Oh god oh god oh god.
That can’t be real. You hear about them sometimes in the news, you know, but never about them crashing down. They’re always these great big surges of seawater—I think—that roll up and roll along. That push around cars and lampposts and park benches. And bystanders.
He looked out into the distance, which was fine with him, and up into the air, which was why he felt so grave.
Nearly a flat vertical surface at this point, ready for the crest to cycle over and unleash itself—moving straight for him at a perceptible speed under an advancing dusky front of clouds—a colossal wave of water. The thing must be a thousand feet tall; it dwarfed every building in its certain path. He doubted even the bevies of skyscrapers which dotted the Midtown landscape ahead loomed taller than the present crest of the tsunami. Perhaps when it breaks, it will engulf the whole base, using that great red brick tower just to my side as a reference, tearing through the trees and paths surrounding the structure. That makes sense. The spire, the crown, may topple over with the swept midsection. I’d best stay back here.
(Right; the news mentioned this earlier today, which must be why I’m in a state of panic at the moment.)
(Will it break? The shade played itself as an illusion, always moving closer without moving forward.)
(Never mind that now. Urgency. Escape. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Could the other people on our—bus—offer an idea for our well-being?)
He tore his eyes from the port side of the commuter bus and witnessed the dozen other riders in a frantic pace in their heads. The bus shuddered, squealed, and stopped in the middle of the freeway leaving Downtown, stranding the band on a road, barricaded ahead. Drivers had deserted their cars; they embraced the panic in the ways they would never have otherwise predicted. The bus driver went missing. No matter. Do you ever hear from tsunami survivors who weathered the pulse in the city bus? In artificial reefs?
A woman sitting two seats over to his left rose and set forth for the exit. He followed her of his own accord, along with most of the passengers. Two or three souls with vague faces sat near the back. The sheep said nothing and did nothing for themselves.
Jumping ahead now: the gang gathered themselves on the pavement, brainstorming escape mechanisms which clearly would fail. A thousand feet of water would crush all. Raising yourself to higher ground increased the chances of survival in minute degrees, but you would not have a shield from the vengeful, savage sea. Lowering yourself may ensure that the water would not tread on you—the building above you would. Every space in between, excluding the open spaces, offered a continuum of risks.
These thoughts were group thoughts, directed by some other. No one spoke save for murmurs.
(…We’d best accept our fate and climb to the top of the parking lot which appeared off the exit.)
The group moved as one toward the laconic destination, trailing that woman from before. Who was she? What’s amiss here?
He looked around. They made it to the top story. Nobody parked their vehicles this high up; plenty of breathing room existed for their mass frantic death. A member or two of the group resigned their fate in disgust and descended the stairs. What of the rest? What of me?
A train crashed through a lower story of the structure. The parking lot remained intact, but whether they’d die of building collapse or tsunami was hardly a concern. It had derailed—let’s see—in panic. The panic of the moment, with impending doom ahead.
Something didn’t make sense here, he thought. He couldn’t put his finger on it. Was it how the group behaved? What was up with that woman—could it be her?
The wave crashed through the skyscraper, which disappeared in silence beneath the water without a sign of collapse. Just as predicted.
Now is not the time for wandering thoughts. He crouched down to follow suit with the rest of the group. The pavement darkened as the water closed in.
(I guess this is the end of everything. It’s been fun.)
He performed the cross on his chest and held his breath in the last few seconds before the water crashed through. He became no more.
Karen’s throat felt sore, and her lips cracked and caked with the slightest bit of stomach acid. What she needed was a glass of water before bed again—this time, refreshed and purged of the parched haunts that every sane mind conjures on unpredictable bases. She pushed away her blanket and forced herself up, swinging her legs around so her feet brushed against the plush carpet. Its fleecy, reassuring touch coerced Karen from her short—lived illness, and she left the bed, putting the fancy behind her.
In the morning, maybe I’ll tell the others about that weird dream I had.
While sleeping, eyes forced open still,
Enjoying dull, elusive highs,
I peered past privilege to fulfill
An urge for what life signifies.
Just canter into lucid dream,
The dark side all our dead depart,
And watch your latent joy redeem
What’s pure and tender in your heart.
I took a gamble. I drowsed off.
I yearned for flawless lands alone,
And hoped to cross routine sendoff,
Thought how they differed from my own…
Debts earned, debts paid
Another week yet
On nearby roads
No light above (that we can see)
No memory (of recent time)
An alibi of snakes in glass,
Their serpent streams in silent jails.
Not human ones. Don’t fret their fates.
It’s time to move to other scenes.
Gas station bleakness switching seats,
A demon prowled the field beyond
By tricks your parents play sometimes.
Another jolt in drifting states.
And in the tower, bricks and steel collide,
A slip of paper thumping pavement hymns
Sends cash meandering far down the stairs,
Reminding what illusions prey in sight.
As the pale hall thunders
And you hence go elsewhere
In the rambling changes
That spice daily resting—
At once, I realized I was asleep,
That this world was just as fake as the last.
I could do anything until sunrise,
To love and learn and grieve and be at peace.
I cheered and leaped up in the air,
This empty sleeper made aware.
The magic seen, the battle won,
I flew and turned ‘round toward the sun—
A hand swept in,
Took all away—
So my home’s comfort didn’t leave.
It grabbed me from dreams through deafness
By rapping at the door to grieve
O’er silent lucid restlessness.
Or my own mind played surrogate,
And let not this odd psychonaut
Adore one more distant secret.
From such fuzz, I remembered naught.
So I, awake, could not explore
Far past the edge I ran aground.
And so I missed the chance to soar.
And that was all I ever found.