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Deal 1247: Shards

They say that knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a berry, but wisdom is knowing not to put one in a fruit salad.

They say a lot of funny things.

A lot of what they say is about as clear as a broken mirror. Sure, it shows you fragments of the truth, but there’s all the sharp edges, misaligned shards, and risk of cutting yourself to deal with. Look too closely and you miss that other parts are showing different views. Look too broadly and the image is hard to resolve.

Some say that mirrors are really just windows into another plane. Alice might have come to believe that. If they are a window, they aren’t the sort that can be opened by slipping a butter knife in and lifting the latch.

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Deal 1217: Madness

My name is Bart Queen, which certainly paints a picture of my childhood all by itself. In many ways it is surprising that I got out of my teen years alive. Then they found me, recruited me, trained me. And here I am today. Is that my real name? Of course it is. That said, even if it weren’t it would do me no service to admit that. We might as well agree that my name remains as I said.

I am here to court your daughter.

At the same time, we are here to warn your daughter.

I am a court jester, a magician, a spy, and a bank clerk.

We must jump in here and observe that only about a quarter of what is said is true. We hate what we have become, and hate the idea of perpetuating the myth.

Don’t mind that. I am what I am, and all of that is worth knowing. I am here because I know this, and I know that your daughter does too. She will have said some things about me, I am sure.

All lies, mind you. We keep the truth close to our vest, because We know that most people cannot handle the truth. We look in the mirror and see the same chiseled features that we have since our youth. But behind our eyes, we see trouble brewing. Trouble that will overtake any normal situation and call everything she thinks she know about me into question.

I look in the mirror and love what I see. My chiseled features have earned their wrinkles and worry lines honestly.

Honest? You wouldn’t know honesty if it bit you on the—

Right. That’s that then.

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Deal 1213: Why did the—Vroom!

The road was as flat as a mirror, extending as far as the eye could see either way.

He stopped at the edge to reflect.

There was no turning back after the scene he made when he left. This was hardly the first road he’d ever seen. But it was certainly the widest and smoothest.

As he contemplated his options, he could almost hear the background music swelling. As if the very film that was his life was taunting him for not confidently stepping out.

He—

Vroom!

—picked up a foot—

Vroom, vroom!

—and took a step. Suddenly he was surrounded by hundreds of motorcycles. He froze in place while they swarmed past him.

When it the last one had passed, he continued on his way.