Gray skies loom over concrete sidewalks, phlanking drab, blackish streets that lead into a city that resembles piles of ash stacked skyward, embers still glimmering long after whatever fire may
have been there has gone out. Rain trickles down in uneven intervals, pitter-pattering time away, shedding it like lizard skin into a pile, that stacks higher and higher until it looks like the
ashen towers pushing upward a little more, at least it seems, every few years. They inch their way taller, blocking more sun, making the cage spacier, and yet more claustrophobic for the little
particles scuttling to and fro, going to jobs, falling in and out of some kind of fundamental attraction.
The particles do not see the concrete phototropism until years later, when one or another stops briefly to casually mention, by way of a brief, buzzing pause, to another the increase. They operate
on a purely micro level. The particles that bounce around, subatomic, in some atom, silicon, dancing in this direction and that, a perpetual motion machine of non-productivity.
Today they all wear hats and coats, carry umbrellas or some improvised cover from the water. They shield themselves from the elements because the natural world has no place in their cage made of
ashes. They hug dead comfort, loving it, desperately loving it. The particles embrace a dead culture. They sit in dead rooms, watching dead light flash colors over their blank faces. They sit in
those same dead rooms, bombarded by contradictory air. They listen to dead sounds, from dead machines, moving in dead patterns. Cripples walk with store bought bones, enjoying the dead city.
The city is hollow and cold. It fills with water a little more over time. The particles do not realize it, held tight by their dead distractions.
The city is gray. The water rises more. The particles do not know.
The city is ignorant. The water rises more. The particles feel cold.
The city is unsettled. The water rises more. The particles feel damp.
The city is frightened. The water rises more. The particles are swimming.
The city is alive. The water rises more. The people are gone.
© Copyright 2016 Jack Flagberry. All rights reserved.