<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/johnny_automatic/johnny_automatic_walking.svg"></html>\n\nThey look more like\ns i l h o u e t t e s\nthan people.\n\nThe "they" in this instance\nbeing the folks you\npass on the street\non the way to your destination\non your way to the date\non this way, for this day\nday day date way date way.\n\n[[Keep walking.|walk]]
<html><b>No.</b></html>\n\nYou tell yourself that you're stronger than that,\n\nbut you've never taken the meaning of willpower to heart,\n\nso you touch anyway.\n\n[[Blame it on the facial expression.|expression]]
Now that you've set yourself up on a date, you've got to do something about your [[hair]].\n\nOr perhaps rifle through your closet for something [[decent]].\n\nOne of the two, take your pick.
Funny thing about botulism.\nIt causes your muscles to totally relax.\nTotal opposite of tetanus.\nEventually,\nyour diaphragm won't move\nand you stop breathing or\nyour heart just\nstops.\n\n[[Back.|bitch]]
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/laobc/cloud_storm.svg"></html>\n\nThe storms you deal with are more mental than physical.\n\nThunder in the form of [[voices|voices]].\n\nLightning in the form of [[slaps|slaps]].\n\nYour mind delves into the memory of one of the above.
An Accident, You Swear
It's your date [[calling|what]].
You've got a split second decision to make.\n\nSlap that sauerkraut outta your date's hand,\nor\nlet your date [[eat|eat]] it\n\n(and of course you could never be so rude to take somebody's plate from 'em)
You hated that hospital room. It was too sterile, too sanitary, too something else that started with an S.\n\nIt was like you were a lab rat, always getting your vitals checked by someone in a white coat. They'd label you with the disorder of the week, fill out their prescription pad, and send you off again,\n\nknowing full-well that you'd be back inside your familiar [[cage]] soon enough.
...by pouring water down your date's uncooperative throat.\n\n[[What's that weird gurgling noise?|gurgle]]
you can feel your pulse pounding\nnow that's your date's heart's stopped.\nhow's that for a pulse pounding heart stopping [[date|mess]]?
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/yves_guillou/yves_guillou_rat.svg"></html>\n\nat least rats in cages had windows at least they could run and play at least they were numbed out at least things were under control at least their blood was okay at least they were not given fifty thousand pills at least they stayed in one place at least the rats were regularly fed at least the rats were safe at least they had each other at least they did not know their ratly status at least their cognition was limited at least they were not in the box at leau9siodt at leajiosd atjlk atl easjiotsa\n\nat least.\n\n[[Back.|you]]
You woke up that morning with a migraine, a typical occurence due to late nights spent typing to force away the [[storms|storms]].\n\nTo avoid another headache, you treat this memory as if it were in the present tense.\n\nThere are voices outside your door, but the blaring sounds from your alarm clock make them hard to hear.\n\n[[Time to shut that thing up.|shut]]
<html><img src="http://www.vectorart.com/webart/products/34999H.GIF"></html>\n\nSee? Look how tiny that pocket pistol (hey, don't get any funny ideas) is.\n\n[[Back to Derringering through the rest of your closet.|decent]]
in-tər-ˈmē-dē-ˌer-ē\n\n1. Existing or occurring between; intermediate.\n\n2. Acting as a mediator or an agent between persons or things.\n\nSource: the dictionary buried somewhere under your desk. You're not sure who would be brave enough to fit either one of those definitions for you and your date.\n\n[[Back.|nope]]
awkward. there had to be a better word for this situation.\n\nlet's check out those synonyms:\n\nall thumbs, amateurish, artless, blundering, bulky, bumbling, bungling, butterfingers, coarse, floundering, gawky, graceless, [[green|green]]*, having two left feet, having two left hands, incompetent, inept, inexpert, klutzy, lumbering, maladroit, oafish, rude, stiff, stumbling, uncoordinated, uncouth, unfit, ungainly, ungraceful, unhandy, unpolished, unrefined, unskilled, unskillful\n\nnope, still just awkward by any other name\n\nthe gurgling stopped. huh... yes, [[awkward|bunny]].
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/johnny_automatic/johnny_automatic_music_group.svg"></html>\n\nThere was a reason why most of them were free. You should've been paid to go to them.\n\nAll style, no substance. No rock nor robin.\n\n[[Back.|music]]
There was a bone in your hotdog once. You've been scarred ever since.\n\n[[Back.|carc]]
Relative. You remember learning that defensive word from the voice on the other end of the line.\n\nDefensive meaning that it was a "dodge" of a word. Use it to get out of some line of questioning you can't be bothered with. It's meant for thoughtless comparisons and thoughtful shrug-offs.\n\n(1. "How scary was that coaster?"\n"Relatively scary, compared to the other one."\n\n2. "How ready are you?"\n"Relatively ready, I suppose."\n\n3. "Do you love me more than <blank>?"\n"Relatively less.")\n\nSo, you get onto the point and ask the voice the reason for the call. It had to be because of something.\n\n"Just for a date."\n\n[[...Are you sure you heard that right?|onedate]]
You exit the apartment.\n\nYou're halfway to your own place when you suddenly hear your cellphone ringing.\n\n[[You need to seriously change that ringtone.|hello]]
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/johnny_automatic/johnny_automatic_cell_phone.svg">\n<p>\n<b>The End.</b></html>\n\n[[Credits|Credits]]
Another option would be to pretend like this date never happened in the first place. You could prop up the body on a bench somewhere, and make it look like your date (er, non-date in this scenario) fell asleep.\n\nFell asleep, drowned\n\nwith botulism.\n\nYeah, sure. That sounded like something that happened [[everyday]].
And of course you say [[yes]] before your brain really turns things over.
footsteps in the sand\ndoomed to be washed away once more\n\n[[Back.|nope]]
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/inkscapeforum.it/chiave_bianco_e_nero.svg"></html>\n\nGreat, there's one. Time to take the body back where it belongs.\n\n[[Check the driver's license for the address, then hurry on your way.|hurry]]
You give up on asking any more questions. It's hard knowing what to say when it feels like everything's already been said and done before.\n\nIt's like treading on somebody else's footprints in the [[sand]],\n\nexcept they're your footprints in the first place,\nso maybe it isn't like they're somebody else's footprints at all.\n\nunless there was an [[intermediary]] that you didn't know about. that'd be surprising. your date didn't play well with others, let alone you.\n\n"You wanna get a bite to eat?"\n\n[["Sure, you pick."|way]] You let your date lead the way.\n
"Hey, it's me."\n\nYou recognize that voice [[instantly]].
You soon realize that the blaring sound wasn't your alarm clock at all. It had been your phone the entire time.\n\n[[You've got to do something about that ring tone.|ring]]
Then again, the peel theory didn't match up with the [[expression|expression]] on your dearly departed's [[face|face]].\n
Okay, okay, settle down. Obviously, the smartest option would be to take your fallen date to the hospital.\n\n(Can you believe that Botulism is caused by the same type of bacteria injected into people's faces when they get [[Botox|Botox]]?)\n\nBut since you hate hospitals, you decided to be [[Supaman|supa2]] for the day and take this life or death matter into your own [[hands|hands]].
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/Machovka/Machovka_hot_dog.svg"></html>\n\nLook at that thing! It's HUMONGOUS.\n\nBut what about its\n\nnitrates\nnitrites\nnitrosamines\ncarcinogens\ncell destructiveness\nand that time with the [[bone]]?\n\n[["Why not bockwurst, instead?" You hesitantly ask.|bockworst]]
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Someone who everybody knew, and yet nobody knew. A bit of an enigma. She died and her body wasn't discovered for three years, despite piled up electric bills, overdue rent, strong smell from her decomposing body, etc.\n\nSee the 2011 documentary "Dreams of a Life."\n\n[[Back.|couch]]
<html><img src="http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a377/squealy3/ClipArt/Twinkies.gif"></html>\n\nYes, we have no bananas.\n\n(Twinkies actually only last about a month, since they lack dairy. But you enjoy the everlasting Twinkie mythos, so you always purpot it. Either way, sauerkraut wins the shelf life war.)\n\n[[Back.|stand]]
"Yes, I've got the perfect sauerkraut for this occasion. Seriously, I made it myself."\n\nYou're not sure what occasion he's refering to, or more importantly, how long he's been saving that sauerkraut for. Doesn't sauerkraut have a short shelf life or something?\n\n<html><i>It's pickled. It could probably last longer than a</i></html> [[Twinkie]].\n\nYou look at the plate of sauerkraut. Then back to your date. Then to the plate. Then to your date. Plate. Date. Plate. Date. Plate.\n\nDate asks, "two dollar's enough?" and slaps the bucks down on the counter.\n\nYou feel [[horrified|horror]].
You consider anonymously calling the police,\n\nbut you know that they would link this all to the hot dog guy,\n\nwho would eventually rope it back to you,\n\nand then you'd get chained to the murder investigation,\n\nand at that point that rope would become a noose,\n\nbecause the hot dog guy would blame the whole thing on you,\n\nand the jury would take the side of the hot dog guy,\n\nbecause he'd be the innocent victim in all of this,\n\n(he did go through all that trouble to make that sauerkraut and sell it for only 50 cents)\n\nand blah blah blah.\n\n(Okay, the truth is that you just don't wanna be put back into that hospital again. You refuse to become something worse than their rats. No no no no.)\n\n[[It has to look like an accident that you weren't part of!|ouais]]
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/dcatcherex/hero_action1.svg"></html>\n\nYes. Imagine that with big eyes, an even wider mouth (you know why the mouth is so big, right?), and holes in the right places.\n\nFrightening. Absolutely frightening.\n\n[[Back.|everyday]]
Your boots vice your toes with every step that you take. They thud against the ground. Thd, thd, thd. It doesn't take long until you reach the voice on the other end of the line in person (try saying that ten times fast).\n\nYour date's been waiting for a while, it looks like.\n\nC'mon, say something [[clever]].
Standing next to the body, you consider all of the possible ways to make this look like an accident.\n\n[["Human error" may work.|next]]
At that, your date breaks off into a poem - one you've heard many times but never known the author of.\n\n"Whether the weather be fine\nOr whether the weather be not\nWhether the weather be cold\nOr whether the weather be hot\nWe'll weather the weather\nWhatever the weather\nWhether we like it or not!"\n\nYou open your mouth to reply, but your date waves a finger to quiet you. "The weather just <html><i>is.</i></html>" Not nice, not bad, just <html><i>is</i></html>.\n\nYou should've expected an answer like that. Your date's being as elusive as ever.\n\n[[Try again.|clever]]\n\n[[Give up.|nope]]
It would've been easy to blame the whole thing on an unfortunate case of [[botulism]] (must've been way too many [[clostridium]] spores), except you had to go and do [[that]].
You pick up your phone and put the receiver to your ear, although you're not sure which end's supposed to be up or down.\n\n"Hey, it's me."\n\nYou recognize that voice instantly.\n\n[["It's you..."|you]]
gurgle.\n\ngurgle.\n\ngurgle.\n\nThis is getting [[awkward|bad]].
You don't have much to choose from. Just a bunch of flammable (in this case deserving of spontaneous combustion) polyester clothing.\n\n"Rifling through your closet" was the wrong phrase. This was much more like [[derringering|gun]].\n\n[[Make do with what you've got|datetime]].
You consider if you should just cannibalize the whole thing. Leave no trace of the body whatsoever, except for maybe a couple scraps of the big toe. You never did like that toe.\n\nThen, you wonder how many hamburgers could be made from the body? Not to say that your date was fat or overly sized (to use PC language here), but a person would seriously make a ton of burgers.\n\nAnd what would you do with all those [[bones]]?
Lots of people have slipped on [[bananas|bananas]], fallen, and never gotten up again.\n\nIt wasn't completely out of the realm of [[possibility|possibility]].
Tobias Ragg, otherwise known as Toby, was an apprentice to a barber. He was later hired by a woman (who coincidentally worked with another barber) after his master died. Toby grew attached to that woman, and\n\nLook him up or go see Sweeney Todd.\n\n[[Back.|bones]]
You pass a hotdog stand and also your date\nwho happened to stop right in front of it.\n\nYou walk backwards, to become shoulder-to-shoulder with your date again.\n\n"I'm thinking of a hot dog," your date says the obvious.\n\n[[But...|carc]]
"Have you ever met someone who didn't like music?" Your date looks genuinely suprised at your question.\n\n"Certain genres, yes."\n\n"But never music in general, and especially not someone who used to take you to free [[concerts|concerts]] in the park all the time. Remember those?"\n\nYou kind of do. Although a lot of those memories aren't ones that you'd like to recall. "Sure."\n\n"Right."\n\n[[Try again.|clever]]\n\n[[Give up.|nope]]
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/Anonymous/siringa_architetto_fran_04r.svg"></html>\n\npicture that going right into your face\nparalyzes it to kill off them wrinkles\nwouldn't want you to age naturally, do we?\nno, no, no,\nthat wouldn't be good at all\n\n(same old tired "preach it to the choir" speech\n<every day, a complaint about natural beauty being foregone\nto become another by-gone\njust to be gone,\nand never for you to become>\nnot with a jaded worldview anyway)\n\n[[Back.|fire2]]
You rack your brain for something to say.\n\n[["Nice weather we're having, isn't it?|weather]] (Because weather's always a safe and innocuous conversation.)\n\n[["When's the next Superman movie coming out?"|superman]] (You could use a hero to rescue you right now.)\n\n[["Do you still like music?"|music]] (Of course not, everyone hates music.)\n\n[["How's Rufus?"|dog]] (Shouldn't he be dead by now?)
Now, where should you put the body? On the [[couch]]? On the [[bed]]? On the [[floor]]?
That being a panicky spastic wave that would put a Sim's fire dance to shame.\n\n[[Wabadebadoo!!!!!|fire2]]
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/Anonymous/Anonymous_Marshmallow_on_stick.svg"></html>\n\nOften times, your fingers would get the littlest bit burnt.\n\nThe flames would always lap at your hands,\ntoo hot too hot too hot back away,\nbut you never seemed to listen.\n\n[[Back.|you]]
You drag the body to the apartment. Thankfully, it wasn't that far away, which would probably explain how your former date had gotten to the meet-up location so fast. Your date had always preferred not walking very much, ever since you two had first met.\n\nGood news, now your date would never have to walk alone again. Or at all. That was actually bad news for somebody, depending on which way you looked at it.\n\n[[You open up the door.|door]]
So, you let your date eat that nasty sauerkraut, knowing full well that it came from a very mysterious source.\n\nThe rest of the date went normal enough. You walked somewhere. Talked about something (but mostly about nothing at all).\n\nWhen suddenly, in a convenient place far off the most trodden path, your date lurched forward.\n\nEndospores are a [[bitch]].
You force the comb through your\n(let's get pretentious, why don't we?)\nlocks\ntresses\nmane\n(oh, so you're a lion now?\nquit lion around and get onto your [[date|datetime]] already)
s l a p s\n\nSuddenly\nlying on the floor\nat an odd angle\npicking up pieces of yourself\nso this cycle can continue to [[ring|ring]]
You put the body into the bed, making sure to rough up the covers to give it that "tossed and turned" type of feel. You also put a partially drank cup of water by the bedstand, in order to cover all of your bases.\n\n[[Now, get out.|out]]
Was it Aristotle or Plato who insisted that body and soul were seperate entities? It's almost as if both are gone in this case, leaving behind a shell of a person.\n\n[[You check the expression again.|expression]]
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/dcatcherex/hero_action1.svg"></html>\n\nThe less said about Supaman, the better.\n\n[[Back.|superman]]
It's like it had gone through winter\n\n- oh so the body's an "it" now, okay...\nwell you have been calling it "the body," for lack of a better term -\n\nwith a face all colored an ashy sort of red color throughout the face that pales upon [[touch|touch]].\n\nNot the most pretty way to die, all things considered.\n\n[[What else?|expression]]
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/dcatcherex/hero_action1.svg"></html>\n\nYes, that very same Supaman whose emblem is on your date's shirt.\n\n[[Back.|fire2]]
"Bockwurst? Those weird sausages in a can?" This time, it's not only your date looking at you funny, but the hot dog stand guy, too.\n\nExcept he's looking at you more angry than funny, since you might be denying him a sale. "I don't want bockwurst. I want a hot dog."\n\n"It tastes the same," you reply.\n\n"Maybe with your nose clogged up and your taste buds hog-tied, sure. Maybe then, bockwurst tastes like a hot dog." Your date gives you a disapproving shake of the head. "Besides, I don't got sauerkraut. How am I supposed to have bockwurst without sauerkraut?"\n\n"You don't have to have sauerkraut with it."\n\n"I've got some sauerkraut right here if you want it. Home-made!" The hot dog guy spoke up, now looking much happier. "Take it with a dog. Fiddy cents."\n\nUh... Sauerkraut from a hot dog [[stand]]?
v o i c e s\n\n"VAGUE nothing to say about you"\n"ODD one out"\n"IDIOT idiot idiot ignorant imbecile"\n"COWARD chump (take your pick of) carpet-muncher (or) candy-ass"\n"EMPTY why does your head always feel like it's out of fuel"\n"SHITHEAD, waste of space, pick up your [[phone|ring]]"
it's called high waters when your socks show\nyou're supposed to wear them when it's flooding\nnot in the classroom where the other kids picked at you.\n\nsince your pants weren't hemmed right,\nthey gladly provided the hemming and the hawing and the ha ha ha-ing.\n\nad nauseum.\n\n[[Back.|you]]
("I'll grind your bones to make my bread." Thank you, Giant!)\n\nThat would mean that you've got buns and meat of a person. So that's a person on person hamburger right there. There's just too much of it. Too much meat to fathom.\n\nAnd who would fund the production of this human hamburger? You couldn't handle creating so many burgers and buns all by yourself. You'd have to hire people. Or make a factory.\n\nBut then you'd run out of money to keep your factory running. Unless you wanna become the Sweeney Todd of people hamburger bun freakishness.\n\nNot to mention that your 500 factory workers would find out what you were doing. So then you'd have 500 [[Tobias Raggs]] on your hands.\n\n[[Erghhhh...|abc]]
You could always dress your date up as somebody else, get on a plane with their limp body, and eventually get yourselves halfway across Siberia before anybody noticed.\n\nA sadly desperate plan if you've ever heard of one.\n\nBut then you've gotta worry about those overly invasive TSA pat-downs.\n\nYou could stuff the body into a bag to avoid that, but then you've gotta check the bag. Imagine the bag going through the x-ray thing and there being a body in there. How the hell would you get out of that?\n\n("Oh, that's just a mannequin. I'm taking my doll on a trip. It's impressive how lifelike that doll is, isn't it? More like deadlike, though...um...")\n\nOr you could call the body a hyperrealistic silicone blowup doll. Kinda like Lars and the Real Girl, except not even halfway as charming. That'd be too messed up for words, actually.\n\n(Did you know they make [[Supaman|supa3]] ones?)\n\n[[Keep thinking...|think]]
"Is that really gonna be your greeting? Some desperate line about Superman?"\n\nYou look at your date's shirt, and the knock-off S on it.\n\n<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/chovynzadmin/supa.svg"></html>\n\n"You can't blame me for asking," you say in your defense. "Look at what you're wearing." The symbol hurt your eyes to look at for too long.\n\n"It's [[Supaman|supa]], not Superman. There's a huge difference."\n\nYour date's demeanor became a little less friendly. You forgot about how touchy your date got about Supaman.\n\n[[Try again.|clever]]\n\n[[Give up.|nope]]
You pick the kitchen floor, since that's what looked the most slippery. Your date could have passed out anywhere else, but those tiles looked appropriately malicious.\n\nYou find a partially drank cup of water (how convenient) and put it on the counter.\n\n[[Get out of there.|out]]
<html><img src="http://openclipart.org/people/marauder/Converse-Chucks.svg"></html>\n\nThey didn't look right when they were perfectly clean.\n\nOnce, you spent hours scraping them against the driveway and beating them up against walls.\n\nYou did your best to destroy those $35 plus shoes, all because "brand new and pristine" wasn't what was in vogue. Fashion demanded their destruction.\n\n[[Back.|you]]
You put the body on the couch. Hopefully, your date wouldn't turn into a [[Joyce Carol Vincent]] situation. You find a partially drank cup of water (how convenient) and place it by the couch.\n\n[[Tip toe outta there.|out]]
Created by <html><a href="http://www.ouroborosconnect.com">kaleidofish</a></html> as an exercise in writing, an excuse to learn Twine, and as a million other things.\n\nImages from <html><a href="http://openclipart.org">Openclipart.org</a></html>.\n\nMade for <html><b>THE PULSE POUNDING HEART STOPPING DATING SIM JAM</b></html> (#pphsjam) over a handful of hours across three days. April 5th to 7th, 2013.
You're dumbfounded. You hadn't spoken to the person on the other end of the line since\n\n(giggles, laughter, dancing,\nboots that were worn too low\nand pants that were worn too [[high]])\n\nsince\n\n(peaches picked during the early harvest,\ntalks of hay within needlestacks and the desperate belief in the hay being worth all those needles,\nroasted marshmallows sliding into the late night [[fire]])\n\nsince\n\n(blisters on the pavement,\nsun soaked sidewalks,\nand plaster alabaster [[walls]])\n\nsince\n\n(kissing behind vans in the neighborhood,\npads stuffed on top of our shoulders,\nscuffed up [[Chucks]])\n\n[["It's been a long time, hasn't it?"|time]]
So that leads you back to the start of the story, with all of the banana peel contemplation and everything else.\n\nYou had to give your date water and turn that accident into something more purposeful looking.\n\nYou're gonna be suspect number one, seeing how you probably had a stockpile of reasons for getting rid of your date. The motivation had been built up over the [[years|years]].
Date. That's the word that got you into this mess in the first place.\n\nOkay, let's get back on track again. What are you gonna do about that [[body|cannibal]]?
clostridium botulism, that's what it's called\n\nnormally can kill someone immunocompromised or a baby rather easily (that's why you should never give honey to your honey lump of a baby)\n\nbut in theory, if there's a shitload of clostridium, anyone could die from it.\n\nclostridium kraut.\n\n[[Back.|bitch]]
"Yesterday? Like in that song?" The other end of the phone sounds amused. "You know I always hated sad songs. Makes me feel awfully melancholy and you know melancholy don't suit me."\n\nHearing that makes you wish that the point of this conversation was gotten to already. Obviously, somebody wanted something or another. Why else talk to you, of all people?\n\nSo, you voice your concern and hear back something shocking.\n\n"One date's all I ask for."\n\n[[...Are you sure you heard that right?|onedate]]
Then, you suddenly get an amazing idea. Make it so that the body died <html><i>after</i></html> the date. You check the body's pockets for [[keys]].
"Ever heard of Billy Collins?"\n\n"Wasn't he a poet?" You look at your date incredulously.\n\n"Yeah, he did that Picnic, Lightning collection. The line originally came from Lolita."\n\n"What's that got to do with Rufus?" It wasn't connecting for you.\n\n"Picnic, lightning."\n\n"Oh."\n\n[[Try again.|clever]]\n\n[[Give up.|nope]]
You figure it may be best to retrace your steps, start at the beginning of your day, and work out a possible accident [[from there|day]].\n\nOr you can take another peek at that [[expression]] again. No one would blame you for that.
(informal usage)\n\n[[Back.|bad]]
It's weird to think about time being a social construct. What years are to you could be months in another culture. Hours could be days. Or everything could be none of the above, and something else entirely.\n\nSo when the other end of the phone said that, all you could mumble back was\n\n[["Time's relative."|relative]]\n\nor\n\n[["Feels like I just saw you yesterday."|yesterday]]
"Hello? Who's this?" You're the first one to speak.\n\n[[...|dotdotdot]]