Disassociation: A half drunk white cup holding esspresso whose color is the deepest brown.“You’re covered in blood.” The Barista says.

“Fuck right. I’ll have an espresso.” Eris says.

Eris sits with her espresso, assesses her memory. Her boyfriend of three years is in the hospital, a hundred stitches across his back. In the darkened room, Jim looks like a stranger attacking her sister. Eris drops the santoku knife the second she sees his face. Eris sits handcuffed to the stoop for almost an hour. Janet calmly explains everything to the police. Eris learns that Jim was sleeping with both of them, that Jim and Janet became members of team pregnant three months back. Janet locks the door. Charges are dropped. The cuffs come off.

Eris walks to work. She’s given a sick day and told to go home. Eris returns to her apartment, thinking she’ll kick her sister out. Her suitcase and laptop case sit on the step next to a police officer. She hands Eris a restraining order.

As Eris stares into the espresso, the memory fades from her mind. Eris feels her brain lose every thought and word. The espresso becomes a vibrating obsidian disk, hovering over the buffed stainless table, framed by its plate. Aromatics flood her nostrils. Eris is distracted by her reflection in the espresso. Her face changes subtly. The reflection does something Eris can’t. It smiles. Eris drinks the espresso, slams the plateless cup against the hard wood table. She stands, jolted, woozy.

“Sacrifice and Exchange. Good spell for a first time traveler.” The Barista says. “Return here to move on.”

“Or go back?”

Barista taps a small brass tube with lettering etched into it. “Restraining order.”

The technology has converted to canvas bags, glossy touchscreens, wood cases, brass accents. Eris pauses at a mirror by the door. Her skin is dark as her espresso reflection. Eris looks through a window with solar cell storm shutters, vision wrapt in a living city, caught by the vibrant synergy of emerald bamboo and bluegreen trees. Unable to look back, Eris moves forward.


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