The beginning of the novel I will never write.

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“I’m as honest as the day is long.” Jean-Paul brought some stupid looking metallic tubular contraption up to his mouth, cleared his throat, then inhaled. He unvaped and exhaled smoke or vapor or… (all I know is that it was some sort of idiotic gas) for a painstaking uncomfortable length of time, more than 53 seconds. He lapped in the sun, like a lunatic in an oasis mirage, for it was winter in Iceland.

Five hours later, Jean-Paul stood in the black starless night. He had many questions about the science of shadows.

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