Neon streams of light dance around me as I enter the Room of Wonders. The spectrum of color moves in all directions as voices fade in and out of earshot. Shadows glide across the velvet space to a counter embellished with sparkling chains, like makeshift humans gravitating toward an open bar. Every creature is occupied by the roving screens in front of them. They concentrate in dumbfounded awe. My party of ghouls disperse into this transcendent room and disappear altogether. Tonight is their night to make a killing. Before I join the fray, my pocket machine pings. Transmission received from unknown sender. “I love you,” the message reads. My mind reels. What words to utter in this place of marquees and dreams. I’m peeved. My anger rises. Those words don’t belong in this place. They don’t belong to me.

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