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The Hirsch Phenomenon (part 20)Just as Alex had feared, they didn't get the chance to leave. Because about halfway to the trailer, they were stopped and greeted by Entropy. Alex indadvertedly screamed when he saw him and Mirra elbowed him in the ribs. Then she looked at Entropy.
"What?" She asked.
"Oh, nothing." Entropy showed his cheshire grin again. "Mind if I borrow that?" He pointed to the Keystone and Mirra pulled it toward her protectively.
"Why do you even need it?" Mirra asked. She looked like she was mentally asking Entropy a different question.
"Oh, girl," Entropy said. "I'm just making the story interesting." He smacked her with his tail, causing her to drop the keystone, and he quickly picked it up and swallowed it. Mirra looked annoyed and Alex looked at Entropy in horror.
"Seriously?" She asked.
"Do you want it back?" Entropy asked, still grinning.
"As a matter of fact, yes, we kind of need that."
"Then why don't you come get it?"
Mirra didn't look surprised at his answer. Alex still looked
The Hirsch Phenomenon (part 19)Unlike Alex, Mirra hadn't had trouble sleeping. It was annoying to be back, but she wasn't scared, and the Keystone could be used for sleep meditation too(as long as it didn't create the brain probe sensation). In fact, when Alex started knocking on the door at around 9am, she was still asleep. She groggily got up in her pajamas and answered the trailer door.
"Alex, what?" Mirra asked, yawning. "You kinda woke me up..."
"Can we go to the real world now?" Alex asked. Mirra glared at him.
"Let me get dressed first." She said. "Have you even eaten breakfast yet?"
"No..." Alex replied.
"Then go eat breakfast while I get ready. You can probably get something to eat in the Shack unless they ditched us and went to the diner." She made a face as if the last time that happened hadn't been pleasant.
"They're at the Shack." Alex confirmed. Mirra nodded and shooed him off, shutting the door.
He walked into the kitchen a few seconds later. Grunckle Stan grunted as he
The Hirsch Phenomenon (part 18)Alex was having trouble sleeping, of course. His current predicament was so impossible he just sat wide awake trying to think how the heck it could be possible. Maybe he would ask Mirra about it in the morning. Even if he tried not to think about it, he still had difficulty going to sleep; Mabel was sleep talking almost incessantly about evil unicorns and bellybuttons, and Alex would flinch whenever he heard a noise from somewhere in the Shack.
At least Stan had let him sleep in the Shack. Stan had been suspicious at first, but eventually he seemed not to care.
Right when he started to worry that he'd never fall asleep, he fell almost immediately into a deep, trance-like, sleep.
The first thing he saw in his dream was the serpentine form of Entropy. Almost as soon as he saw him, Entropy smiled in a cheshire-cat-like way, then uncoiled his body and turned towards him.
"Hello." Entropy said. "Would you mind telling your friend that she made me late for one of my patients yesterday?
The Hirsch Phenomenon (part 17)Alex rang the doorbell. He considered bailing, but before he could make a decision, he was greeted by Bud Gleeful. Gideon's dad smiled upon seeing Alex.
"Gideon, the ice cream man is here!" Bud called to his son.
"At this time at night!?" Gideon called back from the other room.
"I had a late shift." Alex said to Bud. Bud just smiled and pulled him inside.
"Why, anytime's a good time for ice cream! Especially if it's for someone who loves ice cream as much as my son!" Bud replied. Gideon came down the stairs. He looked at Alex and smiled. Alex returned the smile nervously.
"Well. It's a pleasure to meet you." Gideon said, stopping to read Alex's name tag. "Alex. Say, have we met before? You look awfully familiar." Alex had chills run down his spine.
"No. Er, I don't believe so." Alex said. "Maybe you're thinking of someone else." He suggested, forcing a smile.
"Oh, I suppose." Gideon said, giggling. "Well, anyway, why don't we get down to business and talk about that
The TrundlerThe waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot... the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
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