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I made her a
Poodle Skirt,
but it made her cry.

I don't know why.

I thought
she loved
that poodle.
211 deviations
the plumbing-prophet of Belphegor
plunges his scepter
and blesses
porcelain pews
where hymns
are Sung and
congregation
is Seated.
NaPo 1
It's National Poetry Month again. Remember to jiggle the handle.
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Paris::15d since last chat::0 New Messages

For months, I'd see her at the clinics for our injections, and online in the therapeutic forums. She kept the same odd hours as me. The others managed to find work on a routine schedule. Think-driving sanitation units, working the inbound tech support lines. Workaday, like regular humans. Safe.

Not us. We were always-on. It had been that way in the Gideon pilot pod, when we were all wired together, our minds fused into a single mosaic. I was intuition, stay a step-ahead of the enemy, guessing the next ten moves.

She was the logic center. She did the math. She was a cascade of formulae, speaking in burn calculations, fire rates, weapon heat signature ratios. She gave me the info I needed to make my lucky guesses.

The others got downtime during the long burns, then activated for combat. Not us. We were always-on.

Somewhere along the line, we got too old. All Gideon children get too old. Too big for the pods, too slow to adapt to the upgrades, and the newer generation is just faster.

I'd found a work-at-home gig for an offworld agribusiness outfit. They'd send me stats and weather patterns, I'd give them best-guess for planting and harvesting. Guessing is what I did best. I managed better than a 180% yield improvement my first season, and I worked on my own schedule. The outfit even sent me a framed textile weave made from the red cotton they grew, with a note attached. "Thanks London girl! You're One In a Million."

Paris shook her head the day I showed her the gift over the chatlink. She told me I was actually one in eighty-seven thousand, three hundred forty five. She didn't do idiom. She did the math.

I noticed she'd been pulling out her hair again. That was a week ago. Before, when I'd ask about that, she'd tell me that she didn't need it, and why did they have us grow hair anyway? They would just shave us for the Gideon missions. Every inch. I still remember the itching.

That was before. Now she didn't even address the question.  

Then she didn't even address me. 0 new messages.

It had taken me a week to track her down, and a sizeable sum turned over to a private investigator. At first I was worried she'd gone off-world, some mad quest to get back to the stars. Some of the other Gideon children had tried that in past generations. Hijacked freighters, murdered people. That was before they learned to install a failsafe in the genetics. Auto-degradation. 

I could smell the sea before I heard it, and crossed a few dunes before I saw it. The sand was black. I caught sight of a small hovercraft nestled between the dunes. When i drew near, the squat man smiled at me and pulled off his headset. Shook my hand. Then he pointed down the beach. I nodded at him, drew a credit chip from my pocket and gave him the last of his fee.

I didn't see Paris at first. What I did see was a long row of seashells, pebbles, smooth glass and bits of driftwood. The row was ruler-straight, and the bits were placed type-to-type. Four shells. Three pieces of wood. Five glass shards. Maybe two more shells. Twelve stones. No repetition that I could see, at least until I looked far enough to see Paris at the end.

I called to her. She didn't look up. I ran up to her. She was dirty. Not filthy, but she'd obviously been wandering around the dunes. Collecting bits of things. Her hair was wet. What was left of it.

"Let me take you home, P."

"I'm," she said.

I waited.

I'm. Almost finished."

I nodded. I glanced down the row again. Back at her. "What are you writing?"

"Mmm. Muse. Song. A song."

"I didn't know you were a musician, P."  I closed my eyes. It wouldn't be long. She was at the end. She'd known it, and had given herself a head start.

"M. Muse. Math is music."

And she did the math. She always had.

"If I help you, will you hum it for me, P?"

So the row grew a little longer and less straighter, as Paris, my Gideon Sister, with whom I'd circled asteroids and scooped starlight, hummed her song for me.

Until she stopped.
Always-on
It might not seem so, but I was thinking about veterans, and how they re-acclimate (or don't) when they come home.
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Nice read, here.

"To love horror movies as an adult is to resign yourself to the probability that you are not going to be scared very often unless what you fear most in the world is nostalgia. It Follows is a better-than-decent, less-than-great genre film whose most original quality is a sick-joke inversion of the premise of Friday the 13th and its 80s-horror ilk that the teenagers who have sex are always the ones who get slaughtered."

grantland.com/hollywood-prospe…

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:iconrhynwilliams:
RhynWilliams Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2015   Traditional Artist
:hug:
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2015
:hug:
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:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Student Writer
Thanks for the watch, Jay!
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015
:salute:
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:iconchirkhef-stock:
chirkhef-stock Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015
thank you for the fav :bow: 
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015
:thumbsup:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Regal Helmet by Enkased
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015
I WOULD SO WEAR THAT.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
WOULD IT NOT BE THE MOST GLORIOUS OF HATS.
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:iconk47454k1:
K47454k1 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Professional Writer
RAWR
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