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You May Want to Stand Back From Our Sunset

 

My husband denies he yells prophecies in his sleep, but I know it’s true.  That’s why I’m packing.

 

It used to be just annoyin, bein woke at all the dead hours of the morning with nonsense shouted fit to wake the street.  Then there was the incident.  Oh, he laughed when he told me the story after – but I got the chills.  And then the one about the daisy – but no time for that, it’s almost four already.

After that I kept a notepad by the bed and I wrote those prophecies down, and could not sleep for trying to figure them out before the day started.

He thinks I’m crazy, I can see it in his ex-as-perated eyes.  I know my eyes got dark circles under now, and maybe sometimes I forget my shoes.   But I can’t ignore it, not what he said this mornin.  I got the chills again, and I am gettin out of here.

 

See, you know they’re testin this new bomb on the site today, except they had to put it off cos of those rain clouds – George called me to say he’d be home late, not to worry about dinner.

But rain! On these fields of Gehenna – Doesn’t it o-ccur to him that somethin’s off?  It never rains on this wasteland, not unless it’s rainin fire.  An’ we sacrifice our children to it…

Never mind that – I told him, forget it, just come home, but no, they’ve already post-poned it so much an’ it’s gotta be done today, for some bu-reau-cratic reasons he won’t bother to explain to me, oh no, he’s the hotshot scientist, I’m just the little wife…  I wouldna even come to this edge of Hell town if not for him.  An’ I can’t even save him.

 

He’s the one with the prophecies, I don’ know why I gotta carry the burden.

 

There, I think that’s everythin.  Hand me that cat-carrier will you?   They’re doin it just before twilight now, it’s supposed to be clear then.  But there’s somethin up with these clouds, I don’t think they’re budgin.

Oh, George, you just don’t see it unless it’s a complicated e-quation written up on a chalkboard.

Anyway.  I’d leave a note, but I don’t think it’s gonna matter. Unless by some miracle I got through to him an’ he calls the whole damn thing off.

Hang on, point that camera over here for a sec.

Give me a minute.

 

Bye Hon. I’m standin back, just like you told me too.  I love you.

 

Alright I’m done.  Got everythin I can’t stand to lose, an you can see that ain’t much.  Now if you want people to see that doc-u-mentary of yours, I suggest you get outta here too.  I’m going east, as far as I can drive.  Away from that settin sun.

 

***

 

“Whew, what a looong day.  I think it’s those weird clouds.  Haven’t ever seen rainclouds this far west.  Hey, wow, look at that sunset.”

“God and glory.”

“Always so much prettier after a cloudy day – like it’s reminding us the sun’s still there behind all that darkness.”

“It’s beautiful.”

“I mean, what a world we live in that things that amazing just happen.  Just an accident of physics and chemistry, you know?”

“Um?”

“Yeah?”

“I don’t think that’s the sun.”

 

 

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2012 3:26 am

    Lovely. Really lovely.

    I get criticized a lot for the talking head syndrome. But you did it very well without it being an issue. Maybe the accent helped? I don’t know but anything more would have distracted from the story. Well done. Very well done.

    • May 4, 2012 10:20 am

      Thanks! I actually threw the second-person ‘you’ camera man in just so she wouldn’t be talking to herself in this one. On the one hand I was telling myself, it’s a story, but on the other, I couldn’t justify her expressing those thoughts to herself while she was in such a hurry. Unlike “All the Signs” where I tried to write the random bits of thought that flit across your mind, hopefully to make it feel like you’re actually in his head. Usually first person stories sort-of imply the protagonist is writing their story down for posterity or whatever, diary style; but this had to be ‘in the middle of things’ to get the sense of urgency I wanted. It was also a helpful little vehicle to get her ‘I’m standing back like you told me to’ line out, without having to revert to 3rd person or have her describe her own feelings overtly to explain why she’s whispering a goodbye into the ether.

  2. May 4, 2012 10:22 am

    Nice story. Good voice in this.

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