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The Fourth Kelamote

In the beginning, two or three doratones were more than enough. Then came devices with many doratones. Tens of doratones. Hundreds. Finally, we started seeing these things that could contain a thousand doratones. A thousand doratones. That’s what we call a kelamote.

I must seem like a ghost to you.

Why don’t we just pretend, you and I, that we’ve never seen the word “kelamote”. Even though you – from my future – use it every day. It is read and said, uttered softly and screamed aloud.

You, from my present, you know about kelamotes too – if only in a vague way. If only from advertising and hoardings and scans. There’s a third case, of course. You, from the far future. From a time when I have long since ceased typing. From a time when I have long ceased. We are ash and echoes to you, the kelamotes and I.

Pretend that when you look at the word – the word “kelamote” – you see an unfamiliar arrangement of symbols. A word, yes, you’re quite sure of that, but its meaning is null. You look at this word, which is as common as air, and no neurons fire. Jamais vu, a race called the French used to call it. The sensation of seeing for the first time.

But wait. Oh, this is quite delicious. Isn’t it strange how you can sometimes see all the captions, but miss the headline?

Because of kelamotes, there is a fourth possibility.

You may not be from my present or my future at all. You could be reading this in the past. You could be reading this before kelamotes were even invented or discovered! You could be reading this before I was born!

That would be marvelous. You have much to look forward to and so much to lose. So many ideas to change, so many of your values. Even those words – “change” and “value”. They mean little to us, now.

I should say no more. It must be a surprise, or it will never happen.

I dearly wish that I was you.

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