I saw - I think at least a few times now - authors separating sections of a story with
or something similar. What does that mean? Is it an acronym for something, or just some odd artistic liberty?
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I think you hit a utf8 error. I have seen cases where the author will select some fancy character because they want something prettier than a horizontal rule, and because the character is not part of the expected characters for the software tools in the workflow garbage is produced. I could give you the full technical details, but you probably don't care.
Bottom line think of it as a botched horizontal rule, and try not to repeat the mistake.