The enlightened days of mental telepathy and ESP should have made the world a better place, but the minute the Rhine Institute opened up, all the crooks decided it was time to go collegiate!
p out the stuff. The other guy planted the end of the cigarette between my middle fingers and I had to squeeze hard to keep the hot end up. My fingers began to ache almost immediately, and I was beginning to imagine the flash of flame and the fierce wave of pain that would strike when my tired hand lost its pep and let the cigarette fall into that little mound of powder.
"Stop it," said Martha. "Stop it!"
"What do they want?" I gritted.
"They won't think it," she cried.
The bright red on the end of the cigarette grayed with ash and I began to wonder how long it would be before a fleck of hot ash would fall. How long it would take for the ash to grow long and top-heavy and then to fall into the powder. And whether or not the ash would be hot enough to touch it off. I struggled to keep my hands steady, but they were trembling. I felt the cigarette slip a bit and clamped down tight again with my aching fingers.
Martha pleaded again: "Stop it! Let us know what you want and we'll
Respectfully disagree with the previous reviewer. I was quite caught up in the noir/pulp tone and felt it really enhanced the futuristic setting. A nicely balanced mix and I could easily recommend this short story to fans of 40's pulp fiction. The only downside I found was that the illustration gives away the plot, so I would read the unillustrated version first.
Hard-boiled pulp, not in a good way.
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