best.

I shivered from a mix of ice-sharp rain and anticipation. The ice-sharp rain was the much greater cause, though.

Then I entered the vent.

I slid down a few feet before landing on the bottom of the horizontal turn. Though the impact didn’t hurt, I worried ’bout the thump my shoes made gainst the thin tin.

But I didn’t have time to worry idly, so I crouched and crawled through the shaft. In what direction, I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t find any map of the bank’s vent layout online when I prepared, which wasn’t a surprise.

I exploited the intermittent grates for hints to where I was; and with the map I thankfully remembered to download and print at the library—lit by the faint light of my phone—I could see where that was in relation to the safes. Soon I found the grate I needed, its slits revealing a giant circular door, locked to the wall by various tubes and bars.

Now that I knew where ’twas, I had to figure out how to open it—or rather, I had to hope that all of my research and all of the tools I emptied my wallets for would win me.

I pulled a screwdriver from my pack to unscrew the screws screwed onto the grate and then slowly, carefully, and—most important—quietly slid the grate from its home, setting it a foot and a half north of the vent hole at a slight angle. There, ’nough detail for you.

I considered tying a rope up here so I could descend and ascend easier when I eventually needed to leave—something I realized, with a panic, I hadn’t plotted thoroughly. But there was nothing up there upon which I could tie the rope. ’Sides, I remembered I left the rope tied to the roof. Then I thought ’bout tying the rope to something on the roof ’gain, and then tying the other end round my stomach. But I was already too far down the vent.

So I slid down and cringed as my feet punched gainst the linoleum floor. Luckily, searching round the dark room with my phone flashlight revealed nobody, nor could I hear footsteps; so if anyone were round, they must’ve excelled at hiding.

I walked up to the safe door and stared at it for a few minutes in hesitation.

Well, let’s hope this does what I want it to, I thought.

I set my pack on the floor at a slight angle and dug through it. I extracted a screwdriver, a dozen cotton bags, a pair of scissors, a hammer, a ruler, a calculator, and a roll of tape ’fore I finally pulled out the last item, holding it in front of me so I could see it. ’Twas a golden key with the insignia of a monster’s face at the bottom. I must’ve paid a fortune; but as far as the vendor’s tests showed, he didn’t lie when he said ’twas guaranteed to open any lock.

I stuck the key into the thin slit ’tween the circular door and the wall and turned it to hear a polite click. Must’ve felt good, since I could hear its gears’ grinding response.

The key dissolved into dust in my hand. The vendor had warned that ’twas a one-time-use key. Elsewise I could use it to open every lock forever.

And that would just be zany.

My heart scratched its claws gainst my ribcage as I snuck into the tomb and explored it with my phone light. My knees almost fainted under the excitement they felt when they saw the river of green paper drowning the room.

’Course, I was more interested in the money sitting atop it.

I rushed back for the sacks, returned, and unwaveringly began bucketing the bills into the bags like a contestant at a shopping sweepstakes.

I was so ecstatic ’bout my prizes that I didn’t hear the footsteps ’hind me and almost missed the loud, raspy yell of an old man:

“Who’s there?”

I froze with a point-filled hand halfway to the bag when I turned and saw a short, square-faced man with white tufts on the top and sides of his face in a gray security suit point a flashlight at me, blinding me so much that I had to use my point-filled hand to shield my eyes. Though the light was thick, I could glimpse the man’s face: looked more befuddled and frightened than threatening; though I could see by his scowl that he attempted to appear dangerous.

“Stop right there, young woman,” he said. “What do you think you’re doing?”

I glanced down at the sacks and the hand grasping cash. You’d think ’twould be obvious what I was doing.

I didn’t have time to say so, though; now I needed to think of what to do in this mess. I looked at the door and saw the fatal mistake I’d made: Idiot! You just left the door open! Way to be sneaky!

Though my nerves were itching to panic, my mind was more partial to ensuring that this heist succeeded—not just because I didn’t want to be in prison, but also because I truly needed this opportunity.

So, I had to remain calm.

The key question was what could I do now? I could try escaping immediately; but I only grabbed a fraction of the loot here—what a waste of a good prospect. And if the guard were going to stop me, he would, whether I were leaving now or later. Grabbing more money was no riskier than running.

So I continued to scoop money into the bags, pretending the guard wasn’t there, though making a hasty effort. The guard didn’t like this as his eyebrows arched lower, and he yelled, “Hey! Madame! Did you hear me! Stop that or I’ll call the police!”

His eyes aimed at me, astonished, when I refused to respond to him.

I watched him leave, knowing he was calling the police or managers. What else could he be doing? Getting a gun to shoot me? Since he was a guard, I knew if he had access to a gun anywhere, he would already be carrying it with him, unless he was completely incompetent.

So, since his sole means of stopping me was the police, there would definitely be a delay. First he had to find a phone—apparently he hadn’t heard of this “cellphone” invention, yetthen the police would have to drive here and run all the way over to the bank vaults, which would take long, since everyone knows cops in Boskeopolis are corrupt and lazy ’cause they’re paid in grocery store coupons.

By some violation of the laws of physics, I managed to quicken my looting further, till only five minutes later all bags were bursting.

Now I had to carry them out. That would be mildly arduous.

I piled them together and held the mountain all in my arms in front of me, their size together almost twice my mass. Luckily, I was used to carrying heavy objects from past burgles; all I felt was the pressure of a dozen anvils trying to rip my arms off—nothing excessive.

I ran—or rather, stumbled blindly—over to the window, only to hear the rolling of wheels on gravel outside. I tilted my head so that I could see outside when my eyes landed on the blue and brown car stopping under the light of a streetlamp.

I slid away from the window. I couldn’t hear much, since they were so far away, but I could faintly hear footsteps crunching on my right—where the front door was—muffled by the constant pattering of rain. My assumption was confirmed when I heard the front door rasp open like a voice after hours of disuse and the quiet—from my location, a’least—barking of the guard. The building knocking of footsteps told me that I had to, to speak colloquially, get the hell outta Leavenworth.

Well, there was only one way I could imagine: the window. ’Course, breaking the window open without bloodying my hands or fists required instrumental assistance. I queried my tools and remembered a trick I’d read ’bout when my eyes caught the robe I’d thankfully remembered to take with me.

I wrapped it round one of my fists and used it as a cushion to punch ’nough holes through the glass for me to fit through.

Now I just need to find a way down three stories without shattering my spine, I thought.

I peered round the building’s skin through the window and saw the rope I climbed up with still hanging down the side nearby.

Good thing I forgot to pull it back in, I thought.

I carefully ducked through the sharp holes, using the rope still round my hand to safely hold myself through by the top shards, dropped the bags, and then climbed the rope down to the grassy ground.

My ears perked at what sounded like a car door clicking open and I raised my head to see a cop move toward me with a flashlight in-hand. Before he could expose me with it, I immediately jumped to my feet, picked up the bags, and gunned for it in the other direction, up a hill through thickets of pines. ’Twas the opposite direction from my apartment, but I sure as Cerberus wasn’t going to pass that cop just to take my favored route.

A few meters forward, I began to realize carrying eight engorged bags might be slowing me a mite. I looked back at the cop over my shoulder and was alarmed to see him gaining.

And if that wasn’t ’nough, I soon found another problem to pile on: when I reached a clearing sparse of trees and full of moonlight, I saw bills spilling through a few holes—created by the broken window, I presume—leaving a green trail. I gasped with the pain of having one’s blood sucked out, all of that wasted money. But I knew stopping to pick it all up would put it all in jeopardy; so I shifted the bags and moved my hands so that most of the holes were plugged. Then I carried on, keeping my eyes on the cop behind. Thanks to the infesting trees and the air made murky by night, the cop appeared to lag, too.

This was mooted, though, by one misstep—literally. I was so preoccupied by the cop and the cash that I wasn’t watching my steps and I tripped over the thick roots of an oak, stumbling down the hill with the sack rolling beside, releasing points.

I stopped with a splash in a black basin at the bottom of the hill. After I climbed back to land and rubbed the water from my eyes, I swung my head round for the moneybags. I followed the trail of bills to the edge of the pond. I stood at said edge and gazed down into its dingy depths, holding my hands to my head like a koala who wanted to hear no disasters. Much as I’d wished to jump in and rescue my treasure, my ears reminded me of the disaster that was indeed arriving on heavy footsteps.

So quickly had my prospects turned from landing on unowned Boardwalk to landing on someone else’s with a hotel.

I ditched my prize.

When I looked back ’gain, I a’least received one modicum of fortune: the cop stopped at the lake’s fringe, seemingly more concerned with recovering the money than my capture.

I didn’t see ’nother cop on the trek home.


Contrasting the wild rush before, I trudged the last few blocks home, hands stuffed into pockets and eyes glued to the gravel. There was nothing for me to view in the black void that was Maple Avenue. Hair and clothes sagged under the rain so heavy, I thought it might crush me.

I was not in a good mood.

When I finally reached my door, I fiddled round my pockets for my keys. But when aiming the key at the lock, I noticed my door ajar. I pushed it wide-open, clicked on the light, and surveyed the mostly-empty room.

I almost sighed in relief till I saw my blanket splayed in a far different place than ’twas before and remembered that that was where I hid my laptop—the best place I could in this barren cave. I dashed over to it, practically trembling with exasperation, and turned it over to find my worst fears confirmed.

I spent the next ten minutes rummaging through the room, becoming increasingly incensed, till I checked the last drawer of my file and, rather than sliding it into its hole, I chucked it at the wall. Then I chucked the others at the other walls, so that they didn’t feel left out. And then, so that the desk didn’t feel too lonely, I began to kick it, and then punching it, not only to hurt the desk, but also my own hand.

From there I logically moved away from attacking inanimate objects, which obviously had nothing to do with my problems, to something that I thought was a little more culpable.

You idiot! You left the one tool you have to help you in your heists in an easy-to-find place! You couldn’t even keep your clumsy self from dropping millions in a river! I thought as I attempted to compress my left hand ’tween my right and the wooden desk with nails drilled.

I only ceased this diversion when I heard a familiar shaky voice behind me say, “Um… Autumn? Are you okay?”

I stood there, hands paused in mid-crush, while my blank eyes stared at the wall opposite him. Audibly, all that remained was the ringing that could still be heard from the smashing of the drawers and desk.

Eventually I turned to face him, which only made him squirm even more. I strode over to him and grabbed his shoulder.

“Edgar, I want you to leave and never come back, okay? Trust me, it is too risky for you to be hanging round me, okay?”

“But…” Edgar began.

“I said go,” I said as I gently pushed Edgar out the threshold and shut and locked the door.

I paused, only to hear Edgar slowly trot away. When I was satisfied that he was gone, I sat on one of the drawers lying on its side, leaning back gainst the wall with my arms crossed behind my head.

“There. Now we are both safe,” I said to myself in a calm tone.

I gazed round the room listlessly and said to myself, “There’s only one option: I must continue till the end, regardless of the consequences. I shall return to the lagoon tonight and try extracting the money from it ’fore the police find it. If they’re still present, then I must take the risk nevertheless. But I won’t be arrested without fighting back.”

My mouth curled up into a smile.

“And if they shoot me down, well, a’least I went out fighting.”

What sound remained was the drawer groaning as it scratched gainst the wall and the incessant prattling of rain gainst the window.


I walked down the hill to the lake at a steady but casual gait with hands in pockets as if I were merely on my way to a shooting gallery. There was no reason to hurry, nor was there any reason to hesitate; the events would happen when they happen.

Soon I reached far ’nough to see the pond shining under the reflected moonlight and the yellow tape round the edge—the side the money fell in. I figured it meant they knew the money fell in and were trying to retrieve it; elsewise, perhaps it meant they were gone for the rest of the night. After all, why else would they need tape if there weren’t police already present?

I crept from tree to tree, closing on the lake. As I did so, I watched for cops—or a’least, tried to, for ’twas much too dark to see much.

Once more, when I reached the pond, rather than jump in immediately, I dropped down on my knees and leaned in, hoping to see signs of the cash below. But if the darkness round me made it hard to see under the surface, the flare of the moonlight gainst it rendered this impossible.

I even tried lying on my stomach and reaching my right arm inside. No matter how I moved my arm through the limited space I could reach, I felt nothing but empty water and some slimy enigma gainst the wall under me.

I knew if I had goggles or a flashlight, I’d possibly be able to see ’neath; but I also knew that acquiring them wouldn’t be time efficient, nor was I open to the idea of leaving and returning yet ’gain.

Then I thought, Screw it, I’m going in blindly.

I returned to my feet when the feeling of something hard in my right pocket reminded me I had my phone with me. I pulled it out and hid it under a pile of rocks.

I thought, Knowing my luck, it’ll probably be stolen as everything else.

Well, ’twas either that or breaking it by taking it underwater, so I settled for the risk.

With that, I dipped in, the shock of impending failure far greater than the chill. ’Fore my face passed the surface, I remembered to shut my eyes and hold my nose and mouth in my left hand, leaving me to swim blindly with only one hand.

’Stead I let myself sink to the bottom, figuring the money had to be somewhere there. That was when I discovered that the pond was obnoxiously deep; took minutes to reach the bottom.

Then ’gain, I soon realized that not swimming round too much might’ve been beneficial. ’Bove the surface I could hear muffled voices and steps—what I surmised were the police, who’d probably heard me splash into the water. I still couldn’t open my eyes, but I could infer by the noises remaining muffled that they stayed ’bove the surface.

Thus, I decided to worry ’bout them later; I still had treasure to collect.

I’m sure you know me well ’nough now to know that trifling needs like breathing were inferior to my need to succeed.

Finally, feeling the soft dirt at the bottom, I crawled through, grazing my right hand round the ground. I found nothing interesting, only incrementing my frustration, which was not helped by my lungs indeed whining for air.

After a few minutes, I decided to give up, desperate for air. Or a’least, I would’ve if those cops weren’t lingering. Just popping back up was guaranteed to lead me behind bars, so I elected to remain and drown in what appeared to be a more dignified end.

A’least that was my original plan, till my lungs proved to be much more persistent than I’d expected. I did swim away from the edge a meter as I broke the surface so that I’d hopefully be farther from the cops and closer to the other side of the land. When I returned to the overworld—gasping for air, ’course—I saw through blurry, stinging eyes that I was near basin’s center and that the police were looking straight at me with puzzled expressions.

I wasted no time paddling to the other side and climbing to land. Luckily, looking over my shoulder, I saw that the cops wasted their time staring dumbfounded. ’Twas ’nough to build a plenty distance.

This time I knew not to look back and risk falling over ’gain.

But just ’fore reaching what seemed to be the woods’ end, I remembered that I’d left my phone. I stopped to debate whether or not to return and retrieve it while trying to stifle the renewed desire to break my knuckles gainst an oak.

After a minute’s ponder, with my throbbing lungs still in-mind, I thought, I came all this way ’gain and almost drowned myself only to not gain a single point; I won’t lose a phone in the process, too.

I ventured back to the street and circled it back to the forest entrance I used before. I crept and peered round the trees ’gain. Much to my relief, as I neared, I saw that they were gone—probably still hunting for me farther in the woods. I sped to the brink of the lake ’gain and held my breath as I checked under the rocks.

I exhaled when I felt familiar glassy plastic.

When I turned to leave, however, I saw the cops walking down the street over to the same woodland entrance I used. Worrying that running would only alert them—and honestly, too tired to run much anymore—I slunk ’hind a patch of bushes. I waited as I watched them stop by the basin’s brink.

“You think that was the thief?” one of them asked.

“Gotta be. Thieves always return to the scene of the crime.”

“But the scene of the crime was back at the bank,” his partner said.

The other cop scratched her curly head. “Well, maybe she returned to this scene, too, just to be safe.”

My attention was torn from this thrilling discussion when I felt and heard my pocket vibrate.

I thought, Damn it! What idiot’s calling me at these hours? The only person who knows my number is Edgar, and I told him to get lost!

My expression changed from calm to mortified as I stared at the two cops. However, my composure recovered as I saw their own expressions unchanged, indicating that they probably couldn’t hear it under the repression of the bushes and my skirt.

One of the cops was looking down at the lagoon with his arms crossed. “You think they’ll look for the money tomorrow? Seems like ’twould disintegrate by then, or something.”

“Oh, they already looked tonight. Couldn’t find anything,” the other cop said. “They said they would check ’gain tomorrow; but they doubt it’s still there.”

A voice in my head screamed, What?

“But we clearly saw it fall in; and we clearly saw the thief running away without any bags in her arms… I think.”

“No, I’m sure she just used that as a clever ruse to hide the money somewhere while she was underwater.”

“Where could she hide all of that money?”

“Oh, I’ve got a couple ideas,” the cop said with a chuckle. Then she continued, “Her hair, obviously. The guard did say she had a large ponytail.”

“I think that violates the laws of physics a bit.”

“You and your laws of physics,” the other cop barked. “Well, anyway, I guess we’d better go. The thief obviously isn’t going to return a second time—that would just be ridiculous.”

I planned to wait ten whole minutes after I was sure they’d left ’fore getting up and sneaking home; but then my phone started vibrating ’gain. Figuring the cops must be gone by now, I a’least flipped it open to confirm that ’twas Edgar and glare at his name for bugging me.

However, when I opened my phone, I didn’t see Edgar’s name, but the words, “St. Corazon Community Health Center .”

What would they want with me, I wondered. I glanced round to ensure I was alone and then put the phone up to my ear to listen.

“Excuse me, is this Madame Springer?” the voice asked.

“Yeah, what is it? I’m in the middle of something,” I whispered.

“Oh, well we just wanted to tell you that one of your friends is here in the hospital and might like a visit—”

“Friends? You mean Edgar?” I asked, voice rising accidentally.

“Um, yes. It seems—”

I demanded answers.

So he said, “Well, it seems he was jumped on his way home. You know how dangerous the streets are nowadays, with all of these thieves running round. It seems he’s got a cracked mouth and, um… skull.”

So I sighed and asked, “Where are you from? Maple Avenue?”

“Um, just a few blocks west. It’s just round the corner from Syrup Bank, in Honey Plaza”

So I agreed to be there, closed my phone and pocketed it, and then ran, muttering curses throughout.


I actually don’t know the details to Edgar’s… ailment. All I know was that when I burst through the door, I was smacked by how bright and clean the room was gainst the murk outside. Chillingly calm, too. All I could hear was that ticking clock ’bove the door, filling an otherwise empty room.

’Course, my first focus aimed directly for Edgar, sitting in a small, rickety bed with his skull cap and jaw bandaged. Not nearly as bad as when he fell off that roof—I was never ’fraid he would die here.

Anyway, he says without looking at me, probably not desiring to see whatever haggard expression I wore, “Uh… I’m really sorry ’bout bugging you… I, uh… the nurse forced your number out of me.”

So I feign nonchalance and say, “Huh, what? No, I wasn’t doing anything important. The heist was a bust anyway,”

I couldn’t look at him long, either, so I had my head turned to the side.

“Yeah… I’m sorry…” he said.

“Sorry for what? You didn’t have anything to do with it,” I replied.

And he says something like, “Well, I mean… I could have helped, though…”

“I specifically told you not to,” I said. “’Sides, I doubt you would’ve improved my odds.” I paused before continuing, “Though now that I think ’bout it, it probably would’ve prevented you from being attacked.”

We sat in silence once more. I continued to gaze in another direction, too ’shamed to look at him.

Eventually, I settled on the inane nicety, “So, are you feeling okay?”

He replied, “Yeah. Uh, nothing too bad. I’ll be able to leave tomorrow.”

And I, ’course, said, “Not to sound like a dick, but what’ll the bill be?”

He said he didn’t know.

“’Cause I think we’re pretty much fucked, financially.” I said before a weak laugh.

“I’m sure we’ll find some way to settle it,” he said.

I figured ’twould be rude to tell him that was utterly idiotic.

Within the next awkward silence, Edgar starts to stutter, “So, uh… I can… we can…” till I tell him to spit it out. He was much more nervous in his speech back then, but this attack enhanced it exponentially.

So… he… we essentially discuss the incompatibilities I mentioned earlier, ’tween he and I. To summarize a tedious discussion—and ’cause I refuse to release sensitive details ’bout Edgar ’hind his back—it ends with us agreeing to go on my suicidal ventures together—’cause death loves company, after all—and him agreeing to give me ’lone time when I’m mentally unstable. I don’t think I sacrificed anything in this deal, but Edgar was smiling afterward, anyway. Then ’gain, I don’t think he sacrificed anything, either, since the worst part for him was the part he wanted. After all, shoddy programming doesn’t sacrifice anything to become well-programmed other than time in the short-run; similarly, I actually think we saved ourselves trouble in the long-run.

I don’t remember the details. It certainly wasn’t emotional, if that’s what you’re wet for. He stuttered his problem and I explained my own interpretation of the problem as one would explain the Filled-Hole Theory, in monotone. Imagine going back-and-forth over the issue as if ’twere a contract in these same emotional states and you have the gist.

Anyway, knowing you, you’ll probably prefer the next part.

When our discussion ceased, so did our speech, since neither of us knew how now to proceed.

Finally, I looked down at Edgar’s bed and said, “Scoot over.”

Edgar looked even more confused and asked “What?”

“Scoot over,” I repeated. “I’m not walking five blocks just to despair over my failure ’lone all night.”

He obliged and I slid in beside.

“Are… are you sure this is allowed?” he asked. “The nurse might get angry…”

I mumbled, “He can cram a vag in his mouth,” or something similarly vibrant, as I, ah… snuggled would be an accurate term, yes.

Then we said goodnight to each other. I would add, “And then we all lived happily ever after,” but that certainly wasn’t true after this, and I’m still not so sure it’ll be true in the end.