Neil Setten

 by John Mizerek


Son of Louis Setten, billionaire.  Microchipped.  As Edgar Leek’s phone was found on the Chugach.  They pieced everything together.  It was either Neil or it was him.  The Bank had the black star on the side of the building but he never went right in.  All the money in the world.  Radiohead was playing.  She was really beautiful.  New York.  One of the Greeks must have written about inborne aesthetics.

How tall are you?

6,6 and 8/12ths which is 666 point 666.

He died on the mountain.  I still have my bag.  It was on his back.



The sun was rising over the river to the southeast, bright, despite September.

They’ve got us all on the cctv.  I was in one of the offices, all networked.  Neil was talking to him but not really looking at him, looking over his head towards the water and the sun’s reflection.  Buses.  Work.  Cell towers.  They pick up your image and your voice.  The satellites can listen in on you.  No shit.  He smiled and his eyes betrayed the fever he had had.

John Isgro didn’t want to hear.  Weed and sleep and be part of the street kid corner of the world away from all the shit.



That was until the day Neil walked out of the back of the bank and took a huge wad of cash from his jacket, smiled and waved it toward John, as if waving a wand.  Spell cast.  Enthralled.

Problems solved, pagan, Neil said to John, and put the cash away slowly.  You have to control your appetites Isgro.  He looked at the top of John’s head as they walked down the street.



But your dad thinks something happened on the mountain.  It was later by the river, they were eating Chinese food and staring at the seagulls taking off over the water to the west.  He was the proginator of your dad’s rival.

Primogeniture.  Neil took a shot of gin – the beer and gin always felt the best in the morning – and passed it to John.  John lit a joint and kept it to himself.


Neil had been up all night reading.  He wanted to share.  Check this out John:

Of all the things which bind, certainly more of them bind humans than brute animals, and more of them bind those who have an active character than those who are dull witted; those who are well endowed in their faculties and powers are aware of more details, circumstances and purposes, and thus, they are moved by more desires.”

What the hell is that?

Philosophy of Magic.

Where’d you get it?

One of those give and take kiosks.  I’ve heard of the guy before, 1500s.  Interesting stuff.  Just like modern media.  Manipulate the shit out of everyone, especially your loved ones, the closest ones to you.  You see you can be a good philosopher and have no morals, be a real piece of shit.  Or your philosophy can be so good and so pure it actually turns you into a piece of shit, through pure causation which is pure accident, they are the same thing.

John took the bottle from Neil and looked twice at his eyes, Neil’s eyes had a sheen when he started talking this way.


They sat in silence, saw the city to the north, the altocumulus rising towards them and then Neil heard John almost squeal.  He looked south where John was looking, up out of the river rose a massive green bird-lizard with the head of a bull, breathing fire out its nose, with wings that nearly covered the span of the water and the riverbank.  It kept rising, it darkened the sky to the south and was moving north, convulsing towards them.






John Mizerek, originally from Rochester, is a retired computer scientist and now travels to replace the RAM in his head and heart with more open code.