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followed

Toni

The clack of nearby keyboards washed over Toni. She sat there, briefly hypnotized by the sound. A voice – the words indistinct – said something into a phone in a nearby cubicle. The sound of the voice was muffled by the material on the cube’s wall.

Toni scrolled through a Facebook feed which had not changed since she scrolled through it five seconds previously. She clicked on the next tab, and confirmed that the news headlines had also not changed. She clicked on the new tab button, and type “wiki” before the browser offered her the most-likely option, which she clicked on. She clicked the random article link, and was taken to an article about the Second Crusade.

Absent-mindedly she clicked on a link in the middle of the first paragraph, and did the same on the next six articles that appeared. Through Bavaria and Germany, she arrived at articles about the European Union. She wondered whether much time had passed, and looked at Facebook again. Nothing had changed on her feed.

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Followed

Toby clambered and staggered through the final trees from the forest and back into civilization. The darkness of the dense undergrowth gave way to the banal, gray reality of suburban life. 

As soon as he stepped, at last, onto the sidewalk, what had happened mere moments before did not feel real. Despite this, he ran. He ran and ran until his legs started to feel like jelly. He then ran some more and kept on running until he reached the road his home was on. As he reached that road, however, he started to think. His first thought was that he was definitely running for no reason. But immediately afterward, his second thought was that he could not run home without giving away where he lived. If he did that, he would never feel safe. 

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