Karen Long, first, poked her bookediting head into the creaking carriage and, entering deftly, seated herself. Mr. Litblogger, disheveled and unnamed, stepped in after her, curving his metacarpals with care.

– Come on, Litblogger.

– After you, Mr. Litblogger said.

Mr. Reader covered himself from the spume and venom and got in, saying:

– I like to read.

– I know but isn’t Mr. Litblogger gleeful? Karen Long asked. Come along, Reader. I promise long-term.

Mr. Reader entered and sat in the vacant place, all printed and blogged for his perusal. He flipped the laptop open and fired wi-fi to find offerings and, seeing nary a difference, looked seriously from the open carriage window at the lowered blinds reminding him of divide between Long and Litblogger. Outside another reader aside: an old woman weeping. Books section flattened, no winners. Thanking her stars she was passed over. Extraordinary the interest they take in a needless corpse when there was time for resurgent vivacity.

– Gleeful how? asked Mr. Litblogger. Examples?

– Never you mind, said Long.

– I like to read.

Mr. Reader saw fists fly between Litblogger and Long and, having not anticipated violence, asked the carriage to stop. Reader wanted book recs, not strings of resentment.

– You two duke it out, said Reader. I’ll travel elsewhere.


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