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Today's Stichomancy for Neal Stephenson

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Dream Life and Real Life by Olive Schreiner:

scent of that dead rose, withered for twelve years, comes back to me. I know there will be spring; as surely as the birds know it when they see above the snow two tiny, quivering green leaves. Spring cannot fail us.

There were other flowers in the box once; a bunch of white acacia flowers, gathered by the strong hand of a man, as we passed down a village street on a sultry afternoon, when it had rained, and the drops fell on us from the leaves of the acacia trees. The flowers were damp; they made mildew marks on the paper I folded them in. After many years I threw them away. There is nothing of them left in the box now, but a faint, strong smell of dried acacia, that recalls that sultry summer afternoon; but the rose is in the box still.

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Wrecker by Stevenson & Osbourne:

soon as you've done with these chests," he added, "you can turn to and roll out beef and water breakers; it'll look more shipshape--like as if we were getting ready for the boat voyage."

And he was back again in a moment, cooking the new log. Goddedaal's was then carefully destroyed, and a hunt began for the ship's papers. Of all the agonies of that breathless morning, this was perhaps the most poignant. Here and there the two men searched, cursing, cannoning together, streaming with heat, freezing with terror. News was bawled down to them that the ship was indeed a man-of-war, that she was close up, that

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

think. What else he did I don't know--but he dismissed me and pretty nearly throttled me--for telling Mr. Jamieson here about Mr. Innes' having been at his office the night he disappeared, and about my hearing them quarreling."

"What was it Warner overheard the woman say to Mr. Innes, in the library?" the detective asked me.

"She said `I knew there was something wrong from the start. A man isn't well one day and dead the next without some reason.'"

How perfectly it all seemed to fit!



The Circular Staircase