display | more...

The woman spat her gum out the car window. It landed in the street. A crow flew down to peck at it three hours later. A pickup truck hit the crow, killing it.

The possum came out onto the road that night to eat from the crow’s carcass. A blue Honda Accord’s headlights lit up the possum’s reflective eyes just as the car was coming around a turn. The driver swerved violently and lost control of his vehicle, striking a telephone pole.

The lights cut out in Sarah’s apartment and the internet went down. Sarah waited an hour and a half and then left to go to a coffee shop that had power and internet. She met a cute guy there named James. They hit it off.

Sarah and James dated for a year and then got married. They had a kid named Terry who was a high functioning autistic. He graduated from Harvard at eighteen and went into the biological sciences with a focus on human senescence. Twenty years later through genius and determination Terry isolated the genes which when correctly tweaked extended the human lifespan by five hundred percent.

A wealthy serial killer named Kevin had his genes altered by this method and virtually stopped aging that very same day. Many years later, and well into his third century, Kevin murdered a young activist named Ann (his five hundred and sixty-fourth kill).

Ann had been leading the movement for total denuclearization of the world and making great strides. Her sudden departure left a void that was filled by a more moderate and less charismatic advocate named George who in the end couldn't bring the world’s leaders together at the bargaining table. George's failure was due at least in part to his chronic bad breath.

India invaded Pakistan a decade later, as a direct result of the huge population boom that near immortality had engendered and the impossible strain it put on world resources. When Pakistan was pushed into a use-it-or-lose-it position regarding it nukes, it opted for use-it.

The worldwide thermonuclear war that resulted destroyed most of the species on Earth though Homo sapiens did survive.

Thirty years after that a salvation cult arose around a man name Louis whose followers accepted him as the Christ returned. Louis’s armies conquered what remained of the world’s nations and something like the ancient Pax Romana endured for over six hundred years. Eventually, though, the Louisian Church’s rulers became cruel and corrupt. To prop up the politically empowering but factually challenged religious texts, science and free thought were suppressed.

A young priest named Arnaud rebelled against the autocratic theocracy and successfully launched a reform movement that heralded a renaissance in the arts and sciences. The period’s greatest artist, who called himself Turande, made only a few paintings, but they were breathtaking in their genius.

A school teacher named Edward lingered over one of Turande’s paintings three hundred years later in a museum. He missed his intended bus as a result and took a later one.

On that later bus a mentally ill man named Simon attacked a bank clerk named Eleanor with a steak knife. Edward intervened, saving her, and she went back home instead of continuing on to the bank.

When Eleanor arrived home early she found her husband in bed with her sister Grace. It would have been the last time they slept together, as they were breaking it off out of guilt and shame. They told Eleanor all this, but she was unsure whether to believe them.

Eleanor went for a drive with her best friend Selene and asked her why this had happened. Eleanor maintained that she had been a good wife and didn’t deserve to be betrayed. She would have rather not known. And that might even have been the case had she just not come home early that day.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Selene said, and then she spat her gum out the car window.

Friday morning I finally threw out an angel with the kitchen trash, the head having been knocked off years ago by my dearly departed husband during his morning rush to get to work on time. He secretly glued the angel's head back on and tied a red ribbon to conceal the crack then never told me. He had broken other angels and knew how much this bothered me for whatever reason. The red satin sagged and faded, then perhaps months after last Christmas I threw the ribbon away, not knowing I'd find a hairline crack visibly glued.

We have an impressive collection of glue but no Elmer's white glue which is what I wanted for a project I'm making. Could swear there was a lifetime supply of half used bottles with those orange tips that never worked right from yearly back-to-school purchases but there wasn't any Elmer's to be found. Considered a step up from the kindergarten paste many children liked to eat, but with having so many teachers in my family, we were warned about the dangers of that behavior, same for Play-Doh with that irresistible aroma.

Between the sharp contrast of smelly garbage and the sweet scent memory of Play-Doh competing, I was having second thoughts about the sad angel perched on the bookshelf with hands clasped, chubby ankles crossed, head down, wings furled but pleasingly asymmetrical, which is when I carefully blew some dust off. The absence of dust revealed the top of one wing also had been glued and for no reason my thoughts turned to burying the angel instead. In fact, there is actually a historical precedent for burial on this acre.

A great many things have been laid to rest in this backyard. Long before I lived here, garbage was buried or burned. In the last thirty years, we've contributed dead pets, mummified G.I. Joe action figures, fighting green plastic army men, marbles, my old clay sculptures and a few dead birds. I imagined future owners with archaeologically interested offspring or other gardeners finding amongst the mint, lemon balm and tansy gone rampant, a lone lost angel with cracks that he probably used some glue guaranteed to last forever.

Currently, I needed to temporarily fix a window box where tiny grease ants were getting in from outside, traipsing across my counter top past the butter dish and toaster, then up and down and all around the olive oil decanter, heading towards the cutting board on the way to the coffee maker. These ants were so small I had to hunt for my reading glasses to make certain I wasn't hallucinating. Reading glasses confirmed I was not imagining ants as the scouting party of one or three quickly became quite the determined small safari.

Not the best homemaker by far, I do keep my cooking area tidy so I was more than mildly annoyed, consulting the source of all information where I was reminded that if straight vinegar doesn't confuse ants by disrupting their scent trails, bottle caps filled with half sugar and half borax will attract them then wipe the entire colony out. This concept deeply bothers me and I have my reasons, the exception being carpenter ants. Borax and sugar were the way my environmentally aware husband dealt with their presence.

My husband made this mixture for as long as I can recall so I was pretty sure there would still be a box of borax down in his dank dungeon of model railroads, old and new tools plus miscellaneous ephemera dating back decades. Periodically, I descend into that realm either hoping to find something that might be there or to throw out strange things he saved, his reasons written on labels of jars, on boxes or attached to varied items. Sometimes this saddens me, sometimes I laugh at the precise labels or misspelled words.

The distinctive pale green box with young cowboy and whip sat silently behind a helium tank from his magic show balloon antics, six saltwater aquariums filled with old coral and a Van de Graaff generator, also from his magic show. Wearing an OSHA and NIOSH N95 respirator as well as highly fashionable safety goggles, I reached for the box. The goggles started steaming up although I could still see through the foggy mist of my breath that the borax had solidified because one side of the box had slightly split open.

Something slid and fell to my right but I was already committed to carefully getting the borax into a plastic bag, impressed at the solid white miniature monolith soon to be combined with sugar as ant killing potion. Mission accomplished, I glanced down to the floor where a neon green flashlight designed to clip on a key chain boldly proclaimed Jesus is the Light and the Way! something I highly doubt was my husband's nor had I ever seen it before. There was also an unopened package of glow-in-the-dark stars. Bonus!

Shoving the two odd things in my pockets, I trudged back upstairs with the borax, having gotten quite sidetracked from making coffee and planning to kill the unsuspecting ants who by now were going in strange loops wherever I had left swipes of vinegar. Feeling more than a bit cruel, I questioned my now evil seeming thoughts of burying the forlorn angel who was back up on the bookshelf above the Encyclopedia Brittanica from 1972, Volumes 13 and 14, topics in gold letters from Jirasek and Lighthouses to Light and Maximillian.

Three hours had disappeared but now I knew several new things. There are things that happen and there is no reason for it, one thing leads to another, life snowballs, time passes, weird things occur and that is just the way the world is, for better or worse. I choose better because although I need not explain my reasons, I was on the highway being driven to another new doctor. Someone had written on a dusty truck Be Nice 2Day. I agreed in heart, mind and spirit, putting away my non-toxic poison and broken angel for another Friday.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.