I see you’ve take your settings and gone
and I don’t even know
(where’s the note_
how to change the setting on the cof
place make it
private make it stay make
it not go away and why didn’t you tell me
over i would of not made all those
jjokes or even
made a letter
I see you’ve take your settings and gone
“What dissolute habits…” I muttered into my knapsack.
“You can’t even spell dissolute, first off, second–”
“Ha. First off.”
“You’re a moron,” Vuru slammed the gas pedal and swerved past a crawling
“More like creeping.”
“Listen, I’m having a hard time,” I said. “Don’t you get it?”
“Yeah, I guess so. But look, we’re in the desert. What could beat that?”
I raised my eyebrows and looked out the passenger window. There was so much sludge and debris.
“Can’t we stop for a little wash?”
“No,” Vuru stared straight ahead. “No way.”
“Okaaaay. Don’t know what that’s about but look.” I pointed to the road.
Out the window we saw a bedraggled looking guy.
“Let’s get murdered today.”
When he fell (and literally fell) into the backseat of our van, the conversation took off.
“Where’re you going?”
Vuru fiddled with the dome light (falling apart) and the lighter.
“Hey you guys got a cig?” Murderer called from the backseat.
“I’m Pen. Short for Penelope. But nobody calls me that. I’m just telling you because I’ll probably never see you again.” I said and put down my knapsack.
When I turned around to look at the guy again he shifted his gaze. He had a funny hat. Blue, like a cheap rayon, almost see thru blue, kinda like a top hat but not really. Weird. And his clothes were dingy, yes, but something was off about them.
“Who’s she?” he asked.
“Oh my feisty blondish photo negative? That’s Vuru.” I pulled my hair into a ponytail and turned to wink at her but she missed it. “She’s not nice like I am.”
“Talkative, are you?” Vuru asked.
“Where’s the brassy knob that turns the spike for the wolf. The wolf call?” he asked.
Vuru eyed me and fiddled in the middle compartment. “Just like I thought…” she muttered.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Well hey Sam, how’d’ya do?”
When I reached back to shake his hand he flinched like a hangdog.
“You hungry?” Vuru asked and I noted the exit sign, the usual, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, this time a Red Lobster. In the middle of the desert? I thought. That was unbelievable.
“We’re not technically in the desert you know,” Vuru said.
“I like those cheddar biscuits. Everybody likes those cheddar biscuits. They just won’t admit it.”
I turned around and stared at his hat some more and looked around for his bag. “You mean “yeah” you’re hungry or “yeah” you like the cheddar biscuits too?” I asked.
“Where’s your bag?”
“This is so weird.” Vuru mumbled and jerked the window handle. “So fucking weird.”
I stared at her. “Weirder than last time?”
“What the biscuits?!” Vuru jerked into the next lane. “You want the biscuits or not?”
“Hey, Vuru, calm down man, he’s just getting his stuff together. Hot out here.” I said and tried to guess the look in his eye. “Too much wind?”
I pointed to the rolled down windows but he didn’t answer. Just stared down at the floorboard and then out the window. Then he sat on his hands.
Vuru slammed on the gas again and I watched the speedometer ram up to 70. Kinda high for the van.
“Uh, hey, Vuru. You alright?”
“I want a fucking biscuit,” she edged up to 80. “I wanted one of those fucking biscuits.”
She stared straight ahead.
“We could always turn around. Get off here.”
“What’s a fucking biscuit anyway?” Sam chimed in from the backseat.
Oh god. Wrong time to form a coherent thought.
“Who’s driving?” Vuru slowed down the van.
“Me,” he said.
Vuru peered through the rearview at Sam. “You’re interesting now.”
He stared back at her reflected eyes.
“Why are you here?” she asked, “and don’t give me any of that wolf shit.”
Sam picked up his duffle off the floor. There it is!
“I’m here to save you,” he said.
Vuru laughed until the van crept down to 60 and tears slid down her face.
“Hand me that water bottle,” she said.
“We already used most our rations.” I said and pulled out the card. “We can get more in two days though,” I hitched up my shorts, “Not very long.”
I handed her what was left and glanced back at Sam. I felt kinda bad for him, but not really, just a little.
He had taken off his cheap hat and was stirring it with a stick. Where’d he get that stick from? It was kinda short anyway but pretty thick.
“Magician?” I watched him stir whatever he was stirring slowly. “Nice.”
All I saw was the top of his head but finally he looked up at me dead on. His eyes were the darkest blue I had ever seen, a bad ocean.
“You mean omen.”
“Who said that?”
“In the hat.”
“We don’t like that.”
Vuru slammed on the brake and veered us off to the side.
“Okay. Get out,” she said.
“Yeah…” I chimed in hesitantly. “You’re not fun anymore.”
“Nobody is,” he said.
“Okay, let’s go.”
Vuru slammed the gas and we almost took out a lone Mac.
“Hey Vu take it easy.”
“Hey Pen shut it up.”
“What’s gonna happen now?” I turned back to Sam and looked at the top of his head again since he was staring into that hat. His hair was shiny blonde, kinda like Vuru’s but a little more whitish, almost grey.
He stared into the hat and stirred it. I glanced over at Vuru to make sure she was okay but she didn’t even look angry, smiling even. Not a good sign.
“Hey Vu maybe we can get some Wendy’s up the road…”
Sam leaned over from the middle seat and tapped the stick against the window.
“Everywhere’s a desert,” he said and pointed out the window. “Everywhere’s a desert,” I said and looked out the window.
“Yeah, we know, Murd,” Vuru said. 75.
“No, everywhere’s a desert,” he said.
“Uh, put the stick down Sam.” I said.
“It’s for stirring,” he said and leaned back. “Where’s the knob for the spike? You know it.”
I looked out the window. “Everywhere’s a desert.”
Suddenly Vuru slowed down.
“Rest Stop!” she yelled.
I touched her arm and looked at the lighter.
“Listen Vu, we said no more smoking, right?”
“Right,” she said.
“Everywhere.” I heard from the backseat.
“Everywhere,” I mumbled.
We pulled into the long parking lot.
“What, you gotta pee?” I asked.
She stared straight ahead. “Nope.”
“I’ll be back.”
“You’ll be fine.”
Vuru slammed the driver door and walked quickly to the bathroom.
Sam closed his eyes.
Roger slept on his desk. When he heard the tinkle of his earpiece, he raised his head and kept his eyes closed. He did not need to look at the screen to know who he was, what he was, where. We are all the same.
“We were all the same,” he murmured, half awake.
“Huh? Sorry? I thought I was calling for technical support. ”
“You’re here,” Roger sighed.
“What, you mean technical support?” The woman’s voice was hoarse and loud, and Roger lowered the receiver.
“Am I talking to the tech department or not?” The voice demanded.
“We’re here, we’re the same.” Roger joked, waking up, taking a slug from the thick-slug dispenser labeled COF and grimacing.
“Okay, well, I guess I should tell you how it all started.” I said to the last lady and …
“Stop right there,” Roger played down his screen and pushed a blinking kitten app instead, “Let’s talk about life.”
He heard a silence on the line and enjoyed it.
“Um, I need to fix my shit and tell you about what happened and I do not have much time-”
“Life is funny, is not it?”
“Where’s your supervisor?” I need to talk to someone who can help me.
“We’re here, we’re all the same, we can help.”
“This is not going anywhere, I can not believe it-”
“Tell me who you are.” Roger sighed and adjusted the kitten’s wig, gave him a pompadour.
“I’m a Rebecca, I’ve got a M16, when I’m out with friends I always order spaghetti so nobody will pick it up from my plate, I do not like spaghetti.”
“Well, that’s weird.” Roger cheered up, “Tell me more.”
“The shower, I think, does a lot of things to do in the future than before lunch to pick up the rubbish and a list of things to shop with Wal-Mart and the guy who said La a taxi asked nothing of it. I do not think it’s about body. Just look.”
“Hmm. Tell me more about spaghetti.”
“It reminds me of the worms, I do not like it. I once had a dream where I put myself in a Dorito bag and instead of taking out a chip I got a bat wing and did not look at me so I ate it.”
Roger clicked his time monitor on the screen, the four-minute mark. The management said that for four minutes they should have evaluated the problem and began attempt 1 to resolve.
“Just give me a second, I’m evaluating your problem,” said Roger.
“All right,” said the broken voice.
Roger pulled out his receiver and looked at the screen. He looked at the ticker through the bottom and began to rub his hands over and over the leg of his pants. I did not know why I was doing that. Suddenly he heard the ringing of his e-mail. The small box appeared on his screen as he folded and folded his cuffs.
He closed his eyes but it was a day shift, so the Intoner read it aloud. He heard the agitated and pseudo-soothing voice.
“Hey Roger! It’s me, Sam! How’s the bud going?” He listened down the way you were having a little problem there with techy stuff and ticker hey bud? Can I help you? Need a minute? Quick mud?
“No,” Roger replied. “I’m evaluating.”
“Uh, er, bud well, not what’s on the vid here, uh, how about if you show up in a video chat in say, 6 minutes?”
It seemed a small box on the screen folded and cleaned the fingers’ ends, pants.
She opened her eyes and the box was kept to a minimum. The curly woman blinked a red dot on the screen. He lifted the cat.
The earbud on the desk echoed and heard the tinny woman, crinkly call hi. Roger lifted his yolk.
“I’m back,” he said in the void, “We’re here for you.”
“Well, did you figure out my problem? I’ve been waiting.”
“No, I literally forgot what you said you were. I can not see you, can you watch video?” Roger asked.
“Why, hey, no,” the woman hesitated, “I’m in the bathroom.”
Roger took his bud and got up from his chair. Then he thought about it and replaced his cocoon. He looked around. They were friendly. Everyone in their office had nice flxi-bed chairs and a personal 4/4 inch sink (with a filter) and the black hood to sleep at the time of change.
Roger hated the time for change. They had to be there an extra 6 hours because of the off-shift hours and the production is better with sleep interval. It is true that they had all the technology and entertainment, streams and snacks they could swallow and really did not need to be home since schools had been synchronized but still thought it was a long day.
He went to the long window and looked at the city. They had 40 floors up and he could see the ring fire on the hills. Content.
He saw the filthy coats of all the inhabitants of the sidewalks, while they were an hour, thirty minutes of something. People passed by them. He would, too. Everyone would. “We’re the same,” he murmured to himself and pulled as hard as he could on a pin.
His earpiece rang and the woman’s voice came in. “Hey, it’s me.” You never told me your name. And I can not see you,” she said.
“Oh. I rose from my sheath.”
“Come back”, if a-
He wrinkled loudly.
He started to walk and wondered what the woman would be like, who she was. He thought about sending her a Life filter or Office Chairs Beauty Flexi and 4/4 inches (filter) spaghetti on the way back, but decided not to. It was not funny.
Looking the window again, he saw that all people are a black layer on the road, as long as one hour and twenty minutes. People are above them. And he did. All they want. “We,” he muttered against them, and pulled out a check. He knew he was detained there for six hours, producing better, and if you sleep with each other.
He dropped back into his flxi-back and lowered the semitransparent door. He closed his eyes.
“I forgot his name,” he said.
-Why do you close your eyes? -I ask.
Tell me your name first.
“Rebbe … Stephanie, my name is Stephanie.”
“Right, here we go.”
“And your illness?”
“Well, I was calling for my problem, but then you said …”
“We will put the management in the domestic front of the industry in front of the operations in … Your ailment?”
-Good start. Roger sighed and opened his eyes. A beautiful woman is a box on screen, had mid-forties, robust, comes with all the trimmings. She stirred false compliments.
“I have red hair,” he said.
“I want you”.
He was in a bath with a square towel four decks expertly covered through the most imaginative parts of his body. How demure. Roger wondered how many times he had made this resplendent radiant glow radiant he could not help but divide himself into these four directions and delegate specialists to deal with the, could not prevent the business expectations with, old and life of the extremes of
“Did you like me?” He asked.
“Not really. I do not know you.”
“So, what do we do now?” Roger asked and adjusted his earbud.
Just then, his email repeated again. The box opened to a full frontal blast from Sam in his office, or at least an office backdrop, Roger thought.
Behold, a box full of old Sam explosion father is in your office:
“Hey, it will be necessary to tell you. I know you’re top management um, but they all have certain things …”
And I know Sam.
“Hey Bud, we have to talk. I know you’re top management and all but one, there are some things …”
I already know Sam.
“Oh, great, how do you bump the bell on, say, a 3-minute block?” “I locked you in.” Sam smiled.
“With a real pen?” Roger asked.
“Uh no, why should I listen well? See you later, bud!”
The box cleared and Roger watched Rebecca play a few bubbles. He made the desk Earbud listened, her voice tinny PURSY hello. Dissolved into the box and Roger was Rebecca appeared to play a few bubbles.
Roger has risen again, without damaging the bud.
“I have to go.”
“We see ourselves then focusing on each instance and what it does, how it does what it does, the effect and why.”
“How’s she doing?” Bob sat down on the park bench and clicked in. He saw the waves crash gently against the rocks and a kid waddle across the sand pulling down on his soppy diaper.
When Bob clicked the unit on the roof of his mouth it felt like a present. He loved dialing in with Alfonso and the others. He could hear them now but he didn’t want to lose that wave image, it was nice. So he just listened.
“Not so good man, not so good…” Alfonso chimed in while the others chattered happily in the background. How they could be so happy with so many things to dial in was beyond him. He thought of Wrodrina and all the happy spaces they had made for her in the game. She had an arcade to go to (right down the street!) a park with two swings, a nice two-level condo, 3 cool friends, nice leggings, the food (high quality), even the arcade was straight from the early nineties with all the retro games she liked. Bob sighed.
“Ok, fill me in.” he said.
Alfonso sucked in a bunch of breath. “Man, uh, maybe you should just click all the way in and look at it, I don’t know…”
“No, I’m looking at the shore right now, don’t need to bother, just tell me.” he said.
Alfonso took another deep breath and began, “Okay, so she seemed fine and was writing mediocre poetry and not many tears and everything seemed on the up and up. She went to Fred’s to play guitar last night at, let’s see, oh okay, around 8:40ish p.m. The day before she did her chores, today she was up and at ‘em at the regular time… but then, it’s weird. All of a sudden she just came through the door and fell to the floor… holding her keys and everything and just started like, sobbing or whatever.” Alfonso paused.
“I see. How long was she there?” Bob asked.
“At home? Let’s see… 6 hours-“
“No, how long was she on the floor?” Bob asked and noticed the little grungy kid waddling his way. He tried to break eye contact to discourage him. He looked at the birds.
“Um, let me see, oh here it is- five hours.”
“Yeah, I thought it was pretty excessive.”
“No way, check the record again. Can’t be.” Bob tried making a little fortress around him with the sand but the kid kept coming.
“Oops. I was wrong. Looks like about 30 minutes…”
“That’s not so bad.” Bob kicked sand in the kid’s direction. It landed on his shoe, but he kept coming.
“What is she doing now?” Bob asked.
“Pasta.” Alfonso turned his receiver up a bit and laughed. “Pasta.”
“She’s doing pasta. Sounds interesting…” Bob chuckled.
“Seems she won’t stop eating it now. It’s getting out of hand.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll click in. I have to see this.” Bob thought of the waves and the kid and figured it was the perfect time anyway.
“There. All better.”
He looked around at the scene. There were empty containers and old pots with pasta bits in it and green pesto stains on the counter and it was worse than he thought. He looked at Wrodrina and noticed about 5 or 6 extra pounds. He sighed. They’d have to use about 1500 extra units for the trips to the gym. What the fuck? He thought.
“How long has this been going on, Alfonso? And why didn’t you update me?”
“Hey! I thought she was fine. She seemed fine. No one thought to check interval cache. It looked good.”
“Get the pasta outta there. Pronto.”
“You got it, boss.”
“I’m not your boss.”
“Well you’re acting like it.”
Bob watched as Wrodrina stretched her arms and yawned and ambled chubbily over to her couch. She texted Terry. //Gonna take a nap. ttyl//
As soon as she closed her eyes the containers started glittering in the cube frame.
“Make em, er, make em bananas.”
“That’ll be hard to pull off, Bob.”
“Just do it.”
The tins and bins glittered into banana shape forms and he even threw in a few gnats for extra measure.
Other things happened.
Wrodrina woke up.
She yawned and a single soupy tear ambled down her cheek, finding the perfect groove and puddling.
“It won’t stop.” Alfonso whispered.
“Fuck.” Bob sighed. “Bring in the big guns.”
A knock came on Wrodrina’s door. She opened it and saw three local firemen standing on her stoop. One of them was bare-chested wearing only suspenders and a smile. He winked at her.
“Sorry ma’am. Must have the wrong house. We got a call about a cat… but hey… can I ask you, if I’m not too forward, to maybe have dinner with me tonight?”
Wrodrina pulled a tin of French pasta from a hiding place underneath the hallway junk table.
“No, thanks.” She pulled a fork out of her pocket and started shoveling the long tasty strands into her mouth. “I’m busy,” she mumbled and tapped the corners of her mouth with a white handkerchief.
“Oh, well I’ll leave you my number just in case you change your mind.”
Wrodrina lifted her eyebrows and tapped the prongs of the fork on the door jamb. She tried to make a song.
“Wait, are you crying?” one of the other firemen asked her.
“What are they talking about?” Pholf leaned over Mercival’s shoulder and listened in. All she ever did was listen, he thought, and they never talked to her.
“Shhh, I’m learning something,” Mercival said and peered in closer to the dome surrounding the soccer field.
Pholf reached in and tapped on the thick glass. Dink dink dink.
All of the women looked up.
“What confusions!” Mercival hissed at him wide-eyed. “Do not tap on their dome, omg, they’re going to get all weird again and start The Killing.” Mercival snatched his hand away. “I don’t need that right now.”
“Awww they’re okay, look.”
They both turned back to Mercival’s tub. Pholf noted her number of oceans again and the extra valleys and now he could see a super-sized shopping mall full of shoes and ham sandwiches and where the hell did she get that from?
He glanced at her and shoved his hands in his pockets. “Say, how’d you get that mall, Mercival? I never saw one of those in the software or vid‑“
“Oh I made it up.”
“I like it when they buy the ham sandwiches. ….looks so happy, and then the big shoes with the clomping and pieces of lettuce and tomato falling out of the sandwich and getting ire at each other’s tomato-stained shoes and the ham shoe contest-rallies. It gets pretty interesting.”
All of a sudden, they heard an angry, vitriol-filled woman bitching magnificently from the driver seat of a fancy SUV.
“What’s that hate-filled being in the SUV?”
“I don’t know, let’s see.”
They leaned over the dome and smushed a huge eye over the soccer field.
“Ow! What was that?” Pholf snatched his head back.
“Called a sun. I put a sun there. It’s hot.”
They turned back to the well-dressed banshee.
“Wow, just look at her.”
“I know, she’s amazing .”
“What is she wielding?”
“A cellular phone device.”
“Who is that small being?”
“Look over there.” Pholf pointed.
The volumptious beings seated on the mat in the soccer field giggled and waved their frontal appendages around in the atmosphere. The one with the eye shields spoke,
“Yah. The market is so crazy lately. Exactly. We looked at three houses and every time it was swooped up before we could. Crazy. I thought he would (indecipherable)
SUV woman: I BOUGHT THE WATER SO YOU COULD DRINK IT.
“Well Jason’s eight. He just doesn’t understand it. I mean, another thing is that-“
You want a drink? A drink? goooood girl.
Where’s the regular water?
It’s all regular water
You can’t fool me
The water bottle
Pholf looked over at Mercival skeptically. “You wrote this stuff?”
“No, I just kinda put ‘em in there and sometimes I write, I think, but most of the time I’m busy doing other stuff.” She stuffed her feet in their pockets and tried to concentrate.
Pholf sniffed and rolled his eyes. “You should go down there an inhabit yourself. Maybe try the kid.”
“No, I’d be the dog.”
“That’s boring. The angry sorceress?”
The water bottle
You drank all your water already?
Hey is that water or lemonade?
You should probably bring a bigger bottle
And when we’re done can I stay longer when we’re done?
CAN YOU GET IN THE CAR TODAY
No, rox is cute she looks a lot like
My new addiction is watching
I think it’s kick
Oh that is cute
I took her in to get her hair cut and uh
She does kind of!
More than I want
Pholf jerked back. He pressed his eye against the sun and listened to the searing noise and bubble.
“Hey! Stop that!” Mercival tried to pull his shoulder back. “You’re gonna drip stuff everywhere!”
“I don’t care. They must stop.”
Pholf peeled his bubbling eye off of sun and considered it. He leaned forward, paused, leaned in again, opened his mouth, and gulped it down his throat.
The black man stared at me from the window. From behind me, there were weird screams or yelps that I couldn’t really pinpoint, but even the dog ignored that. Sally crawled out of her corner and walked up to the kitchen table.
Sally’s my little sister, she’s seven. On her last birthday, we fried two eggs we found on the back of a VW bug, abandoned. She really liked that. I like to go out of my way, keep the old holidays and stuff like that and nobody even notices me disappearing.
Except Sally. She knows when I don’t show up where I’m supposed to be.
When the virus released, we all thought (after the doctors gave the go ahead) we thought we could go outside, walk in the rivers, play.
And we did.
My name is Bethany, and I am 17 years old. My mom died after the storm.
My dad was never there anyway. I hope he’s dead.
My two brothers went to the store a few weeks after, and never came back. A few days after they left, we saw a band of pickup trucks speed past the house. They had the flags. Even music, which I thought was a pretty dumb idea considering doesn’t it take energy or something, battery power to play the radio? I don’t know.
I wish I would have studied those things in school. Mr. Johnson down the street was an engineer, but when we tried to get him to hook up the generator he started talking about inverters and an AC and Mrs. Fluser said “that’s a metal band I fucked once” and laughed when her ear fell to the ground.
Mr. Fluser took her back inside and we didn’t see her for awhile, but I saw her one night a few weeks later sitting in her yard looking up at the stars. She was on one of those sunning recliners and even had a big floppy hat and everything so I didn’t bother her.
Anyway, we finally figured out the generator and counted all the guns. There were seven on our block. If my mom was alive I’m sure she would have stole one.
I’m thinking about it. I saw the way Phil looked at our window yesterday and I could tell that he was thinking about how much food we had in the pantry. I know it.
I’m watching him.
Today I counted all the granola bars at the registry again. Mr. Fluser’s idea. Said everyone needs to come together and kumbaya, etc.
When I count the bars I’m supposed to check off the mark from the last person and then identify the different brands and draw with my pencil the shape of the bar on the paper and try to rendition it accurately he said.
Then I’m supposed to sit and think of the bars for about 30 mins before my break. That’s when the sun touches the left side of the roof of Mr. Williamson’s house. Sometimes I forget to look over there and miss my break. That makes me angry and Mr. Fluser comes around to check on me to make sure I get back on time to count the bars again but this time organize them .
In the afternoon I walk around the 10 lanes and knock on each door to verify who’s got their portion and give one bar each.
One time, Phil looked at me funny. When I showed him the diagram of the bar and opened my case to reach in, I looked up cuz I felt a funny feeling. His eyes were really shiny and then he looked at my ass (I know he did) and then the bars again and I gave him the bar real quick and left.
When I looked back he was still standing there in the doorway and he didn’t wave or smile or anything. He was just standing there still and then when I kept walking down the sidewalk and then looked back again, he was still standing there and watching me but had leaned against the doorpost with his arms folded and a smug smile on his face. I couldn’t see his eyes.
So now we have a dog.
Sally likes it. I don’t. It eats a lot. When we feed it.
There’s a man at the window and I know he sees it.
That makes me smile.
Hello WordPress world and good day. I’m starting a short story challenge with my monthly writing group. Here’s a short from last week. Hope you like it and thank you for reading me.
“This man, ugh, he bothers me.” Sole flipped through the brochures on the table and then shuttled them into the basket. She looked up.
“Hmm.. okay yeah I wanna hear your story and all, but first I gotta go pee,” Ants said.
“You know there are cats in New York who piss less than you do.” Sole said.
Ants left the window but when he came back there was already someone else there. “Hey, how’d you get here? I was in line first.”
The man ignored him and continued to whisper into the rectangle hole in the door. He had his fingers hooked on each side of the six inch portal and his lips very close to the grate. Ants didn’t like that.
“Hey, what are you saying to her?”
The man glanced at him quickly, barely moving his head. He had on one of those secure metal jackets, the ones that the gods couldn’t change. They cost more than Ants made in a year.
The man’s bodysuit flickered as the gods tried to change his appearance. The armor resisted, as it was supposed to do, but Ants wasn’t so lucky. His Hawaiian shirt flickered and turned into a tight black workout shell, and his pants into biker shorts. His hair stood straight on end.
“Guess it’s time to work out,” he said sadly.
The man at Sole’s window grunted and continued whispering. Ants didn’t like that.
He edged over to the man and tapped on his armor. It made a tinkering sound so Ants started tapping out a beat. The man tried to shrug him off but he persisted.
Suddenly they heard Sole.
“Who’s there? Is that Ants? Bring him back. You. Leave.” Her voice was strong and firm. He liked that.
The man sighed and lifted his body from his crouch on the floor.
“You got your way.”
“I always do.”
When he looked back through the grate Sole was flipping through the brochures again. Her long dark brown hair cascaded down the edges of the white gown she wore, it was fitted. So sexy, Ants thought. She reached out to her shelf and pulled down the purple hat he’d gotten her. Once she put it on her head it contrasted against the pale sheen of her skin and her eyes sparkled.
“Tell me a story,” she said to him softly.
“What kind of a story?”
“Oh anything really, something where things never change,” she purred and flipped off her hat.
Ants could see she was starting to crawl from her table to his window. And. He liked that.
“Once upon a time–” he began.
“No. Something else,” she croaked and crawled knees on elbows closer to his door.
“Okay, uh. A cat lived in a box. Someone shot it. The end.”
“I love your stories,” Ants heard her say, but he couldn’t see her anymore. She was probably leaning up against the door, he thought.
“Ants, I want you to do something for me.”
“When they change the tree again, the one that’s right outside my south window, tie a yellow ribbon on it, and–”
“I cannot do that Sole. I mean, the grid doesn’t work like that anymore. You know that.”
An eyeball floated across the room and smashed against the wall. Was it hers? Or someone else’s? Ants wondered.
“Someone else’s,” he heard from the floor and then her finger poked out, slid against the grate, and tapped him on the nose.
Not a joke
Or secret message
is at cynical
( )To where things happen
Nobody asks me about my day
What I think
Where I do
So I print for EVERyone
not just u
Neil deGrasse Tyson
300 million years later
we took that coal
100 million years later
bye bye dinosaur
all of your kings
the last second of the last day of this calendar
we are newcomers
the last night of the cosmic year
say… 40 thousand generations we were wanderers
didn’t start painting our first pictures until the last 30 seconds of the last day of the cosmic year
about 40,000 years ago
more stuff than we could carry
14 seconds to midnight: we invent writing
Suspend our thoughts
Save our thoughts
Send them far away
Not even two seconds ago
the two halves of the earth discovered each other
where and when we are
in the cosmos
and I can’t stop thinking about you