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Uncooperative Collaboration

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posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 04:17 PM
Collaboration : To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort .

The dead cat hung from the lowest branch of the maple tree in the front yard, swinging slowly in a small circle, its
eyes reflecting everything . . and nothing. Dirty polyester rope held its back legs close to the branch, leaving its
head and body to stretch towards the ground five feet below.
Of course he knew where to look. The note he'd received said it would be . . FRONT/MAPLE. The notes were
always very accurate, even if he had to decipher them sometimes. Like that one that had said . . CRASH/RENTAL,
CRASH/ENOUGH, CRASH/CHANGE, CRASH/TUESDAY. Took him three days to put two and two together on
that one, with a lot of help from the local newspaper. Wednesday's edition had included pictures of the horrific
accident scene with captions that had jumped out at him in earnest. "Town's rental czar killed in car crash!"
He had received the note . . on Monday afternoon ! The accident,- the crash, had occurred on Tuesday. His
supposed notice to vacate . . unreceived. Other notices for neighbors to vacate the premises . . unreceived !
Change had indeed come to Barnstead.
And the notes kept coming to him. How long had it been going on now, maybe two or three months ? In the
beginning he received one note a week. That lasted about three weeks. Then it was two a week. Now, . .now
it was every other day ! At first he thought of it as a joke that someone was playing on him. Then he thought
that maybe someone was relaying their physic visions to him for interpretations. It was as if he had his own
fortune-teller in his back pocket. The notes were always very accurate. Everything they said came true, and he
began to feel a little uncomfortable about knowing what was going to happen in Barnstead in the coming days.
He thought of making bets, maybe making a small killing on his inside information, but realized that sooner or
later he would become the center of attention, something he did not want. He relished his low-key, blue-collar
invisibility. So he . . did nothing.
And then the note came that said YOU/ME, THEM/KILL ! He became scared and upset. His ulcer, if indeed
he had one, wreaked havoc on his stomach continuously now. His empty bottles of pink liquid began to take
up too much room on the kitchen table. Noises bothered him. Faces bothered him. He habitually searched
people's faces in hopes of a recognition, with no results. He had trouble sleeping, and when he did doze off
he had dreams and fits about who was behind the notes. Why him ? Why ?


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