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In the Cards
written by "Emshwiller, Ed, 1925-1990"
... found out. Still, you know how tactless some people can be. Marge just shook her head and went right on sobbing. "Listen," I said, "I'll bet you're getting all worked up for nothing. Anything—absolutely anything—could happen in the next few weeks. There's probably a perfectly simple explanation for the whole thing." I guess I wasn't very convincing because Marge just stared dumbly at me, tears spilling out of her eyes. "Gerry, would—would you go and look? If it's something harmless, you can come right back and tell me. If it's something awful, I won't ask about it." "No," I said. "That would be just the same as telling you what's going to happen. Besides, I don't want to know." We just sat around the house for the rest of that evening. After Marge had gone to bed, I went down to the basement and smashed both our Bilbo Grundy Time Projectors into little pieces. I'd seen the hopelessness and despair in people who had learned just how and when they would die. Smashing the things wouldn't change the future—I realized that—but I didn't want Marge obeying the impulse to find out. Or myself, for that matter. Shortly after that, the quarreling started in earnest. Marge wouldn't let up on the business of dying, and as well as being scared, I was also sick of hearing about our short and questionable future. Marge was furious with me for destroying her Projector and blamed me constantly for making her suffer by preventing her from looking into the future. "Now we won't know what's going to happen until it's too late!" she shrieked at me. "That's right!" I yelled back. "And that's just the way I want it! What's the use of knowing and worrying in advance if there's no way of doing anything about it?" Then, one night, we had the identical fight that we had watched two years earlier, on our first time trip. Marge, as usual, was crying hysterically about not having long to live and I was sho...

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