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IT’S ALL BEEN DONE BEFORE by Jonathan Danielson

or
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROSPECTOR RABBIT

I

In New York, Philip Wiseman was sitting down to his typewriter.

You probably know Wiseman as the author of A Life Worth Living, the #1 best-selling book over the last two weeks. You must’ve heard of him, because he was on all the television talk shows explaining how his book changed the life of every woman who bought it. They even say the translated version brought peace to the warring nations of the Congo.

Yeah, that Wiseman.

He had just put on his smoking jacket and was sitting down for a long night of writing and rewriting. Of thinking and rethinking. It was just past midnight, because he liked to work late, and he was about to begin his next great masterpiece.

Then it hit.

* * *

It was a little after six-in-the-morning in Berlin, and fourteen-year-old Anja Millowitsch was awake under her covers, scribbling inside her journal.

You might’ve seen Anja on television a few weeks earlier when she won the U.N. sponsored poetry contest for primary students. Literary scholars and the German Chancellor credited Anja’s poetry for birthing a new sense of German pride and patriotism not seen in some seventy-odd years. It’s even said that because of her poetry, more people worldwide had enrolled in German-language courses at their local community colleges than ever before.

Yeah, that Anja.

It was early in the morning and she could barely sleep, still writing in her diary about last night when she got high and played “just the tip” with her seventeen-year-old boyfriend.

And then it hit.

* * *

It was just past ten in Mumbai, and Bollywood screenwriter Bal Bhatia sat at a cafe near his apartment, typing on his laptop.

You may know Bhatia from his box office hits in India and Southeast Asia. Just last week, his most recent four-hour, Gangster-Comedy-Epic-Romance, with five musical dance numbers and seven death-defying stunts, opened region-wide to critical and commercial success. Those in The Business even whispered that this one might actually be Bhatia’s big break in The States.

Yeah, that Bhatia.

He took a sip of tea and was about to start his next blockbuster, but then it hit him too.

It hit magazines and newspapers around the world which, for weeks and months prior, had printed fewer and fewer pages until none went to print that day at all. It hit television stations which, for years, played fewer and fewer new shows until prime time was nothing more than reruns. Family discussions around the dinner table had become so infrequent it was almost unnoticed when everyone finally fell silent. Blogging ceased. Tweeting stopped.

It finally happened.

II

In the corner of her West Hollywood Asian diner, Bae Kyung-wha stared up at the television, her mouth slightly open in boredom. She stood next to one of her tables where men in halter-tops and short-shorts lounged, a water pitcher in hand, her ankles swollen from the eleventh hour of a double shift beneath her. Her daughter did her tenth-grade geometry homework at the register near the door. Her husband wok-fried an order in the kitchen. The cable news program on the television cut to another story.

In what’s being called the ‘End of Tales,’ a mysterious worldwide writer’s block has crippled world markets—” reported anchor Brock Davisis. After all the major events Davisis had covered during his long career, he was widely regarded as the most trusted name in news. “Any doodle,” he continued. “The crash is a huge bummer to my portfolio—”

“What happened to other news lady?” Kyung-wha asked no one in particular. “I like her better.”

“That was because she was Korean,” her daughter said, not looking up from her obtuse triangles and Pythagorean theorems. Flames came from the kitchen.

“Yeah, she was more honest.” Kyung-wha said. She refilled water glasses. “What you think, Mr. Movie-Star?”

Alone in a booth at the other end of the diner, Mr. Movie Star was mid-bite of his Pad Thai noodles. His chopsticks hovered near his open mouth. Steam misted his nose.

“I—” he said, feeling Kyung-wha’s eyes lower from the television to him. He tried to quickly think of an answer Kyung-wha would approve of. “Think they’re—” her eyes narrowed behind her glasses. “—both honest?” he said.

Kyung-wha didn’t blink. Her eyes didn’t flicker. Across the room, her daughter looked up from her studies. In the ticket window, Kyung-wha’s husband peered out, a steaming Lo-Mein beside him (actually, he had just put the Lo-Mein in the window and was trying to count how many customers were in his restaurant. Otherwise, he didn’t know what was going on).

—so that’s about all the stories I got tonight. This is Brock Davisis, peace out.

“What do movie stars know anyway?” Kyung-wha said, shaking her head. She turned to the next booth where high-school kids reclined. Her daughter giggled and went back to finding the degree of missing angle C.

Alone in his booth, Mr. Movie-Star stirred his Pad Thai noodles. He wasn’t actually a movie star, but was the most successful actor out of everyone in his acting workshops because he had starred in a nationally airing commercial for a popular prescription drug and could afford his own studio apartment without any roommates. And his name wasn’t Mr. Movie-Star, but Jack.

But fame haunted Jack wherever he went. People were always quick to recognize him and point him out to their friends. People never understood that Jack in real life and the character he played on TV weren’t the same person. That he was just an actor playing a part.

“Look Mr. Movie-Star,” Kyung-wha yelled out. “You on TV again!”

On the television, the news ended and was replaced by a black-and-white tropical beach. There was Jack, his shaggy blond hair bouncing as he ran along the shore, his Hawaiian shirt unbuttoned to reveal fine chest hairs sewn down his stomach. A pretty girl ran beside him, laughing as they fell through crashing waves.

Kyung-wha stood in the middle of the dining room with her finger aimed at the television, a little laugh raising her heavy chest. Her daughter put her pencil down, and watched from the register. In the ticket window, Kyung-wha’s husband peered out, a steaming mango chicken beside him (Actually, he just put the mango chicken in the window. He still didn’t know what was going on). Even the guys in short-shorts and high-school kids stopped to watch.

There was Jack on television, sailing a catamaran in the Caribbean. Riding a scooter through a jungle. Dancing with native tribesmen.

And there was Jack in the restaurant, his steaming Pad Thai before him. His body slipping lower in the booth and further under the table.

Then the Jack on television, the pretty girl wrapped around his back as waves crashed in the distance, turned to the camera and smiled. Shaking his head to get the water out of his hair, he proudly stated the company’s slogan, that slogan everyone quoted when they stopped him on the street. That slogan no one seemed to forget.

My life’s great,” he said. “Even though I have genital herpes.”

* * *

“Oh,” Misty said the next morning as she opened the front door of her new husband’s Sherman Oaks bungalow. “Hey, Jack.”

Jack hated it when she said his name like that. Ever since the divorce, it was always with that tone. That way of saying things like she knew something about him no one else did. She was an actress once. It wasn’t like he thought her real name was Misty when they met.

“Hailey!” Misty called out, leaving the door open for Jack to follow. “Jack’s here!”

He also hated it when she called him Jack to their daughter, as well.

Jack met Misty ten years earlier when they landed a commercial gig for a car dealership in Burbank. That night they did lines of coke and had sex in the bathroom of the bar they went to after the shoot. A few weeks and a urine-covered plus sign later, they ate their wedding dinner at a Laughlin buffet.

Then Hailey was born. Then Misty started sleeping with Steve.

“Hey, Jacko,” Steve said, walking out of the kitchen with a towel over his shoulder. His one hand was out and ready for a shake while his other held a sushi rice-roller, as if he was too busy to put it down before leaving the kitchen. “How goes the herpe thing?”

Steve was actually screenwriter-director-producer Steven Grubstein. You might know him as the creator of the Death Commando series 1-through-4 and also 6. They say the movies have the highest body count of any action series ever made, and that the dubbed, exported versions actually scared a certain Middle Eastern rogue nation from further aggressions toward the United States.

Yeah, that Grubstein.

“Oh, you know,” Jack said, crossing his arms to look uncomfortably confident. Over Steve’s shoulder, Jack saw the red hair of his little Hailey in the other room, cross-legged on the tiled floor and flipping through channels. The TV before her was huge, with every channel playing a rerun of a show already aired, or a cable news network reporting the same story every other cable news network reported. Hailey stopped on the face of Brock Davisis.

—so now the U.N.’s getting a bunch of leaders and writers and crap to hold a special security summit over this financial crisis that’s digging a huge hole in my retirement—”

“It’s going,” Jack said to Steve.

“Good to hear,” Steve said, relishing the sound of his voice. “Ever since this whole ‘writer’s block thing,’ it’s been tough for us ‘creative folk’ in the biz, if you know what I mean.”

“Uh huh,” Jack said like he was listening.

—but because so many are expected to attend, the U.N. building in New York isn’t big enough, so they’re doing it at the Estadio Azteca soccer arena in Mexico City instead, which is right around the corner from this great brothel we used to go to back in the early ’90s—”

“I mean, I was always writing fresh stuff, you know,” Steve said. “Not like a lot of other jokers in this town, but who’d a thunk Wall Street and every other market plummeting like it did? I mean—”

“Hey Misty!” Jack yelled. “Can we get her ready to go or something?”

Misty came into the room and picked their daughter up from under her arms. “Come on,” she said. “Jack’s getting impatient.” She took the controller from Hailey’s little hands. “I wonder what happened to that other reporter,” she said, turning off the smiling face of Brock Davisis. “She was so much more honest.”

* * *

Every other Friday was Jack’s day with Hailey, so every other Friday they went to the library, not because Jack valued his daughter’s education, but because it was free. Once there, Jack would tell Hailey to run off and find something to borrow, and while she was gone, he would use the internet to play online poker with his royalty check until she was ready.

After the library, he’d take her to the park to feed the ducks a loaf of white bread. Hailey would hand her father the first piece out of the bag, and when she wasn’t looking, Jack would check out all the women who rollerbladed by, none of whom ever looked his way.

“You haven’t thrown yours yet,” she would say after a while, after she meticulously broke apart the entire loaf and fed each bird separately. Realizing the slice was still in his hand, he would just toss it into the flock.

“Relax, squirt,” he would tell her. “They like fighting over it.”

At night they played Candy Land because Jack hadn’t bought a new game since his mother gave him his old board when Hailey was born. While he watched whatever was on the basic channels he got, Hailey would keep reminding him to take his card, until he would finally tell her to just pull a card for him and to move his piece will she was at it. “Thanks, sport,” he would say.

Jack loved his daughter, and loved the days she came over, but he still couldn’t figure out why she wanted to. Her mother always reminded her there wasn’t anything in the custody agreement that said she had to stay the night, but she always insisted. She always wanted to stay in Jack’s West Hollywood studio when she could’ve stayed in her own bed in her stepdad’s house with video games and satellite and internet. Jack knew that his daughter was smart, that she never got anything less than A on her report cards. On the days she came over, he wondered. Misty had a nice little bungalow in the nice part of town. Jack had a futon and cockroaches. Jack may have starred in a nationally airing commercial which allowed him to afford his own apartment without any roommates, but that was all it allowed him to afford, and Jack hadn’t landed another gig in months. Apparently, once in a commercial for a drug manufactured for the treatment of genital herpes, only in a commercial for a drug manufactured for the treatment of genital herpes.

“Aren’t you a little old for that?” Jack asked in his apartment, after Hailey pulled a picture book from the library bag and headed to the futon. Jack opened the refrigerator and pulled out a beer for himself and a soda for her. “I mean, aren’t you too advanced to be reading crap like that now?”

“I’m not too old, Jack,” Hailey said, plopping on her father’s futon. Halfway in the refrigerator, Jack paused.

“What was that?” he said.

“I said I’m not too old.”

“Right,” Jack said. “Before that.”

“Which part?”

“The Jack part.”

“Mom told me from now on to call you, Jack, and Steve, Dad.”

Jack put the soda back in the fridge. “That’s interesting,” he said. “And you always listen to what your mother tells you?”

Hailey didn’t respond. She didn’t look up. She just stared at her book.

“Well,” Jack said, heading over to her. “I don’t care what your mother’s says, I’m—”

“What are herpes?” Hailey asked, right as her father plopped beside her. “And how come Steve keeps saying you have them?”

Jack held his beer so long it started to hurt his hand with how cold it was.

“How about you just keep calling me Jack, and we forget that last question?”

Hailey went back to reading while Jack twisted open his beer and hit the power button on the remote. The only thing on were soap operas for thirty-somethings, about cheating wives and troublesome children and problems with work. Or melodramas for tweens about the struggles with school and parents and divorce. Jack turned the television off.

The rest of the night was quiet. Like always, Jack picked up Pad Thai for dinner. They played Candy Land, only this time without saying a word. When it was time for bed, Jack let Hailey sleep on his futon and he took the floor.

And like always, Hailey asked him to read her a bedtime story. She picked the book and Jack read, not thinking how she was almost eleven and how none of her friends were still read to anymore. How her mom or Steve didn’t read to her either. And he was still too pissed about the whole Jack thing to realize he was reading that stupid picture book from library.

Like always, Jack just read.

The book was the colorful Prospector Rabbit, with a pink bunny sporting an old-timey hat, overalls, and a pickaxe on the cover. Inside were brightly painted pictures and a moral on self-reliance, saving your pennies, and doing the right thing, in words no longer than a syllable or two. It was one of those books, Jack figured, that if people read when they were older than three, it was because they were learning English or a retard.

But when Jack finished and calmed down, he noticed something familiar. Like déjà vu almost. Like he had seen Prospector Rabbit before.

“Didn’t I read this last time you were here?” he asked, closing the book to look the cover. “Wait, don’t I always read this when you’re over?”

Hailey buried herself deeper under the blankets. She was already asleep.

* * *

World leaders, writers, and a bunch of foreigners are gathering at the Estadio Azteca soccer stadium in Mexico City—” reported Brock Davisis, later the next night.

Staring at the TV in the corner of her Asian diner, Kyung-wha leaned against a table where a pretty woman ate a peanut-chicken salad. Kyung-wha’s daughter did her Social Studies homework at the register. Her husband wok-fried the next order in the kitchen.

“This shit is crazy,” Kyung-wha said to no one but herself. She refilled the woman’s glass. “What you think, herpe-boy?” She laughed and repeated the nickname.

Alone in his booth, Jack was mid-sip of his diet cola. He paused with the glass still tipped to his mouth. An ice cube hit him in the nose.

“Um,” he said, putting down the glass and meeting Kyung-wha’s unwavering stare. What was the point? “Yes, I think this shit is pretty crazy.”

Kyung-wha didn’t blink. She didn’t move.

“—we’ll tune into the summit in just a minute—”

“Why I even bother?” Kyung-wha said, shaking her head and turning to the next table. Her daughter giggled. Her husband didn’t know what was going on.

As she left, Jack twirled his Pad Thai noodles with his chopsticks. He couldn’t stop thinking about the night before and that stupid book that his daughter was too smart to be read to. And, he wondered, had he only just realized he always read it to her every other Friday, when it was her day to come over?

“I thought you looked familiar,” the pretty woman said from across her table. “I didn’t get it until the lady called you—” she paused. “Well, you were in that commercial, right?”

“Huh?” Jack said. The woman smiled. “I don’t have herpes,” he said, and added: “And I’m not saying the slogan.” He went back to twirling his noodles and thinking. Thinking about Hailey. About Prospector Rabbit. About why she always wanted it read and about the pretty woman who sat only a few feet away who had actually smiled at him, when no woman smiled at him. When he looked back, his opportunity was already gone as the woman was again watching the TV and eating her salad.

There was something about her, Jack decided as he watched her. Something trustworthy. Honest even. He squinted slightly. He peered. “Ya know,” he said. “Have we…?”

“I was on TV once too,” she said. She put her hand to her mouth to hide her chewing. “But not anymore. I know how you feel.” She went back to her salad, and the more Jack watched her eat, the more he decided she wasn’t just pretty but beautiful, and he couldn’t figure out why. She was a maybe a little older than he was so, Jack thought, strike one. She had straight black hair that stopped at her jaw, an attempt to hide the shallow acne scars of youth. Strike two. Her mouth, as she forked in lettuce and celery, curled at the ends, but when she chewed, her eyes closed a bit, and her faint crow’s-feet deepened. She looked like a normal, everyday person. In Los Angeles. A big ole strike three, but Jack noticed she also had nice boobs too.

“Incredible, isn’t it?” she said, chewing.

“Absolutely,” Jack said.

“This writer’s block thing,” she said. “Unbelievable.”

“Oh,” Jack said. “Right.”

Jack took a sip of diet soda and, like the pretty woman, Kyung-wha, and the other customers, turned to the television. The honest smile of Brock Davisis filled the screen. He gave a giant yawn.

We’ll take you inside the U.N. security meeting where Secretary General, Omarr Koffman, is talking.

The screen flipped from Davisis to an aerial shot of the soccer stadium, a hundred-thousand filling its every inch.

Ladies, Gentlemen, world leaders, authors, artists, those in related fields.” The TV cut to an elderly gentlemen, his salt-and-pepper beard stopping just shy of where his hair should be. He stood at the podium in the center of the field. Underneath his image the name “Omarr Koffman, General Secretary” was written. “Welcome.”

The stadium exploded in abrupt, hurried applause. The screen cut to the faces of different world leaders and writers. The recently reelected President of Korea. The Chancellor of Germany. Philip Wiseman in his smoking jacket.

The crowd fell silent.

As you all know,” Secretary General Koffman continued. “A pandemic has struck our world. For years, storytellers have complained about the difficulty of discovering new and interesting stories worth telling. Now, as of three days ago, something has happened so no one here, or anywhere for that matter, can think of anything new that hasn’t already been done. Because of mankind’s reliance on stories for recreational, spiritual and informative purposes, the world’s economy is on the verge of collapse, and society as we know it is crumbling.

No one moved. No one spoke. Everyone listened.

So, tonight,” General Secretary Koffman said. “We’ve gathered here, tonight, to assess what has happened, and determine what can be done to undo it.”

In a wave of uproarish thunder, everyone in the stadium began shouting their ideas, concerns, recommendations, and reasons why the writer’s block occurred. Near the top row of the upper level, Bal Bhatia stood on the back of his chair, his arms waving with every word he screamed.

Everything’s already been done!” he shrieked. “It’s already happened!”

General Secretary Koffman tried to tame the angry horde, where leaders of the free and not-so-free worlds fist fought with book club authors. Librarians and comic book artists sucker-punched diplomats and publishing agents. Anja Millowitsch sat in the twenty-sixth row of the lower level, rocking in her seat while she silently sobbed.

Then one tiny voice, which resonated louder than the crowd, spoke.

Secretary General,” the tiny voice said. “Secretary General, I believe I may have a suggestion.

Like the monstrous bellow of God, the voice silenced the stadium. Near the midfield line, a petite man in a brown suit and yellow tie stood, his hand raised like a school child’s.

Secretary General,” the man said. He hopped over the divide between grass and seats and walked across the lonely field. “I am Master Mason, Xavier De Parre,” the man said. He took the Secretary General’s place at the podium and adjusted the microphone. “And I believe I have an explanation.”

The crowd was so hushed, those in the upper rows heard the people on the streets wave down taxis in Spanish.

For years it’s been believed that the Freemasons have had our fingers spread throughout all institutions, governments and religions,” De Parre said in the microphone. “This is not true. The Freemasons are not a secret society, but rather a society with secrets. Trivial secrets though, like the descending heritage of Christ, and the true identities of the Kennedys’ assassins.”

In the crowd, the leaders of Cuba slouched a bit. So did the Russians. So did the Mob. So did everyone else.

But one of those secrets,” De Parre continued. “Is one that greatly concerns us today.”

De Parre paused for a moment and took a sip of the Secretary General’s water. He let it swirl in his mouth before swallowing.

The world’s writers have not been infected by a writer’s block, but instead, as a civilization fastly approaching ten-thousand years of age, we have run out of stories to tell. Simply put, from cave wall paintings, to the Bible and porno films, every story that could ever be told has finally been told.”

The subdued silence deepened in the stadium.

But we offer a solution,” De Parre continued. “For years the Masonry has been aware of this upcoming dilemma, and for years we have prolonged it by instituting remakes of old television shows and reality TV. Yet, however, we knew one day this crisis could no longer be postponed, and therefore we have developed a plan.”

Again, De Parre took a sip of water.

Every book and every movie, every poem, internet site, newspaper, every video game, advertisement, print and screen, every home movie and comic book, anything which in any which way could ever possibly fathom the notion of a story in any way…”

He straightened his tie. He wiped his brow.

Must be destroyed.”

III

The restaurant stood silent as everyone focused on the TV. Kyung-wha blinked, then went back to refilling the glasses of her patrons, who were already back to the conversations they were having before the broadcast.

“Oh my God,” the pretty woman said.

On the television, De Parre continued speaking.

We, the Freemasons, have created a plan by which all material will be seized. Upon its destruction, a period of ‘dormant transition’ will occur, in which no story shall be written or told, in order to allow civilization’s attention to relocate and—”

“‘Dormant transition?’” Philip Wiseman shouted. He stood from his seat. “You mean time for everybody to forget, right? And how long will that take? Decades? A millennium?

The crowd turned from Wiseman back to De Parre.

Two weeks,” De Parre said. “We have calculated that two weeks should be more than sufficient time for everyone to ‘forget.’ All in favor?

A brief pause prefaced a resounding “Yea.”

“I can’t believe this,” the pretty woman across from Jack said, her voice quivering. “Can you believe this?”

Now, despite reading a few books in high school, Jack was not a big literary type. In fact, the U.N.’s decision to destroy every story the world had ever created hadn’t really upset Jack all that much. It’s not as if the decision happened too quickly and Jack hadn’t enough time to truly think it over. The fact was every time Jack went to the movies, or watched TV, or read, which he didn’t, but if he did, he felt he had already heard the story before. That everything was old. That it had all been done before.

Furthermore, Jack was an actor and depended on other people to write so he could hopefully work. With a worldwide writer’s block no one was writing anything. His livelihood was at stake. That, and everyone thought he had herpes. Which he didn’t.

“What’s the problem?” Jack asked.

The pretty woman didn’t blink. She didn’t move.

“You’re an idiot,” she said. She stood and threw her napkin on her plate. “You’re all idiots.” And then she stormed out.

Now, technically, Jack didn’t like to be called an idiot by anyone either, but especially by someone with black hair and curling lips and nice boobs who had smiled at him. Especially when no one ever smiled at him anymore because everyone thought he had herpes. Especially since he didn’t.

“Whoa, whoa, wait a second,” Jack said, catching up to the woman in the parking lot.

“Get away from me,” she yelled and wiped away tears.

“Wait,” Jack said, putting his hands up in a weak defense. “I don’t understand.”

“Because you’re an idiot,” she said. She unlocked her car and opened the door. “You’re all idiots.” She got in and stared at him, almost sizing him up. “What’s your name?” she asked.

“Jack,” Jack said.

“Well, Mr. Jack, Mr. Movie-Star Jack, is Jack even your real name?”

Jack fumbled his words as he searched for an answer.

“I didn’t think so. Why? Because you’re all fake. And not you, or anyone in there,” she pointed to the diner, “or in Mexico, or anywhere else realizes it. But you’re all fake and you all have fake names.” She slammed her door and, wiping away tears, started her car.

“I don’t even know you,” Jack said as the pretty woman backed out and almost knocked into a group of men in halter-tops and short-shorts walking across the parking lot.

“Then don’t worry about it, Jack,” she said as she lowered her car window. “But think about all the stories you’ve had in your life. Think about how they made you feel. Think about that, and then throw it all away. Think about that, or you’re too stupid to care.”

In the empty parking lot, Jack thought about the commercial. About Hailey. About Prospector Rabbit, and about the honest woman who had smiled at him, and who now drove away.

And then it hit.

“Eugene,” Jack yelled as the car pulled up to the street. The pretty woman stopped her car with a jerk.

“What?” she yelled back, sticking her head out the window.

“My name’s Eugene,” he said, and then walked back inside to finish his Pad Thai.

* * *

Not the next Friday, but the Friday after that was Jack’s day with Hailey. They couldn’t go to the library this time, not since the Marines burned it down two weeks earlier. They couldn’t see a movie, even if he could afford it, because the theaters were all boarded up and closed. The museums were all vacated because the paintings were shredded. The statues were jackhammered. The internet was down. Television was static. Barely anyone showed up to their places of work, lest they have a single experience to create a memory of a past experience, which created a memory of an experience from further past.

Instead, Jack and Hailey went to the park and fed the ducks. For dinner, Jack picked up Pad Thai. He let Hailey sleep on his futon and he took the floor, only this time, instead of waiting for a bedtime story, Hailey just said good night and rolled over.

Jack stepped over to his dresser and opened the drawer. The last time Hailey was over, he drove her home in silence. She mumbled “Bye, Jack” at Steve’s bungalow and walked inside, her mother quickly closing the door after her. On his way home, Jack stopped at the library to drop everything off that she checked out.

And on his way back to his apartment, two weeks earlier, Jack couldn’t stop thinking about the night before. He couldn’t figure out what was so important about that stupid little book and why Hailey always checked it out and made him read it to her every time she was over. So maybe he intentionally left it, to figure it out, or maybe it legitimately slipped his mind, but two weeks earlier, after dropping off his daughter and stopping by the library, as he drove back to his apartment, he glanced over and saw it on the passenger seat where Hailey had sat only minutes before.

Jack pulled Prospector Rabbit from his dresser and went to his daughter on his futon.

Just like always.

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AUTHOR BIO:

I received my MFA from the University of San Francisco in 2012. My work has been named a Top 25 Finalist for Glimmer Train’s “Family First” contest (2012), and published in The Saturday Evening Post, The Southern California Review, Able Muse Press, The Rambler, Fast Forward Press, and The Feathertale Review.

Previously, I was an editorial intern at Flatmancrooked literary magazine and Kimberley Cameron & Associates literary agency. I was also an assistant editor at Nouvella, a small press book publisher. I am currently a writing coach for She Writes Press.

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WHY WE CHOSE TO PUBLISH “It’s All Been Done Before”

Jonathan Danielson has given us a rich story with more layers, plot elements, quirky characters, and brilliant satire than we would have thought possible to pack into a single short story of this modest length. Yet he pulls it off with remarkable finesse, humor, and the perfect–highly significant–ending. And who would have expected that, for once, the Freemasons would be cast as the (sort of) good guys?

Well done, Jonathan. You’ve given us a wonderful and significant story that we’re going remember and be talking about for a long time to come.