This morning's air tastes faintly metallic. Children play catch with their breath,
old folks fall down. Where statuesque trees once stood tall buildings are deeply rooted. Birds peck at crumbs, then take off in frantic directions.

i'm outside a building. i think i'm a reporter, and am being shot at by people inside who think they are terrorists. i don't have a gun, so i'm handed half a handgun, which i aim at the door, through which a few people suddenly run into the street. i follow the one who is the leader to a car into which he goes, then emerges wearing other clothes, a disguise that doesn't fool me. i grab him by an arm to take him back to the building. On the way, my captive turns into a woman carrying an umbrella. We're told that she and the others are going to be taken to prison. I tell her that i'm coming along. 'Why?' she asks. 'i'm not afraid.'

Slender Kannon signals the "Fear Not" mudra, a blank price tag dangling from a finger.

I have lived too long, yet not all animals and plants, wind and water, and the celestial bodies possess vitality and can add their own to that of a person's, as a gift. There are    other creatures or beings that do not manifest on earth long enough.
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