5-11

You recognize the garish mess as an intern at Wired magazine. His hard drive clearly overloaded, possibly contaminated by a Ukrainian virus, you whisk the trident from his hand and scurry down the corridor to track down that lying asshole who calls himself Kevin but whom you’ve long suspected to be Dimitri Filipovich, a stateless impresario of impossible criminal proportions.

 

You decide to take the stairs down because the last thing you want is to meet some hot chiclette in the elevator and wind up shooting an Aerosmith video with variations involving the trident, which, you notice, smells like strawberry lip gloss and even though you fell a few points short of gifted, it’s clear that the shark-eyed man was not the owner of this honeypot trident but a merely a carrier. A carrier that smelled like carrion. At which point you also concede, taking two steps at a time, the carrier wasn’t shark-eyed so much as megabyte-depleted.

 

You stop abruptly, allow the whole edifice of amygdala-stimulated misjudgments to rain over you like a trade embargo– how what you wanted to see (a zombie, a freak) replaced the sight itself. Give yourself a second to feel sorry for the carrier then start back down the stairs; you know where you’re going (Dimitri’s apartment) but there’ s no need to rush because he knows you are coming. The trident is wired. Laughing, Dimitri might ask why you didn’t take the elevator but you anticipate the angle.

 

Empty your pockets and remove your boots before entering a foreign stairwell. Dimitri’s flamboyance as a self-made tech-upstart pain in the ass hasn’t stopped him from tapping highly lucrative markets including the international organ market where less-developed livers are swiftly transplanted into well-developed American bodies. You suspect the carrier was recently deprived of a kidney but you can’t be sure.

 

Feeling vaguely yourself, still outside the usual parameters of hungover consciousness, you try to remember the previous night. Ascending sans socks, you realize that your feet are cold, and the trident is purring.

DO YOU:

this installment was written by alina stefanescu