On the last day before expiry I walked it back from the brink by anteing up $18 to WordPress. I’m not sure why — mostly it’s ambivalence about what to do next.
But also I’m outraged by the domain name reselling industry. If I let ficticities.com lapse, some reseller might have scooped it up for a buck or two, then offered to sell it back to me for a couple hundred. Most likely resellers rely mostly on sellers’ remorse — people like me who let their domain names lapse and who later, wishing they hadn’t, pay the ransom.
So I’ve gone ahead and re-rented the name, along with WordPress’s hosting service, for another year.