Bern, eyes heavy-lidded, sat beside a babbling brook with a sheaf of homemade paper in his lap. He’d spent hours scrawling the complex equations that described the relativistic event that had crippled his robot-parents. To his right a DNA tree corkscrewed its way into the soil, a plant that avoided sunlight.
Bern’s second sibling, a girl, raced up to him with a chess set, laced her fingers as if in prayer, implored him to show her the Queen’s gambit.Bern’s head was large and square and the color of dark tree bark. Bern smiled, but shook his head.
His third sibling scampered up with a model of the Hemingway that he’d carved out of a hunk of wood. He asked Bern to play spaceship with him. Bern smiled, but shook his head.
Bern’s roommate, Chico, swaggered up to him and made farting noises with armpit. Bern smiled, but shook his head.
Finally, Bern’s dog meandered up with a spit-covered homemade tennis ball in its mouth. Bern frowned approvingly and threw the ball for the dog to play fetch.
The dog, at least, understood the equations.
Bern returned his focus to his complex array of math. He blinked. The pages were blank. Bern knitted his brows as a wind blew in from the Eastern Ocean and swept each page away, one by one.
Want to know more about Bern, his good heart and his troubled mind? Read Madness Rising and its upcoming sequel, Madness Underground.
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