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Deal 1157: Colossus

Athwart the path stands
Colossus, guardian, servant.
Strength out of silence.

Meet his gaze, traveller,
purity may pass at will.
Strength out of silence.

The impure may not pass,
their way is blocked for all time
Strength out of silence.

Colossus, seething,
desires an end to duty
Strength despite silence.

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Deal 1156: Why?

Every evening she walked right to the edge, then turned back to her comfortable home.

The edge called to her, tempted her, taunted her.

The edge whispered things to her, things that in the sunlight were clearly lies, but at night sounded different.

And yet, every evening she walked back to the edge.

Perhaps she was testing her resolve?

Perhaps she couldn’t see that the whispers were seeking to betray her?

Whatever she was thinking, we may never know.

Last night, the call was too much for her resolve, too much for her to deny.

She walked right up to the edge, under the rail, and beyond.

Beyond the yellow line.

Beyond the other side.

And disappeared into the darkness, never to be seen again.

Tonight, her daughter walked to the edge for the first time.

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Deal 1155: Pandora’s mine?

A diamond mine is in many ways just an industrialized version of hope. Workers sweat in the darkness for the chance at surviving another day or two with a few spare dollars in their pockets. From their toil, the reward is the occasional sparkly prize. But even that doesn’t look like much more than occasionally shiny gravel until it has been cleaned, graded, cut, and polished.

At the end of the day, the product has value because it is rare and hard to find.

A value that the cartels reinforce through campaigns of intimidation against any who would find markets for the stones outside of their control.

The mine might as well be Pandora’s box. Wars break out over it. Men fight tooth and nail to control it. Lives are spent with abandon in its depths.

And yet, there is always hope.

At least until the mine is worked out.

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Deal 1154: Haunting

The ghost manifested, if it was seen at all, at midnight and stayed no later than dawn. It was seen best by moonlight, with the pallid glow of the moon added to its appearance without drowning it. It did not seem to be a malignant spirit. But it was insistent that it be seen and heard. Being nearly invisible and nearly silent did not help with either condition.

Whatever its mission, it lingered in this world against the normal order of things. The longer it stayed, the higher the stakes became.

Until then, there was something humorous about using the light of a ghost to read by.