Fragments from books that don’t exist: Jared the Gumball


Inside that man there was another man, and within that other man was nothing. She wanted to know more but the meter had expired. Elle removed herself from the premises and stood outside on the sidewalk, looking back at the little hole in the great purple door. The show guard shook his head and stepped between her and the entrance, his beefy arms full of script tattoos from a very old edition of the book of the dead.

“It’ll cost you,” he grumbled in such a deep bass voice that at first she thought he was warning her about trout. Or something.

“I know,” she finally said, feeling more and more uncomfortable in those heels. “I only wanted another minute.”

“It’s never enough,” the show guard told her. “Everybody always wants more, no matter how long they’ve been in.”

She remained standing there for several long moments, considering the price.

“You’d better not,” the show guard advised. “It’ll take everything you have in the world.”


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