Imagine this: a wide open field, red poppies dotting it. The breeze sends the poppies dancing and it cools your skin, even though the night is warm. A man and woman embrace on top of a blue blanket, fingers entwined as they gaze at the stars above. If you'd(more) look from afar, they appear to be a couple deeply in love. But look closer.
"Look honey, a shooting star!" The woman squeals, pointing to the sky. The stars blink back at the couple, but there is no shooting star. The man gives a tight smile and squeezes her hand, but his attention is elsewhere.
A different kind of rustle to the wind. The poppies stop dancing and the earth vibrates. The man and the woman lock eyes and nod. They continue embracing stiffly, but their eyes dart around. True enough, they feel the tremor of the Others approaching. The woman feels for her dagger at her belt; the man bumps his hips against his holster.
The Others appear. The couple spring into action. Alien-like creatures; filthy, disproportionate and grotesque looking things blink out of nowhere, but they are ready. The woman gracefully swipe at the Others closest to her and they all fall down like dominoes in one fell swoop. Likewise, the man's aims zero in on the Others' head and they too perish with just one bullet each.
They didn't see the gigantic Other approaching heavenward. The Other body-slams the couple to the ground, and the man's pistol slips out of his grip and the woman's dagger stabs the ground instead. They rear back their legs and kick the Other off of them. The man slides for his gun, aims it at the center of its chest, and shoots.
"That's a hell of a shooting star." The man mumbles.(less)
Shivering, I drew a blanket over my legs. The building's air-conditioning had not been working for a few days, and even with two fans his bedroom was sweltering. It was when he ran his fingers over my shoulder, down my arm, and along my hand as he whispered "I'm(more) sorry" that turned me to ice. I pulled the blanket closer to me. "I'm sorry" had become a very common phrase between us. But how many times can you apologize before the words lose their meaning? He said those two words again, and the hairs on my arm stood up as he buried his face in my neck. His hand found mine, and I traced my thumb over his knuckles.
"I love you."(less)
All things considered, these might have been the cleanest deaths I've ever had on my hands.
Emergency Communications is a self-sustained room, with electrical circuits independent from those of the rest of the palace. Sitting on enough batteries to keep the tape players running for one whole night,(more) it could be used to issue warnings to the whole city should the need arise, through loudspeakers powered by underground armored cables. The reinforced doors and walls have been built to withstand the attack of an army--if the room is closed, all transmissions can only be interrupted from inside.
No graver need had ever arisen.
Shaking, I set the tapes in sequence and adjust the equipment to start over when the last reel finishes playing. It's hard to believe I'm bringing the end by flipping switches and pushing buttons. The green button saves the world.
I activate the locking mechanism while setting it to ignore the release buttons on the outside. After one last look at the spinning harbingers, I check the time--the Sun rises as I walk to my death.
"The old must die to make way for the new, my beloved Powers. Such is the nature of our world, as is that of our authority, established upon the ashes of the imperfection that came before. We cannot afford to remain the same indefinitely, because nothing around us will stop changing for our sake. Take for instance our sniveling subjects: they grow weary of our ways and thus the harmony we treasure so dearly grows threatened by talks of revolt. We will naturally crush rebellion before it starts, starting by ourselves. We cannot allow for excessive mercy, humility and reasoning to hinder us, which is why your blood will flow today."
The night was warm, but now a storm is coming.(less)
All the forlorn hacks
Easy Street’s a thousand miles away
My mind’s racing,
But the finish line keeps escaping
(more) The night’s kinda sleepy as it clings
To the four-lane express lane to nowhere
And the old men are lying about the places they’ve seen
And the places they’ve been
Hell, they never got off their asses
But, the stories are funny
And the experiences, although fabricated,
Are interesting enough
Neon lights like swizzle sticks
Mix with the stars in the sky
Under a blood red moon
And the buses wheeze and cough
As bad as the storytellers at midnight
After too much smoke
And too many tiresome conversations
Just watching the moon as it winks
In that dark, warm inebriated night
It feels like home, but doesn’t feel quite right
And the taxi drivers are the only ones
Who know where they are going
We are all playing graveyard charades
With our lives and our loves
It’s cold coffee under a nicotine sky
It’s cold shoulders or a warm embrace
It’s a glass of whisky and just wondering why