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Photo by MILKOVÍ on Unsplash

The season of sweet plums has passed— the season is over.

Only shrunken, wrinkled, pale plums are left.

The woman at the produce-stand smirks at me over boxes of withered plums. “They’re organic,” she says. “Natural things have seasons. Natural things go bad.”

Something moves in her grey dreadlocks — a black centipede arching its back and flailing at the air with red antennae.

I back away and merge into the shuffling street-market crowd. After a few steps I look over my shoulder.

The woman is watching me. As she smiles a wide, broken-toothed smile, the centipede skitters down her face and slithers into her mouth.

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I’m not in the Matrix. I AM the Matrix.

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