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After ten years, Hansel Nothing returns to his boyhood home, unable to remember anything that has happened to him since he left. Back home, he stays in Zerostrata, a treehouse in the backyard. The Nothing family is as dysfunctional and depressed as ever. His mother keeps a cat on her head and incessantly munches prescription medication. His father has left the house to pursue a career as a superhero. His brother has become a shut-in, brooding in the darkened basement. Hansel realizes, after a life of sadness, a life only half-remembered, the only thing he wants is for himself and his family to be happy. But what type of bizarre world must he enter to obtain this happiness?
her like some movie or piece of entertainment, there for my viewing pleasure? I didn’t think I could. I had to join her. I didn’t have to think twice about it. I hopped on the elevator and descended from Zerostrata, taking off my clothes as it bumped down the tree, leaping off before reaching the ground. 52 Zerostrata Completely naked, I took off running toward the trail, looking for the girl. She had rounded the second turn and was rapidly closing the distance between that and the third as
the trees and it didn’t feel that cold. I had forgotten to ask where the woods were located. I didn’t know if we were close to Grayson or if we were headed back into Grayson or, really, where the hell Grayson was. I decided the best thing to do would be to let the horse run freely, going wherever it pleased. I was not at all disappointed at the speed with which the pony chose to travel. It raged along, going faster and faster, faster than any car I had ever been in. There was something
there has to be a point to living.” “Oh, so now who’s the philosopher?” “I was just making a statement.” “And what do you think this point to living is?” “I don’t know.” “Well, I hope you’re not counting on me to give you any of the answers.” “No, I stopped looking for answers.” “So why do you want to keep living?” “Because, well, right now, living feels good.” “Really, why is that?” “Well, last night, I saw this girl.” “Really? So you think you’re living for love?” “No. I don’t love
magical or fantastical. Again, this is because you are tired of the real world, blah blah blah. So now you see this girl and she certainly seems fantastic and you have this desire to simply come into contact with her but she is, at this point, just as much of a nonreality as your castles and dragons of childhood. You have to stop thinking like yourself, Hansel. You might even have to stop being yourself. Things have to change. Things have to change in your brain before you can come out of
thought, at least, my eyes should be open to my last few moments of the world. But I wasn’t going to die. Truly, the office was much higher up than I would have thought. I didn’t even recall climbing any stairs to go see Dr. Blast but, then again, things were supposed to be different now because I chose the window when I could have chosen the door. Below me was a large orange trampoline. Absolutely huge, it gleamed like some kind of sun growing from the 44 Zerostrata ground. For the next