An essay by an anonymous witness, as provided by Liam Hogan
Art by Scarlett O’Hairdye

I lost the man I loved.

I threw myself into my work, knowing I would get over him.

I was wrong.


My life was a pale shadow, the only hints of brightness my memories of him, of us. Time … passed. What else had it to do?


I thought my only chance of happiness was gone. Then I heard about a Scientist who could do wonderful things, impossible things. It was said he could bring back those who were lost, merely from their letters.

And I had a whole shoebox full of those.

Art for "X X"

The machine hummed and buzzed. He’d carefully selected one of the letters–one not crinkled and splotched by my tears, one where my love’s bold signature did not cramp out the addition of those two precious Xs. I stood against the wall, lined up with millimetre precision at the pointy end of something that would have looked at home in a Flash Gordon episode, as the Scientist fussed and tweaked.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2017 collection.

Dr. Stephen Bailey graduated in Physics and Philosophy at Oxford University, receiving his PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology for his thesis: “We’re all Equals: A treatise on symbolic logic within the Physics community.” Head hunted by the computer games company GlobalVision, he pioneered a move towards more realistic game play. While Sim-Office was a failure as a video game, it proved a remarkable commercial success as a remote working tool. GlobalVision was acquired by Google in 2012, allowing Dr. Bailey to fund his own research projects. Voted most eligible Scientific Bachelor, 2016.

This unverified account of the events leading up to the Valentine’s Day 2017 Phenomenon was reported to writer Liam Hogan, of http://happyendingnotguaranteed.blogspot.co.uk/, by a source who wishes to remain anonymous. It appeared first in 52Loves.

Scarlett O’Hairdye is a burlesque performer, producer and artist. To learn more, visit her site at www.scarlettohairdye.com.

“X X” is © 2015 Liam Hogan
Art accompanying story is © 2017 Scarlett O’Hairdye

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