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Edition 23: The Smell of Wet Grass by Lee Battersby

Mimi shouldn’t be walking; androids on their own, without a distinct purpose, frighten humanity. From one misadventure to another, Mimi brings out the best and worst in people. A poignant look at humanity and its fears in a time of technology. SY

Mimi is walking along the path that separates the park from the river, enjoying the whispering spray of rain on her face and the smell of wet grass. The concrete is wet beneath her feet, the occasional wind-blown leaf damp and clinging where normally they crunch underfoot. She is lost in the sensation of cold, of slickness against her skin. Her fault, in a way: lost, and daydreaming, drowning herself in her surroundings instead of maintaining constant awareness. Pleasure is the enemy of survival, at least for those like Mimi. Vigilance. Caution. Wariness. These are the safe words, the keys to survival. Mimi knows the lessons, knows the cant and recital. And still, caught between rain and river and park, she forgets.

They corner her where the path skirts an ancient tree, hair-pinning around its thick, gnarled trunk so that it is easy for them to step out—some to either side— and pinch the path closed like a kinked tube. Mimi retreats before them, until the iron railings pressing into her back are the only thing that keep her from pitching into the water behind her.

“Hey! Hey!”

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