This is a collection of anecdotes from the fringes of reality, a tapestry stitched together from our dreams as well as our nightmares, from the fears that haunt the collective imagination. These are the symptoms of the sickness known as the human condition.
Joseph Tano’s life ended abruptly just past the fourth hour of his 17,204th day. It was unremarkable enough an event, a coronary. When the moment came, he barely stirred. His wife slept peacefully next to him unaware and unable to hear Joseph’s terrified pleading as he watched the last twinkle of light he’d ever see recede into an expanding void until the darkness snuffed it out altogether. Death was wholly unexpected. There’d been no indications, no physiological omens that made him suspect his final moments had come. The rational part of him understood sudden death was a possibility but he always convinced himself that only happened to other people. His first instinct was to try and claw out of the encroaching darkness, but he felt no hands. He dissolved into the spaceless nowhere. There was nothing but his blinking thoughts.
“Nobody told me how lonely this would be”
The final pulsing of the neuron clusters that formed this thought was the last and faintest flash of is vanquished e…
A swelling tsunami of dust followed the iron wave of heavy tanks that churned up the storm under their colossal treads. Whirling sand blended with engine exhaust and tinted blood orange by the smothered sun into a blinding maelstrom that was racing across the desert towards little slits dug in the sand where boys like Ahmed had conveniently dug their own grave for the mechanical behemoths to bury them.
Ahmed was huddled against the earthen walls just under the shade of the sandbags. His breathing was labored, and his stomach was spasming. His discarded weapon lay on the ground next to him. The tanks strode with their gun barrels erected like an elephants trunk. The low growl of their engines reverberated through Ahmed's body, and he spewed yellowish bile onto the toes of his boots.
The cannons burst from the approaching cloud like thunderclaps heralding the arrival of the amorphous monster about to swallow them whole. The shock of the first explosion jolted everyone in the trench.…
The motel hallway was lined with carpeting a shade of green that resembled golf course turf. The lights were dim to obscure the stains and burns. Room 67 was on the far end of the corridor. The closer Lucy came to that door the slower she walked. The elegant young lady wore her thick hair wrapped up above her head like a silky ebony headdress. A shimmering black dress with a front that hung from her neck to reveal her porcelain neck and the very edge of her firm, youthful cleavage turned. She was her era's model of sexuality and sophistication. But her confidence was clearing under strain.
She stopped in front of the door, clenched her eyes shut and inhaled sharply. She held her breath for a moment and steadily released it from her chest, her worried face morphing into a vivacious smile as she exhaled.
She gently knocked on the door and received no reply. She waited and knocked again this time slightly harder. Still no response from inside. She sighed with relief and turned to l…