I swing through the front doors and watch the windows. A few cars drive past, none of them police. It's fine. See? No one followed me. Maybe they're following Horus. The thought of Horus getting arrested makes me laugh out loud in the elevator.

He'll be fine. He doesn't have anything illegal on him. My room's cold. Through the window, I can see Mix's room glowing green. I shake the cable and pull back the bucket. I open the box with the chicken inside. I should give Mix half and keep the other half in the fridge. It'll be good with rice tomorrow. I don't know how to split the chicken. How did Horus do it? I rip off both drum sticks and peel off one of the breasts and plop it down in the bucket. That'll work. The bucket flies back into Mix's window and I see their dark figure zoom over to look inside. I watch them fiddle with it. I sit down and decide to do a search for that album that Lime and I listened to earlier today. After I moved into this apartment, I saved up my CASH to buy this monstrously huge music archive. I used to use my leftover CASH to add new music files. Lime talked me into buying 1997 which at first which just seemed like this boring old historical crap. I had to delete like 95% of the albums just so I wouldn't get them mixed up with anything worth listening to. I mean these songs were bad. We're talking thousands of American folk bands with this bizarre accent just singing about how their lover left them or died or their family died or their dog died. Lime made me listen to a few and it felt like torture. The old electronic music was cool and it got me interested in listening to these old DJs and so I went back and bought 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, then I had a light work load and had to wait a while for 2004. I made a deal for 2005-2010. I deleted everything under any genre other than "EDM, and Classical Electronic." But now I'm wondering if there were some cool bands like Portishead that I may have missed. I can't find Portishead in my server. I guess the date doesn't fall into what I have. I wonder if it was older or newer. Maybe I'll ask Lime tomorrow.

Mix sends the bucket back, sparkling clean with a thank you note asking what it was. I burn the note and write them back, telling them about he wild day I had. They are worried about me being followed by the police. They keep asking if I saw any by the building. I keep telling them no and that I think they might have been following my ride and not me. They don't seem very comforted. I need to stop telling Mix when I see the police. They spend too much time inside and just don't realize that when you go outside, they're everywhere and you just have to deal with it. Like yeah, it's scary and yeah it would really suck to have them be on to me or anyone I know, but they are just there for us to see and be intimidated by. Besides, everyone knows they don't care about drugs and illegal media and fashion anymore. The real crimes they care about are information crimeS and they're just out there lurking around to keep us from coming out from the underground. So to speak.

I put on some liquid trance, take off my gear and slide off my skates. The bottoms of the socks already look like I've worn them for days. I lay across my bed, ready for sleep to take me. It's too cold in here. I crawl up into the bed and pull the blanket over me and wait for sleep to take me. My back hurts so I shift onto my side and I wait for sleep to take me. The stuffed animals are all too close and I throw them off my bed and wait for sleep to take me. My hands feel dry. I get up and look for that jar of lotion. I rub it on my hands and have to tighten the jar closed with my wrists. I get back under the covers and lay on my stomach and wait for sleep to take me. Why isn't it coming?

I sit up.

Mix's window is still glowing green. I send them a message asking if he has ever worked on a security robot before. They say no but it is a really common hack. They're unreliable and users blame the machine for glitches and rarely suspect the hack, unlike the systems internal to the building. I wonder if someone has already hacked Renault's security robot and that's why it's acting weird. I wonder if their daughter goes there more often than they realize. I know I would have back when I was living with my family, if they just had a whole 'nother house somewhere far away. I was always desperate to get out and stay somewhere else outside of their gaze. I suppose she would have to have hacked the cameras as well. But that's easy enough. Especially considering that it's so far away, how often would he really check it? It's probably better to go to the house sooner rather than later in case things get complicated with the books. I wonder how we'll get there. Lime will know. I want to tell her right now but I know she won't be up. And if she sees the message when she wakes up, she'll just say she can't go. I'll have to meet her somewhere first and then ask her. Plus if she is away from J, she'll probably feel better making plans. I wonder if he's reading her messages too. I'd better not message her about it. That'll spoil everything. If we go, then what'll I do with my apartment? The city will keep depositing my rent unless I fail to do my next report. Maybe I can prepare things ahead of time so that I'll have longer there with Lime. I could also come back when I needed to. I don't think we will actually be there for the whole year. Although... by the time we get out there, who knows how much time is left. I wonder if the doctor Horus was talking about was Daicy's ex. Probably not. But I don't know. How big are these book collectors' circles?

Why can't I fall asleep? I only got a few hours of sleep last night and it's almost sunrise now and I can't sleep. I feel tired. But why am I still thinking? I need to stop thinking. What drugs do I have right now? I don't even want to get up to go look in my bag. Uhg it's just too much. How can I be too tired to get up but not tired enough to sleep?

I feel like my brain just clicked on after being drunk. Didn't Horus say that the drink was a stimulant and not actually a liqour? But I felt drunk. Or at least tired. I still feel tired now. But my brain is just working. I wonder how many dogs Horus has. The one in his office looked like more than one. Looked like it wasn't the only dog. Maybe it has siblings that live in his car. The dog in the car had much bigger eyes and was even more trrifying than the last. Wasn't that a story? They traveled deeper and deeper into the ancient temple. Sealed away for thousands of years. Each room held a dog bigger and more terrifying than the last. Big eyes. Why are big eyes terrifying? Terror Eyes. I thought the eyes held fear, not exuded it. Exposed it, not expelled it. Like the object of the fear is different, or is it the subject? My fingers still smell like chicken. Will it burn my eyes if I rub them?

I get up and wash my hands off in the bathtub. My arms hang over the side. The sun is rising and I feel it for the first time. I feel nauseous and cold. I bury myself back down into the bed and pull the blanket over my face.

©2019 by Zita