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follow the stem (drawing by lurm)

everyone’s here, lightyears apart, immersed in the murky black.

reach around until you find a stem.

it might take a long, long time, but don’t stop searching for it. it’s the only thing you have in here.

once you touch it, grab it. then start cleaning it off.

wad the black mud up and push it to the sides.

hollow out a space along it where you can breathe.

follow the stem up or down. keep pulling off the slimy silt.

it doesn’t matter which direction you choose.

both ways go on forever.