"So, did your dog eat your homework?"
"No... You won't believe me so it doesn't matter anyway."
"You always have had a vivid imagination. Which I take pains to appreciate. Go ahead. Why weren't you able to prepare for the test?"
"I had been studying for thirty minutes - which is why I aced the radicands portion - when all the sudden there was a rumbling groaning sound from next door. I couldn't focus. I looked outside my window and across the alleyway was a huge green bass flopping about screaming."
It comes from fearing science.
In America of 2025, the faithful had won. No one believed in evolution. No one believed in vaccination. No one believed in soap.
The foreign countries had taken to calling them "Potatoes" because they were white under the thick film of dirt that comes from refusing to wash.
The potatoes were in a panic. Some potato, venturing beyond his or her front door, with a long lost telescope discovered in a storage room, had pointed it at the sky and seen something move. Watching further, the potato did a bit of empirical deduction and derived...
The sky was blue, the grass was green and the little clouds were as fluffy as the picture in a child's reading book. All was well with the world. And on her swing, she could see above the park, above the neat hedges and the flowering bushes. She could, as she swung higher still, see over the row of terraced houses and into the street beyond. Over the flowering cherry trees and the neat gardens with their blossoming plants, over the heads of the middle class and middle aged gardeners and housewives and shoppers and busy bodies of the suburban...
The bird landed. A thunder clapped. A dog barked and the bird opened a pocket on its vest.
Peering through a telescope, the yellow bird surveyed 360 degrees of the town square.
All along the square doors slammed and windows shuttered.
All but the doors of the saloon, which are more like shutters, really. Do saloons even have doors?
The bird shook its feathers. Focus.
From beneath the saloon shutters rolled a woman in pantaloons and suspenders and a blousy black turtleneck. She held in her hands two baskets, their covers carefully latched.
Kneeling in the street Liza double and...
Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway.
After a carefully judged amount of time she stood up and retied the bow at her waist.
"Sure, you stood me up at prom, Adam," she said, "but THIS is for calling my dissertation 'feeble-minded and a stunning waste of recycled pulp' in front of my advisor."
She retrieved her bike and stuck a hardbound volume titled "AN OPTIMIZED PROGRAMMABLE BINARY ARCHITECTURE FOR A SCALABLE DIGITAL THEOREM ITERATOR" into the handlebar basket.
Then, whistling, she hiked up her skirts, straddled the seat, and biked off into...
And not in the usual way.
Home from school at 7:30pm, another long day of detention for crimes uncommitted (who ever did anything really deserving detention – and when has detention been worse than the alternative. Questions he wrestled with with his head on his desk) – home long after sunset, he pressed his head against his pillow and cried.
The tears awoke the empathy of the waters in the room. His fishbowl grew stormy. A glass of water shuddered with tsunami. The poster of the ship on the wall erupted in gale and he could feel the lash...
The gate closed behind them. It was too late, she knew it. How did they get here? Why did it have to end this way?
"Jamie, it's okay. They won't find us here."
She wanted to believe him. She tried to believe him. She couldn't. They corner they hid in was dark, damp, dirty. She didn't have to wait long.
As the latch opened on the outside gate, Sean starting shaking. He can't handle this, Jamie thought.
"We're going to die, aren't we?" he asked.
Jamie considered lying, but what would be the point? She put her arms around him...
Her eyes were green.
No, not just green.
Emeralds, yet infinitely more precious.
Like the sea, though far more deep and turbulent.
Greener than freshly blossoming thyme or the scent of mown lawns in summer.
More intoxicating than the green of absynthe.
Greener than jealousy.
Greener than the grass on the other side.
They stared into the grey of me.
And I knew those eyes would never be mine.
Daring to be noticed for the first time in her life, she pushed her chair back and stood up. Channeling Renee Zelwegger in Jerry Maguire she said "I'm with you."
Nobody heard her mouselike voice. Clearing her throat, she repeated herself. "I'm with you."
James looked at her, "Oh um...anyone else?" he scanned the office hopefully. Everyone remained seated. "Oh um, great then. Thank you...who are you?"
"Sarah." she prompted, ignoring the disapointment on his face.
"Yes, Sarah. That's it you're in accounts, right?"
"Actually I'm one of the PAs." she was starting to feel a little disgruntled. She was...
She opened the envelope and screamed. Then she opened the next envelope, screamed, set it down. Then the next, screamed, set it down. Next, screamed, down. Next, screamed, down.
A strange ritual. Letting out some kind of pent up anger and frustration. She had drawn a crowd, as one letter after another would be opened, followed by a scream, then the laying down of the envelope. For hours on end she did exactly the same thing. Open, scream, down. Soon, the crowd had grown quite large. The police arrived, and stood for a few minutes, watching this bizarre ritual. One...