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Bewitched, Provoked and Bewildered
by George Sparling

“What’s got into you today, Marty? You don’t sound like yourself,” Pam says. She’s concerned, exactly why I like her.  

I say, “The National Security Agency has embed words not my own into Broca’s area which controls speech in the brain’s left hemisphere. It’s a sting operation to make random persons say they’ll commit terrorist violence.”

“Since when the neuroscientist? You’re talking paranoia.” She, a non-drinker, tosses back a cup of vodka.

“I could’ve poisoned that drink.” NSA’s words, not mine. Pam, the last person I want dead. NSA plays around with lives, making Pam think I’m psychotic.

“Don’t try to be someone else.” She twists her hair around her fingers, and her face turns ugly. “What are you up to?”

“I have big plans.” I can’t wait for them to tell her the plans. I don’t know what they’ll make me say next.

Pam’s eyes are red-rimmed. “What kind?”

“Helpers will strap explosives around my body and I’ll detonate the Statue of Liberty.”

“Are you telling me the truth? Why would the NSA let you get away with murder?”

“They foment terror, not stop it. In two days, ka-boom.” My real thoughts and words lie unretrievable in my memory storage.

“Why tell me this? You know I have to call the FBI.”

When I strangle her to death tears flow like never before.