These aren't strictly drabbles but they were in my head, so here they are.
It's been Tuesday for ages.
He sits in a carrel at the top floor of the downtown library beside a window and a pile of unread books. Behind him, stacked on the floor and tall enough to be level with his shoulders, is a pile of read ones.
Outside, snow is frozen mid-fall, and light flakes perpetually almost-begin to blanket the city. Traffic in the street below never moves. A cyclist is always about the hit a pothole, a pigeon is always about to land on a streetlight. He doesn't look at the clock on the wall; he doesn't need to. It reads 3:00, as it has for what feels like -- and might be-- forever.
He rubs his eyes, sighs, and turn back to the page of his book.
* * * *
She can't stand the sound of stars.
Their screams fill her mind at night, like nails on a chalkboard, like chewing tinfoil with metal fillings. During the day, the sun is even worse. It moans and puts in her head images of candles melting in anguish, of bones left bleaching in the sand, of dying things crawling away from creeping fire.
She's gotten good at pretending not to hear it all. In the car, her music is loud enough to get looks from other drivers, and at work the shriek of saws fill her ears. When she's alone in the shop, discreetly as possible and hoping the foreman doesn't see, she'll loosen her ear protection and let the sound of wood and metal drown out the stars.
* * * *
There's blood in the water again.
It had only just rained that morning, but already the puddles on the street were starting to go red-black, changing from the middle-out, as though some invisible hand cut itself above and was letting blood drip down.
Some boys crowded around one by the curb and got too close; a car turned and splashed them. White jerseys turned pink beneath damp, open jackets and backpacks. The oldest lamented his new shoes and hoped they'd wash out. The youngest, his brother, said nothing but was secretly proud that he'd had the foresight to leave his new shoes at home.
After all, they'd been warned about the rain all week.