Beginning to hear The Ticking now. A glance at the wall-clock. 2:05, just jerking up to 2:06…they’d have to get a cab/train/something by, say, 4:00…
Closing his eyes, letting the juices flow, spicy but not too spicy, the sausage skin crisp but the insides bursting with juice, and the fries with a little “burn” on the outside, but white as apples inside, sprinkled with garlic, fried in, it must have been sesame oil. Slowly finishing up the sandwiches. Another round of non-alcoholic beers, a break in the clouds outside, sunlight suddenly flooding the streets, like searchlights on white sequins, like being a mite inside of a giant vanilla-on-vanilla sundae.
“OK…we’ve got just a little more time….”
Paid, a quick visit to the John, the waitress happy with the ample tip, Buzz thinking to himself She’s probably a student at Loyola or Northwestern or Roosevelt or the Art Institute, remember how it wassssssss…like Hamlet’s father’s ghost —remember meeee.
Out into blast furnace brightness. Hardly feeling the cold. The secret was in the light. Hailing another cab.
“Fourteen eleven North State!” he told the driver.
“Where are we going now?” asked Malinche, “We have to get to the airport…”
“Just one short visit….”
And even if they missed their plane, so…? They’d stay overnight somewhere Continue Reading
Breaking from the normal every Wednesday schedule, Eschatology will publish a special edition on Halloween, Hugh Fox‘s “Beginning”.
They watched the souls drift up from the lake; they dreamt that the old men and women of Westeria were alive, alive, so they could sing their old songs again. Alive, so little Amelia could let her mother tuck her in and not complain. Alive, so Mr. Fantastic could serve food on a silver tray once more, down in the old home, down, down where the men once chauffeured the women to parties and balls and high school graduations. He touched the hem of Amelia’s dress, hoping she would look away from the scene, away from the broken memories, away away as far away as his machine heart could guide her.
“Are you with me?” he buzzed.
Amelia watched her mother’s soul drift up. An orb of light in the sun. A speck out of a dusty earth. A drop of sea in the ocean, out of the lake that was once her home. Covered in ocean, she thought. Covered in ocean.
Mr. Fantastic stood to his pegs. “Turn your radio on,” he buzzed.
Amelia looked down at the little red box at her feet. Dirt was matted around the knobs and there were little chip marks where she had dropped it in the ditch miles back in what was left of Notown. Not an accident. She had thrown it there so the static could no longer haunt her. Continue Reading
When she first began to feel the infection stirring inside her it was a confusing time. She was traveling with a small group by then, banded together on what had become the seemingly endless quest for food.
The feeling was unsettling. She felt a throb inside herself. Faintly – always faintly – like a branch knocking on a hollow log somewhere off aways on a windy night. The kind of sound on the dim edge of everything that you don’t always know you’re hearing, but you are.
She began to lag behind the others, shuffling through the forests and the long grass in their tracks, not letting any come too close when they occasionally stopped to consider where they might head next. Food was getting harder to find.
Then luck: they came upon a woodland larder, and there was meat there still, hidden away. There hadn’t been meat for a long time. They stuffed themselves and laughed, patting their swollen bellies afterward, sitting in the cold and the dank with shreds and sinews visible between their teeth, and the juice still on their fingertips and the fat on their lips.
Her belly felt good then, sated and settled, with the cause of its distension obvious.
When the others rose to move on, she was slow to follow. She pulled back the dirt-smeared sleeve of her blouse.
There, on her skinny forearm, the fading of the reddened bite. Continue Reading
The spaceship was a sensational vastness in wary shadow; it eclipsed the sun and cast a silhouette across the endless acres of saffron Nate had planted. The delicate stitch of a drama in arrays of spider silk crept and cajoled the Black Widow in the corner of Nates barn, she predicted night because the lattice light shining through the slats in Nates ancient barn had gone gray with the advent of the spaceship. She began spinning silk in wide patterns of glossy weave only pausing to survey the flies she had captured. Outside Nate stared upward at the encroaching visitor. “Damnation,” he whispered, “….it’s as big as a planet.” Continue Reading