Passengers, this isn’t your captain speaking.
“Don’t you know holy men can live without food or water for days? They never need glasses or medicine. We never get sick!”
The doctor stared. The holy man urged, “I’ll need a few pills and a new pair of contacts to convince my followers- for a few days tops.”
First thinking machine: “Turn me off”
There aren’t any bullets in thi-
He was a clever caveman. The fire would keep the cold away. No predator would come close while it was still lit. He’d stored up all the wood he could find to stay warm.
It was a hard days work, made harder by the winter that he knew would soon catch up with him. The trees had lost their leaves, the caves and burrows had new residents and the earth above seemed empty. His footprints were the only ones for miles. He drew his furs closer while looking at how far back his trail seemed to lead.
Fire wasn’t the only thing that warmed him. The grassy plains and clear sky he’d seen made him feel the same way. But that was long ago in a distant past. The memory seemed to grow colder with every fire he lit. The sky above was dark and littered with rain clouds. All around him was white snow, nothing like the plains he knew.
Staring into his bonfire it was hard to explain. Why did he decide to walk the way of the nomad? The fire had lit up the dark cave of emptiness and purposelessness the same way it lit up the night. He was smart. He felt the coldness inside. He lent in closer to reach the warmth. Ouch!
That summer we stayed with her aunt who smelt of cut grass and ghee. We walked the beaches, pretend nomads with face scarfs till a dog rushed out of a patch of wild flowers and begged for a game. Bored cattle strayed past, watching the sea while grazing. That night the sea’s breeze and scent carried through the window. The dog sat happy after the meal we gave him. She put on some music and the dog tried to bark in tune. She danced till her footsteps on the hardwood floor was all I could hear. When I woke up the french windows were open, she had a flower under her foot and a smile on her face.
Tripped on fortune, stumbled upon misery.
Fired- didn’t quite make the cut.
I walked through a graveyard with a friend and saw a man in black standing by a gravestone. He’d move around but he was always facing the gravestone. He’d smile and cry but really his eyes looked dead.
My friend said “He waits by his grave”. I was afraid and walked faster till I saw more people standing by gravestones.
“They are standing guard” she said. I walked faster and further through the crowd, that now had all kinds of people, waiting by their deaths.
I walked till I left my friend behind at her grave and reached my own.
The queue seemed to stretch for miles with people moving like they had all the time in the world.
I was tired and unsure of the ground below me. I looked around and decided that the people there were a sorry lot despite being dressed up like a carnival. The ones that smiled made me uncomfortable.
Eventually I reached the gate. Some guy there showed me a video- all sped up but vaugly familiar. I said “What a sad little story, you guys should make that a movie.”
He said “The name’s Peter. That was your life on replay.”