Monera Mason is a mischief-maker.  Her work includes: starting questionable cults with notorious software gurus, writing abstract fiction, catalyzing shenanigans which she deploys on unsuspecting bystanders in the City of Neon. 

Glitch

It started as a glitch, a small jump in time. Ten seconds and all the digital coffee that was brewing was now overfilling. Sometimes it was the brightly colored trains just skipping ahead past their stations and your ability to play signalman.

Does this happen to you?

No.

It's been every day for weeks. I started tracking it.

Whoa, it looks like you are playing way too many brain games.

I even wrote customer service. I did a full uninstall and then reinstall. Only happens on the cell and not my computer.

Nothing should make you feel like this you know.

I like the games through — a shot of coffee straight to the brain.

What about skipping those two?

No way, they give the most substantial increase in cognitive stats.

You know this has been mostly debunked, right? The only thing you might be getting better at is playing these games. Is this what you want your Gladwell time to be spent on?

Like I'm going to start painting or glass blowing.

How's work.

An abrupt change in subject. Matt's idea of moving past my OCD tendencies. That's not an official diagnosis just one self-inflicted after binging three documentaries on the subject.

Look maybe you want to to try something, he offered. Try thinking of the task as being completed correctly when you start the game.

We covered like 30 topics since then. Now you want to go back.

Like a zen thing.

You are right. I got too competitive.

Coffee next week?

Same bat channel.

I got stuck waiting for prescriptions. That in-between wait time where it would take you longer to drive back than wait the 15 mins. Not much has changed in drugstore Christmas offerings and back to the two chairs of waiting areas. Occupied. I found a seat at the automatic blood pressure machine, its as if the baby boomers tired of their coin-operated ponies and graduated to this monstrosity. A quarter for your stress test--inflation for your thoughts.

I should have hit the mindfulness program instead, but that had zero gains in the percentiles. Can you even pass 98th?

I thought long and hard about a perfect game. All the trains are disappearing into their stations in an effortless ballet of clicks. See I can be zen. Zeroed in on the countdown this was the two minutes of terror where everything had to go perfectly.

There is it was 12 seconds evaporated. Boop . . . gone.

This time every train that headed towards its wrong destination was placed safely in its bay.

Did you see that?

See what honey? The senior woman in line for her turn for RX turn in.

Oops, I used my outside voice. Thought I had an inner monologue on. Now I seem slightly crazy.

That's a mild statement, she scoffed.

I restarted the game. Think good train thoughts. 7-second jump no penalty. Coffee game 18-second jump 42 out of 42 served.

Notification: press okay to connect the call.

Da Fuq.

Out loud again, dear. Are you sure you are okay?

Yeah fine.

I fled towards toothpaste, mock studying the endless choices of whitening.

I clicked the orange connect call icon.

Janice Becker.

Beeker but yeah.

Hello Ms. Beeker in four minutes a black sedan license plate 3xt5qr will be waiting outside your location. I need you to get into the car.

Does that ever work? Who the fuck would get into a car under these circumstances.

Janice, your Fitbit, indicates an elevated heart rate and we know from your gameplay curiosity defines your profile. You will get into the car; you are excited about getting into this car. To be honest ma'am your entire life, you have waited for precisely this kind of thing to happen to you.

Right. 3xt5qr.

Hey, are you going to pay for that?

I dropped the toothpaste on the 'smile you're on camera' welcome mat and left the store.

Black Fasting