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"It's not her mirror. But it shows her what she wants to see." - sidebar advert, "Wingers and Slingers" webhub, over a 2098 sexbot.
"A mirror reflects light. Glass lets light shine." - 3D printed graffiti underneath the Mississippi River bridge.
"Glass. It's not a mirror. Glass is a monitor, it displays something only Glass can see." - product placement, "What It's Like to Give Birth" VR series.
"A mirror? NO! Glass is hot new tech! Control your own atoms! Try our new 'guided embodied awareness' protocols!" - GameMaster98 sidebar.
NEWSFLASH: What's turning people evil? Pre-record this story now to view it later, buzzing bees! Dream Pool, Inc, the creators of the popular meatspace interface 'Glass,' are saying that psychological defects created by....
Marketing AI Suggestions: Data Dive 2097, Q3.
Run in major and minor publications simultaneously. 96% of all potential buyers can be reached through 87 venues. Potential customer insights:
100% transhumanist intelligences, with permanent or temporary embodiment.
95% willing to pay for meatspace integration, especially in "primitive zones."
47% capable of affording the device.
98% connection with older, pre-singularity "retro" styles and technologies.
"What the hell did the art team suggest?"
"Retro? Bullshit. Retro is smooth curves, thin profiles, touch screens, one-button, plastic trim. Carl, this is... what is that stuff all over the screen?"
"I think it's supposed to be wood."
"Wood? The carbon corps is gonna have a fucking fit, Carl. You can't cut down wood."
"It's not real wood!"
"Well then what the hell does it remind me of?"
"Why I am disturbed, Carl?"
"For fucks sake, Carl, mirrors are for sleazy sexbot hotels, savefile grandmas and people into perception defects, we're never gonna be able to sell this anyone who can afford it!"
"I'll get marketing on it."
"I like this huge flat screen, though."
The cameras folded in on the chamber, ready to print the new body, as Tara's consciousness sat in the machine, fiddling with the levels, lenses always on the Glass, the thing that all the downloads said was "not a mirror."
She'd G-searched everything she could about mirrors - she'd never seen one, but she gathered that they worked just like a camera screen.
A hacker friend had found the reference, in some obscure corporate vaporvault. It was a 2D image, a thing with wooden feet, a circular shape, trim and frame and screen just like the Glass. A woman stood in front of it, and in the short tube-gif, asked who was hot, and who was not.
"Clear your short-term memory banks." The install wizard said. She didn't. She waited until things were ready, didn't need that distraction. Glass would build her a temporary body, for that safari she'd always wanted, disaster porn viewed with the fear only flesh could provide.
The Glass, the not-mirror, showing her the thing as it was created, the flesh and bones dripping into view, her perception creating it in tandem with the wet print, each fold and form flowing from her own mind. The picture of the mirror, the thing the Glass was not, always there.
Transfer was jarring. New senses quickly awoke. Saves were being filed away in the cloud. Touch was all over, all the time. Smell - smell was no longer a sidenote. She almost gagged, the body would have vomited up stomach contents to the floor, had there been any. Hunger - that was new.
She saw herself in the reflection of the Glass, was shocked at the beauty and glory of her form. The network kicked in, showed her the others. All over the world, assembled flesh from scraps of thought and artificial eyes.
"Glass, glass, that I installed. Who's the hottest one of all?" She asked.
Tara picked up the printed blade.
As I've mentioned before, Mississippi has her fair share of people claiming to see things. That's not abnormal. Many people see things they cannot explain daily. I myself was surrounded by men with tentacle eyes requesting gluten-free cereals just the other day.
But we all must maintain certain stories, lest we go mad, though there are certain stories more indicative of madness than of coping with it.
One such story is the tale of Big Muddy. We've hinted at the existence of this Pearl River Monster, gleaned what we could from a single photograph that surely was not just a bird flying in front of the camera.
Part of being a cyptozoologist is adhering to the idea that your quarry is somehow different than normal animals. Otherwise, you'd just be a zoologist, some random schmuck investigating the near infinite diversity of arthropods, or other important animals, like tardigrades, or molluscs.
One of the lesser branches on the tree of life is the vertebrates. Our editors have a debate on if the planet rightfully belongs to the insects or the bacteria, with a third lobbying for coral reefs, but we feel that option three will be an evolutionary dead end in a matter of decades. Nevertheless, human beings feel that vertebrates are somehow important, no doubt in some sort of kinship display.
But amongst these oddities of nature, these creatures with a backbone (statistically speaking, they all live in the water, with a few in the jungle) - one is rare enough to perhaps not even exist, though this has not in any way dampened my enthusiasm for it.
Big muddy was last spotted just North of I-20, just South of Highway 80, in the iconic photography seen HERE.
New sightings have been reported near the Silas Brown Bridge. We present you with the evidence.
This clear evidence (which is most certainly NOT, as some "skeptics' have claimed, "a pair of logs") shows us not one Big Muddy, but TWO! Serpentine heads, long bodies, moving as a pair! One moves with just the head above the water, as is common with the local water moccasin, the other moves with the entire body floating on the surface, as the common water snake.
The size must be 3-7 meters in length. We sent a reporter under the bridge. Reports that we did so at gunpoint can safely be discounted.
The clearly shaken photographer returned with clear photographic evidence that Big Muddy is not only NOT a log (would a log have vanished from the shot?) but also possesses strange paranormal phenomenon.
If The X Files (the last TV show we were allowed to watch) has taught us anything, it is that whenever you have one paranormal phenomenon, you should just go ahead and search for another, because you're on a roll, and clearly going to be right about that one, too.
Which is why, in the above photograph, we see the infamous "Bigfoot focus effect," the notorious camera malfunction that occurs whenever video or photograph equipment attempts to capture clear evidence of the bipedal ape in question.
Additionally, we see St. Elmo's Fire, a blue variety, lighting up the river. This is surely NOT just some camera effect due to the extreme lighting conditions, a drunken and fear-soaked intern forced to crawl under a bridge during flood conditions in the dark is perfectly capable of making such a difficult shot.
Therefore, thanks to these two pictures, we can safely overturn a century of zoological observation and safely assume that giant mystical snakes are the cause of the Big Muddy phenomenon.
According to the window we watch while huddled around our garbage-can fire, the 90's (1990s) TV (television) show Friends is available via "Netflix," which we river hobos can only assume is a code word for the things that are flicked from the nets that pull the bountiful seafood from the oceans.
We have been able to discern few details about the show itself, but with the visual evidence alone, we have put together the following facts:
1: It is about six power brokers in Wall Street financial institutions with serious jobs that allow for significant amounts of time off.
2: They are obscenely wealthy, given their apartment sizes, coffee habits, and wardrobes.
3: They have a multitude of lovers in some sort of sexual "revolving door" situation.
4: At the top of the world in the most powerful city on the planet, they need for nothing physical or spiritual, a situation they leaven with various antics.
5: No matter how much time passes, they maintain this philosophical ennui. Days, months, years, all pass without event. They are meant to represent the ultimate insulating power of wealth.
Being being unable to hear the audio, we believe that the show is in the same vein as Dallas, showing the rise (and eventual fall, we're only on season 2) of a family (all the black haired ones are related, right?) at the center of a tempest of wealth and power. It was absurdly popular, last millennium, and as such, was quite often milked for more than it was worth.
Yes, we have found a list of the lost episodes of Friends.
1: The One Where Rachel Births the Moon Child.
2: The One Where Monica Gets Confused With Another Monica.
3: The One With All the Blood.
4: The One With The One.
5: The One After All the Blood.
6: The One Where Joey Is Taken To Dulce Base.
7: The One With the Archons of the Outer Dark.
8: The One With No Survivors.
9: The One Where A Dark Name is Spoken.
10: The One Tale of Two Pizzas.
11: The One With All the 9/11.
12: The One Where The Gang Meets a Black Person.
13: The One Where Ross Covers Up Something Man Was Not Meant to Know.
14: The One With the Sigil and Key.
15: The One Who Cannot Be Named
16: The One Who Is Many Shares a Taxi.
17: The One Where Chandler Speaks the Syllables of the Kingmoor Ring.
18: The One Where the Gang Gets Evicted.
19: The One from the Depths.
20: The One Where Phoebe Must "ær grim struht fola" in Accordance With Bald.
21: The One With the Bums Fighting for Scraps.
22: The One Where the Empire Falls.
23: The One With Tom Hanks.
I was standing on the wrong side of a cold little stream off Laurel street while my wife was out returning Christmas presents when I saw a tire that had a tree standing on it like it was a table. The tree was thin and deciduous, and whether you looked at the tree or the tire, the result was satisfactory.
"I wonder where this tire came from?" I asked my faithful guide. My faithful guide is a perpetually near-empty flask. His answers are sometimes satisfying, and always illuminating.
I sought another answer and my faithful guide doled one out, but the half-buried tire held her own secrets.
She was the kind of tire you had to think about. Had to roll around in your mind like it was some kind of axle. I wanted to know everything about her. Had she escaped some rat-fink tire fire? Had she leaped from the bed of some overloaded truck?
Things were bleak. This tire might be a tale of lost potential, a perfectly good tire that someone had loved, and now it was in this shady ditch on the wrong side of the good side of town.
There was no way to know and the whiskey was no longer answering my questions with anything but a bitter stomach and a mind to match.
I headed back, trying to get out of that dreary cold of early January, the kind of cold that makes you happy to find a vent over a steaming sewer. I avoided the icy stream as I steered myself, well guided, back to civilization.
I knew I had a story. The story of the thick tire - but I knew it could wait. That tire wasn't going anywhere. And neither was I.
I've seen a lot of tires. I've seen tires rolling down the interstate with no car attached. I've seen reefs of tires spread along the shores. A tire can be your best friend. Or your worst enemy, like when it lies resting and rotting in some shallow swamp, collecting water for the most dangerous animals on Earth.
I'm no fool. I knock those over when I can. Doing my part, you know. Like the tire. Tires come in bundles of four. But tractor tires come in pairs. I never thought I'd see another tire from that pair. It's a big swamp, after all, and that uptown tire might not see her downtown sister, or maybe she lived even further up, in parts of town so fancy they got servants to cook you dinner and they don't let guys like me in the house without two cops and a lawyer on hand.
I'd put that tire out of my mind. Spring had come and tried to flood us, and summer tried to beat us all to death with deadly solar radiation. Fall was here, bringing tornadoes and thunderstorms. My line of work is dangerous.
My guide had brought me south, to the world of Creosote Slough. It's a rough part of Flowood, but a pretty nice part of Jackson. It's like a wart on Flowood, the one little bit on the wrong side of a river. But not just any river. My river. There's parts of that old Slough you just can't get to in the winter, or spring. Water's too high.
So like the Bad Detective I am, I headed down there on a cool fall day, the water was low and the drinks were cheap. The law of supply and demand doesn't always hold up. All I could see was my one trusty guide, and he was giving them away.
The demand was plenty even though I'm just one man. I have a thirst for two things: Whiskey, and answers about tires. The whiskey wasn't giving me any answers, just more questions. The swamp is my office. Nobody comes into my office. Business is bad.
Still though, there past the banks where I'd found my old friend, Westinghouse, I knew that the steep bank down into the Slough could be hiding something. Something important.
I made my way down the steep earthen bank, cursing my guide. Nothing but some old footballs and empty bottles. Sure, it was a good haul, I knew that, but that day, something was bothering me. Not the clean water in the ditches, not the dead and vacant looks from abandoned shoes.