Pinero’s Ghost

Following through the solution described on the previous page, and familiarizing oneself with the story referenced therein, should refocus the reader's attention from the two main characters over to Certainty Inc., the company selling the "Service."

Certain references throughout the text may now be seen in yet another light, rendering potentially detectable the "big lie" that underlies the foundation of their business, confirming the foreshadowing provided by the overheard conversation, and drawing more attention to the significance of the "Good Samaritan" who rescues the man from the edge of the cliff just after the woman falls to her death. These things, including descriptions of the behavior of the countdown clock, may lead the reader to a different understanding regarding the true villain of the piece.

This stage was written as an homage to one of my favorite authors growing up. His first published short story, "Life-line," was originally written for a contest but rejected. It was later printed by a different magazine and upon receiving his check for approximately $200 for its purchase, the author was reported to have said, "How long has this racket been going on?"

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Big thanks go out to my friends Krystyn, Andrea, Jon, Cary, and Dina, whose assistance was invaluable in constructing this series. Thanks also to the guys at the Machine of Death for the inspiration.

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