The Death of the Enigmatic Author by David Gill
The enigmatic author died with his life in chaos.
The author was known for stories that everybody thought were “crazy.”
Spouses and heirs positioned themselves to claim their stake.
The author’s papers were moved.
The author’s papers were moved again.
In the author’s papers a set of binders was discovered.
When scholars finally found these binders (which were in a box with old cans of snuff and Ovaltine containers) they were astounded.
Each binder was dedicated to one of the author’s celebrated works, and, when read, revealed that each of these great works of surrealism grew weirder by accretion, like the rings of tree.
In these binders a simple story began, and then gradually and with each retelling, the weirdness grew: unexplained breakdowns in reality, people who turned out to be androids or aliens, or androids who had been programmed to believe they were aliens, or people who suffered from debilitating delusions that they were, in fact, androids or aliens.
As word of the binders spread, interest in the author’s work increased.
The scholars kept studying, tracking the versions, measuring the increase in eldritch with each retelling. A pattern was found in which the weirdness increased at a rate that matched, almost perfectly, the Fibonacci sequence. Many academic awards were bestowed on the head of the team of scholars who made the discovery.
Fame and fortune followed.
And then gradually and inexplicably the head of the team of scholars began to change, scratching at the metal under his skin. And the question he could not answer, which he asked himself again and again, was how the story could go on if the enigmatic author was dead.