The Fine Print

At an international conclave of anarchists and insurance adjusters, I was working under the radar as a medical researcher.

I needed to be wearing a “dress for success” corporate suit, but discovered I was wandering around in a huge airport shopping mall wearing sweatpants and no top, with only a crumpled towel clutched to my bare breasts.

When I realized I had lost my purse, I ran back the way I came to look for it. I saw the flash of a picture of Buck and me under a folding chair. When I dove for it, a hand tugged from the other side.

“Let go! Those are my pictures!” I said.

A tall, scrawny man in a black suit on the other side of the chair was crouched down, picking up the scattered pictures that had fallen from my purse. I snatched them away and repeated, “Those are mine. That’s ME in those pictures!”

He looked at me with cold yellow eyes. “Well, technically, they’re mine. Read the fine print of that futures contract you signed.”

“What? Oh, good grief. If you want some trinket of mine, I’ll give you trinkets, but I want those pictures back.” He smiled thinly and opened his hand.

“What’s my future, anyway? Why are you so interested?”

He stood up and shot his cuffs. “I don’t know the specifics when I buy a futures contract. Only that if you become famous someday, these lost bits and discards might make me some money.”

He smiled, again, showing an unpleasant row of small, sharp teeth. “Now, what trinket are you going to give me in exchange for those pictures?”

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