I preferred physics to chemistry, a medieval forerunner of alchemy. At least, I thought I did. I wasn’t like the others I observed; I was never sloppily or irresponsibly drunk. The worst I managed was being caught with a shady snack while the other fools were at the bar guzzling drinks. I wasn’t a clod.
My trajectory was to hit pay dirt or, at the very least, to cash in with current decisions on the gold in my future. Maybe I’d sometimes have to accept silver, but that was better than what my fellow students had decided to do now.
I forced my breath to slow down; minutes seemed like hours, so being calm was best. I began to write what I remembered. The officer, who had to drive me here, watched as I detailed the crime.
The sliver of a tear rolled down my cheek recounting the hours at the murder scene. A phone rang, sounding eerily like the wind chime I had heard before the shooting. It sent a shiver down my spine and shone a light on the truth.
Plans started to form in my brain, but was I smart enough to match those of the killer?
The lines Tristan snorted catapulted him over the edge of sanity. People stared when he howled at the moon and rammed his fingertips up his nostrils to get every last grain of cocaine he’d scraped from the white patterns left on the mirror. Fairly quickly, his mind became a black void of meaningless…
The young sous chef put down his book and pressed the remote for the oven. Soon, the head cook would arrive. Cutting the flour, he unconsciously emulated the star from the story tracing the same fat, strong lines for consumption.
The helicopter whirred, little Julian laughedagain, and sadly, my mind became a blur. It was so disorienting.
The responsibilities I shouldered previously were no more. They had to end, as my mind was more off than on now. Mostly I was quiet except when I “awoke” to the mists of my past, not knowing what was real anymore. I yearned for stability and was rewarded with none. Every morning, with the tips of my fingers stretched, a yawn escaped my lips as I greeted the dawn anew, wondering what I would remember, if anything at all.
Matteo had the power to sway the people with the mesmerizing cadence of his Italian lilt. He wanted to free their downtrodden spirit to rise above the rubble surrounding them and the unrelenting agonies they experienced. War was hell, to be sure. Food was scarce, their homes obliterated by the wicked enemy, and their realities were no longer recognizable. Nothing was normal anymore. Every forceful explosion, one after the other, had decimated their city.
He lowered his head and began to sing, “Bella Ciao.” The people, with proud emotion, echoed back to him the fight they had left in them.
The gadgets and trash of others lay strewn about as the refugee checked in with the staff at the immigration center. He tried to crack a smile but, having fled through the “safe” corridor from Guatemala to the border, he wondered—would he live better? Adelmo followed the trackmillions of other young men pursued, wanting freedom from the oppression and corruption in their country. Sure, there were losses along the way, but it was worth it. Every last one of them who tried knew their chances were slim. At least they wouldn’t be a target of the drug cartels anymore.
The monks walked silently in the temple’s courtyard—barely noticeable the scuffling sound of their shoes. Unexpectedly, a loud boom erupted. A frightened gasp escaped from the mouth of each of them. Everyone was filled with possible stories to explain what had occurred. Together, they took a step in the direction of the noise. Looking up, they saw the sky was clear; birds fluttered around unperturbed. The side door slowly creaked open, and a ghost emerged unexpectedly. You could feel the fear spring up in the monks; their demeanor shrank in its weaving presence.