The Gateways

            The gateways had always been there, for as long as the inhabitants could remember, as long as memory existed on the island. They were housed in cylindrical domes, of a material impossibly hard and smooth. Occasionally, the doors to the domes would close, sealing seamlessly with the surface of the walls. Unsure of their failing, or the caprice of the gods, the inhabitants would pray, make offerings or sacrifices, until eventually the doors would open again, and the gateways would be accessible once more.

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Painted Worlds

             It had been exactly seventeen-hundred-and-fifty-seven days since the discovery. Marcus knew this because he counted, and counted, and recounted. Sometimes, he felt all he did was count days. He was good at it – very good. He imagined that to many people, counting days was an unremarkable skill. And if pressed, he would agree; but then, quite impulsively, he would disagree just as strongly. These were the contradictions of living with unremarkable skills.

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The Garden of Many Paths

            The premise of this world is no doubt fictional. It is a garden of many paths. Each path that is taken ends in a fork. If one tries to turn around, they will find yet another fork, different than the one that got them there. It is unknown what happens to the paths that are not taken, and if they end in forks too. All that is known is that for each path that is taken, it will end in a fork. The gods of this world, should they exist, must have fickle motives. Or else they like gardens and paths.

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Hourglass

            Background: It is often unclear where precisely a story originates, or why it ends. The writer, Jorge Luis Borges, in the story “Borges and I,” writes: “It’s Borges, the other one, that things happen to… I shall endure in Borges, not in myself (if, indeed, I am anybody at all), but I recognize myself less in his books than in many others’… So my life is a point-counterpoint, a kind of fugue, and a falling away – and everything winds up being lost to me, and everything falls into oblivion, or into the hands of the other man. I am not sure which of us it is that’s writing this page.” He says his own taste runs to hourglasses and maps. This is a story that is about hourglasses, but not about maps.

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