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And so, squared off and ready, I set out on a new and thoughtful, well-considered journey, slower of pace than my frenzied flight of yesteryear. I began to walk through my City looking for old familiar haunts, my friends and family, some tenuous connection with the past amd some faint glowing hope for a golden future.

Perhaps, I thought, the answers to my questions, even the meaning of the key the child had flung at me, would miraculously appear in the very place I had tried to leave behind.

During this almost aimless wandering, my brain never stopped concocting its reasons, plans, and schemes, hammering away at me, day and night, full of its sorry excuses, its grandiose ideas. But still I thought I could take comfort in the familiar life that I had known before... couldn't I?

Dear friends, you may not be surprised at all to hear that it wasn't long before I had splintered into a million million fragments of my former self. There was no such longed for comfort to be found in my City. I had looked behind the wizard's curtain and found a little grey man carefully pulling all the strings. Puppets all and the play a sham! My glorious vision, a distant memory of an opening heart, the biggest sham of all. Everyone and everything seemed as insubstantial as empty ghosts, and I, the very hungriest ghost of them all.

 

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