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entry::rift/in open:

Sleeting rain of broken pairs in perfect spheres, invisible shell around me as I part the air and step straight through. On this side I feel the excess energy skirling off in domes of microwave and hot short gamma, bouncing crazed across the walls and windows of the alley in a ricocheting rush to find a ground. Glowing bits of matter all around me where the entry portal's shattered quanta come to rest.

Stepping from the alley, I touch my fingers to my lips just once, old habit gone to rest in flesh and bone, before pressing the tips of middle two to the brick that rests fifteen up and several in. Rough grit surface sands my fingerprints a bit finer smooth, self just that slight touch further gone into the windy street. I slide the fingers 'cross the brick as I step past, thankful small caress for this its help this as every time and feel the brick endure (as yes, it always has, each time, each year, each day) and as my fingers break the bond a particle or two of sand is liberated from the matrix of the clay to settle to the pavement, scatter in the breeze, find freedom, make its way, gone, gone, far away.

Dodging cars is still a skill that lives within my hips and eyes. I spare no thought but feel the burning in my muscles, working ankles, knees and waist to slip between the snarling automatobiles. My thighs ache slightly from the spinning turning walk that has replaced my stride, until I gain the other walkway cross the lanes (without a hit I'm proud to say) and realize with a smile that I'm idly shuffling at my deck, one-handed tempting fate with chance as suits and symbols riffle past to catch the eyes of drivers and carcomps alike. I'm not here for them, this time, and place the deck in an inside pouch with a hint of regret for the fine sounds and smash that could be mine and instead leap lightly o'er the next step's curb and break into a run between the Named.

Five long years I've been behind this one, I think. The timeline slips fast by, inside the lanes, where only inside your head does that clock tick and only then when you want it to. Sometimes we sternly tell it no not today only to find that in fact it stopped some weeks ago, or otherwise we command it start to realize that it has been there ticking all along and that was in fact the soothing rhythm in our head.

Counting seconds helps sometimes.

Adrift, or lost, or simply not in need, the numbers tick right by, thousands, millions, milliards; seconds lost upon the sands or spent at profligate games of thief and spy as we chase and steal and follow on across the rifts and lights and dark. Here I am again, the fifth, sixth time.

I came from here.

From an alley much like this, atop a trash bin rich of stink. The pasteboards shuffled in my hand, when I saw them step into the wall. Now so can I. Over, under, in between, and in this life, a game; the sometimes serious that keeps our entertained selves 'live (we think, but do not know) because in truth it's fear that drives us like enow.

From players, singers, runners, all these, to hunters, we.

He's ahead of me now. This avenue is so close, so close to what I recall, the buses almost the same shade. The brick was there, I recall the brick. It's always there, the same, exactly the same height and feel and color. The world around it changes, slightly. I don't know if that's because the world is not the same one, or the lane has changed; am I in different time? or place? Or am I just a lost nightface, back from skyline upabove with no safe haven and colors strange, groundlings passing by? I cannot know.

Follow. There he is, between those two; he ducks around a bus and into a door. Follow. Follow.

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