Their Days Are Numbered is a new year-long project authored by the collective Entropy community. It is a collaborative online novel written by the Entropy community on a weekly basis. A different author will write the next “chapter” each week, to be posted every Tuesday, following the previous post from the previous week, and following a very limited set of guidelines (that each author has one week to write the next piece after the previous week’s installment goes up, that installments should range between 150-1500 words, and that pieces should somehow incorporate a real-life occurrence, current event, news item, or other happening from that week).
Follow the entire “novel” here: Their Days Are Numbered.
The twelfth installment is presented this week by James T Hager.
The stump was offended at having been slapped after so recently, humbly supporting the girl who spoke without caution, intent, logic or audience. She cared not for the wood, nor the wasteland that contained it, only for the sake of telling. When that was done, even the air was out of breath. But the rook, its dark eye turned skyward, watched, parched, as the linear motion of the rocket, followed by its own plumes, marched away.
Rocket red was the color of the tail. Was the color of the tricycle of the man who the boy had become. His fantasies of flight, speed beyond measure. He pedaled and the scenery moved, he solid as stone. His determination set in motion. Some day he would fly.
Rocket, read the tin sheet metal pan he placed gingerly upon the motor…no, the engine. Rockets had engines and this was his prize. 1 screw, 2 screws, 8, 10. The engine now sprang to life and he was propelled. Again, he felt as the boy had felt, the flow of life as air over the cowl. Illusory, fake in its movement. He, again stoic, locked to his machine as birds flocked upon the wires to watch at they moved by the gleaming metal. Pushing the pedal, raising the roar, rubber smoking, gas fire. Still farther, faster, reaching beyond the visible. Thought was as life, as breath, as the light caught in the eye of a passing crow.
The box was fashioned into a long tube which caught the idea, which lead to the spark, which caused the ember, which flew by upon the breeze, which engulfed the wisps, igniting the fire that became the torrent, that brought fruition effulgent to the idea which took shape, the shape of a box fashioned into a tube and painted rocket red and was aimed to move the current away for new.
The scholar who had been the boy with the box and the tricycle, and later yet, the man with the engine who imagined the world moving past in a flash as he held fast, steady, unmoving…
James T Hager is a biologist who has been a gothic/industrial dance club owner, an electrician, a swim instructor, and an amateur ghost hunter, and who had occasion to crash at the notorious Dischord House in the D.C. area where he’s from. He is now a Physician Assistant who dabbles in haunted house animatronics, restores old cars, and participates in Pit Bull rescue. He has presented performance art for the Novum Series and has provided his technical expertise to installation artists in Los Angeles.