Needles pricked her skin, hot localized distractions from her futile struggle. Soon the drugs took effect. A soporific coolness spread along her limbs, and she lost the will to resist any longer. The hands loosened their grip, and turned to perform yet other violations.

Stormy images battered her wavering sense of self. Moiré patterns and Möbius chains -- somehow she knew these things and their names without ever having learned them. And there was something else -- something that hurt even to contemplate -- a container with two openings, and none at all... a bottle whose interior was on the outside...

It was a problem to be solved. A desperate quandary. A life or death puzzle in higher level geometry.

The words and images whirled, hands groped about her, but at that moment all she could do was moan.

Wakarimasen!” She cried aloud. “Wakarimasen!”


Reiko should have been more suspicious the night her husband came home earlier than usual, and announced that she would accompany him on his next business trip to Seoul. That evening, however, when Tetsuo showed her the white paper folder containing two red and green airline boarding passes, Reiko could think only in the heady language of joy.

He remembers.

Her elation did not show, of course. She bowed to her husband and spoke words of submissive acceptance, maintaining decorous reticence. Tetsuo, in his turn, was admirably restrained. He grunted and turned his attention back to his supper, as if the matter had really been of little consequence after all.

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