Fragments from books that don’t exist: FaceTime with Martha


“My dear Clem,” said the dog-bot, “we do need a shower, now, don’t we?”

Clem snorted and gobbled another jujubee. She didn’t want to move away from the grate where the steam was pouring out like lilac in July.

“Dearest Clem,” the dog-bot tried again, “I have heard of the most wonderful elixir, a beverage sure to delight even the most plebian tastes. It is a veritable nectar of the gods, or so I’m told.”

Clem grumbled and kicked out from beneath her blankets, hoping to knock her public assistance companion into the gutter, or better yet, off a freaking cliff. She poked her head out to double-check, just in case there was a cliff nearby, but no, she was still in the alley off Seventeenth and Pine.

“It’s no use, my dear,” the dog-bot said. “I am always at your service, happy to oblige. May I fetch you another vino?”

“Gimme,” Clem muttered.

“Why certainly, of course,” said the dog-bot, as it rummaged through its supplies, which contained everything a bag lady could ever want. At your service, muttered the dog-bot, as it helped itself to another string of those tasty Cajun sausages.


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