As the balloon lifts

Emma Collins

I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I can’t stop this thing!

I’ll miss you, Luna! Do be good to your backers. Press yourself to tell new stories every day! Don’t resort to custom nudes. They’re against the terms of service, anyway.

Goodbye, Chank! Always remember, you’re better than the commenters say you are—even if not by much!

Farewell, Lily! I pray that James comes to terms with your new swingers’ lifestyle. It’s the right choice for you! It’s the right choice for yoooouuuuuu!

Oh, Will! You keep being your sweet self! Tell that possessive bitch that your Internet friends have been telling you to dump her ass for years, and that if it’s us or her, you choose us! You do, don’t you? Oh, please say you do!

LucyG00se! Oh, G00sey! I know things haven’t always been easy between us. We never could decide whether Daneel or Giskard would be on top, but darling, Earth had room enough for both of us, and now it doesn’t have to! Please let’s bury the hatchet! And yes, yes, oh, yes, that is a euphemism, my love!

Clay…sweet Clay! I’ll never forget when we met IRL and we spent all night together, watching other people’s lava lamps and talking about our hopes and dreams. We knew by sunrise, I think, that you would become my next publisher—and my most successful one at that! If it hadn’t been for the New Heidi Chronicles, why, I don’t think I’d be here, flying away from you at a ten miles a second! Oh, the irony! Little Longstocking is weeping into her braids, and I’m weeping into a vacuum!

Goodbye, Baroness. I feel I can hardly see you any more, we’re getting so high up. Can you hear me? Can you trust that I love you? I know you’re there, and I know you—know you better than any of the beings who surround you, down there on the dirty blue planet. You’ve let me in, and I hope that distance won’t change our relationship. I’m only now understanding that somehow, I always thought we’d come together in some room somewhere—come together and hug, maybe even spoon. I fear that the removal of that possibility will change things, and I don’t know why. We’ve never needed that before. Talk to me, my lady. I’ll be listening.

Maggie! Send dick pics! No one draws Coriander’s throbbing member with such precise, affectionate detail as you, Mags. Without you, I feel, he wouldn’t really have a penis at all—and then what would Brussels do? He’d be bereft, simply bereft.

All of you—goodbye, goodbye! I don’t know how to work this thing, and can only hope it catches a fair wind! I’m carrying all of you with me in my pocket, and I’ve already wept over that pocket. Look for me in the places you’ve always found me, and I promise, I promise, I will be there. I’m here for all the world, but I’m there for you. Please come to see me, and when I knock, please let me in. I need you all now, more than ever.

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