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Today's Stichomancy for Italo Calvino

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:

where the rope had bruised it. His eyes felt congested; he could no longer close them. His tongue was swollen with thirst; he relieved its fever by thrusting it forward from between his teeth into the cold air. How softly the turf had carpeted the untraveled avenue -- he could no longer feel the roadway beneath his feet!

Doubtless, despite his suffering, he had fallen asleep while walking, for now he sees another scene -- perhaps he has merely recovered from a delirium. He stands at the gate of his own home. All is as he left it, and all bright and beautiful in the morning sunshine. He must have traveled the


An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Jolly Corner by Henry James:

my exile, I shouldn't have been waiting till now - ?" But he pulled up for the strange pang.

"The great thing to see," she presently said, "seems to me to be that it has spoiled nothing. It hasn't spoiled your being here at last. It hasn't spoiled this. It hasn't spoiled your speaking - " She also however faltered.

He wondered at everything her controlled emotion might mean. "Do you believe then - too dreadfully! - that I AM as good as I might ever have been?"

"Oh no! Far from it!" With which she got up from her chair and was nearer to him. "But I don't care," she smiled.

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas:

Besides, that is not all. Read on, read on;" and Fouquet continued, ---"The two first to death, the third to be dismissed, with MM. d'Hautemont and de la Vallette, who will only have their property confiscated."

"Great God!" cried Fouquet, "to death, to death! Lyodot and D'Eymeris. But even if the Chamber of Justice should condemn them to death, the king will never ratify their condemnation, and they cannot be executed without the king's signature."

"The king has made M. Colbert intendant."

"Oh!" cried Fouquet, as if he caught a glimpse of the abyss


Ten Years Later