Previously in this series: How to tell if you’re in a Dorothy Parker story.
You are in a library that may not exist. You are having a terrible time.
It is unclear whether you have been writing the story, or the story has been writing you.
You visit the south of Argentina, where something terrible happens to you.
You are standing inside a sphere. Its center is everywhere and its circumference is nowhere. You are terrified.
Everyone around you is being murdered in a perfect Kabbalistic pattern.
A Scottish man sells you a book that ruins your life.
A red-haired woman tells you that you have always been a dead man.
You are lost in the desert. Your map is the desert itself.
You may have committed a murder. You’re not sure.
Everywhere you look, you see a sinister equilateral triangle.
A train conductor is rude to you, who was once a king in Babylon.
You are dreaming. You have never existed. You are being born. You are a thinly veiled version of Borges himself, and you have been dying for a thousand years.
A gaucho with a knife is laughing at you. There is blood on your saddle, but you have been in a hospital for the last four days. There is no saddle. Now it is you who is holding the knife, and no one is laughing.
You are standing in the middle of an empty city that is also the corpse of a tiger. There is one company in the entire world, and it does not exist, but it is watching you.
You may be a man, but then again you may be a mathematical thought experiment; it’s difficult to tell.
You die in a labyrinth.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.