I looked up at the cathedral door and I thought this is what it means, this is how it all culminates, in this big round arch towering above my head. It was like a mouth, opening wide to swallow me up and draw me down inside, to consume and digest me. Just like the church, I thought. This is what it does. Consumes me.
After I'd breached the threshold, the sounds of the war outside hushed and all I heard was the soft murmur of the others, deeper inside, the soft crying of lost and destroyed. Here's where we come,...
"Goddamn it." This is what the cop said when the door first opened.
"It's not what you think. I can explain. See, we were playing a game. Hide and seek sort of thing, and things got a little out of control." He mumbled and shuffled, which the cop always took as a sign of guilt.
"Okay, we need to get him up off the floor. An ambulance is on its way. And you --" The cop pointed at the mumbler. "You need to come with me."
Mumbler shrugged and kicked at the table leg. "I didn't do anything. It was...
Yeah yeah. We're here. Uh huh.
Well, we had this idea. Not totally sure it was smart. Yeah. Timothy is looking at it right now. No, no, it's a black flag. Pirates. I know. I know. I told you we weren't sure. How did they react? Not well. They kind of ... panicked, I think you'd say. Jumped over board. Uh huh. I think if we were starting from scratch we'd probably think it through a little more closely. No I know. The problem is they thought were were the pirates. Well... Okay, let's agree to disagree. Yes it was...
Okay, look. I had this idea that this was going to be a nice relaxing trip.
And we were going to come out here --
And enjoy ourselves --
And not have to deal with stress. Do you understand?
Yes, of course.
And now, what do you see?
What do you mean?
What do you see here?
I don't know... Trees, blue sky --
Stress. It's stress. Every direction I look is stress.
Okay, look, you need to just take a breath. Remember what they said at the clinic. Deep breaths.
Stop it. I...
Bombs were the last thing on his mind. It was scotch tape that was presently obsessing him. He had no idea why the image of scotch tape floated there, as it hovering in space, as the explosions and mayhem and chaos reigned around him.
Pierre Leclaire was a soldier in an army of two. Him and his dog Rufus. They had a gun, three boxes of crayons and a wad of chewed up Bubblicious. His mom had always told him he could make the most creative things out of nothing, so the bubblicious had become somewhat of an obsession.
Look up and see what's falling. Out of the clouds, the explosion already dispersing on the wind. It seemed almost to be in slow motion. So slow, it could almost be going backwards.
He glanced around and wondered if anyone else saw what he saw. The street went about it's business, as if nothing had happened. He wanted to scream, Look up and see what's falling, but he couldn't push the words from his throat.
The first box hit and exploded only a few feet from where he stood. And another and another again. Explosions all around him, thankfully none...
She opened the envelope and screamed.
It wasn't a scream of happiness. It wasn't a scream of surprise. It wasn't the hoped for money that grandma had promised. It wasn't the test results; they wouldn't come for another week.
It was a finger. In the bottom of the envelope. Dry of blood. Shrivelled and pale and a stub, a nub.
She dropped the envelope and scuttled back into a corner, her fist jammed into her jaw. Her eyes wide, she stared at the finger, as it lolled out of the envelope.
She could smell smoke. It had to be a...
The lamp wouldn't turn on. He clicked it once, and twice. He tapped the bare bulb, once he'd removed the lampshade. He followed the cord down to the wall and unplugged and plugged it back in.
He dug in the drawer in the kitchen and found a new bulb but it didn't fit, so he dug some more and found another, smaller bulb and it did fit but still the damned lamp wouldn't turn on.
At the power box, he switched the breaker, killing the power for a moment to the living room, setting the VCR back to high noon....
The shoes, they won't stop calling out to me. I walk down the road, in the rain, or even in the snow, and these peachy shoes, with the thin straps that wrapped perfectly under my ankles, they keep whispering.
I bought them discounted over on 16th, at that shoe warehouse place (my sister used to call it the shoe whorehouse, because that's what we'd do to get the money to buy in there, well not really, but almost) and I saw them on the shelf one early Saturday. The shop was empty. These shoes, they called out to me. Buy...
Listen to the sounds that the butterflies make. Listen what they say when they communicate, as they talk to each other, their little butterfly whispers, back and forth, their conversation. Through these special headphones, you can for the first time hear the conversation of the butterflies.
Sadly, twenty seven years ago was the last time we saw real, live butterflies. The great butterfly passing of 2017 was a hard, lonely time for human beings.
But thankfully, forward thinking scientists recorded every sound, every movement, every bit of data they could about 2102 different butterfly species. And now you, through the...