Cyrus Bedlam watched as the pieces of a cosmic puzzle slipped through the sky. The bitter taste of dark chocolate and kale. That’s the association that popped into his head as he watched the setting moon grind against the horizon at the same moment the sun rose against the opposite horizon. As he looked out the west window, he imagined the moon choking on billowing cinders on the far side of the planet, as if the earth and the moon rubbed against one another in passing, throwing up monstrous clouds of dust and molten rock. And as he turned to look at the rising sun through the east window, he thought it looked like the tip of a weapon of an unhappy galactic god, a tool that master of the universe would use to scorch an offensive planet to make its inhabitants pay for their transgressions. Cyrus smiled at the thought. “We deserve this,” he said aloud. Gloria Mockry, the woman who had spent the night with him, rolled onto her side.

“Did you say something?”

“Oh, I didn’t know you were awake. I was just looking at the sky. The sunrise and the moonset.”

“Yeah, but did you say something to me?”

“Not to you. Just thinking aloud.”

“About what?”

“The way we’re all going to die. And that we deserve it.”

Gloria sat upright.

“What do you mean we’re all going to die? When? And why do we deserve it?”

“This is not a conversation I want to have with a woman I’ve only known for sixteen hours.”

Cyrus recognized the look in Gloria’s eyes as fear. His instinct was to say something to her that would quell her concern, but he chose, instead, to remain silent and simply look into her eyes as if he could see inside her. Gloria shivered at his gaze.

[This may find a place in a story some day. But not here. Not now.]


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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