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Skyler was pleased with himself but did not want to appear proud. So he came to me with few words, asking me what I thought, hoping I would tell him it was good. It was. He had figured out the holograms again, a better application, integrating them into a mesh as thin as paper. Easy enough to work into a book ( it will get cheaper, he said), this would be the new illustration. We had known this was coming but Skyler was of course the one who broke the code and showed us how.

The book he handed me contained her poetry. Others' work too, but hers was the page we were interested in. Above her poem was her painting - two paintings sharing the same space, morphing into each other and back, the paint swirling and drawing me in until I could smell the turpentine and brushes and weeks of thought that had gone into it.   A man's shadow creeping up behind him while his neighbor wrestled with someone whose face we could not see. A red flower in the corner, in the dark.   What do you think, he said again.

Well it looks like a painting of a chrysanthemum done by a girl who does not know how to paint chrysanthemums.

He laughed. I know. And it will read you her poem, listen.

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