It was waiting for me, behind the blue curtain. I should explain. It wasn’t always like this. For most of my life, I shared a room upstairs with my younger brother. But when our older brother Eric moved out, I pleaded with my parents to let me have the room. My parents did the rare thing and listened.
A small golden dart stabbed her left side and exploded through her rib as the lead found bone. She staggered, confused, but then she remembered him. He was anything but mysterious from the moment he sprang through the gas station’s door, his fingers clasped to the trigger of a handgun. He yelled something about money to the cashier, and then his dark eyes scanned the room before landing on her, an innocent target of a petite blonde girl at the soda fountain.
In an expanse of white to lose one’s mind in, I sought that for which there were no directions. Homogenous miles of snow—undisturbed except by its own movement, of which there was little—hid the entrance to a cave of ice. In the cave of ice, I had come to learn, was salvation.
There is a deep blue neon sign that hovers above the desert somewhere north of Interstate 8. It’s the type of blue that you feel before you see; a vague unrest in the corner of your eye that seems to vanish with focus. You can feel a presence out in the night sky, lurking just in front of your windshield and closing in slowly.
The Earth would not outlive the human race, this was evident. We raped, we consumed, and we destroyed. Even when we built, we ripped, harvested, and stole the resources we required from the being that bore us. Our influence spread like a plague. Cities began to grow, expanding outward like a festering wound.
The dispatch computer pinged twice. Night Man is waiting. The driver reached across, tapped the screen to dismiss the message then swung left onto a side street. Julia frowned. “Is this the way?” The cab driver glanced in the mirror and nodded. The street was one-way and the cars that lined either side accentuated its narrowness.