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 twenty-second installment is presented this week by Venita Cerrada.
Stillness. Against that, unbroken aching and June clouds rose in her. She bent over and gazed into his expansive gesture. Folded her arms across her chest and felt caught up in a net. Booming emotions in a turbulent sky inside her stomach, where some older dreaming was sleeping. “You escaped?” he asked. But she wasn’t sure what to answer because she was still either stuck in his gesturing, or in the net or in her stomach, but she decided there was some kind of greediness he ignited, some revulsion and tenderness, too, that blurred and compelled her forward, toward the middle of him, into an entangled abyss of him, disjointed and disorienting. She was surprised to fall into him. To forgo her balance when everything seemed to be spinning, dizzying. Headlong.
Cautious breaths in and out, cautious steps. Interior thinking. For seemingly a day and a half until she reached him. Hello fear of or connected with friends and ankles, deaf limbs and lack of fear are also priests. God is patient and forgiving or purposeful and moody. It is there, and the mood of each song sings Hello. It’s a strange folk music. Bored, I read a book that I can take with me in death. There is something. Too loud a noise to be about anything. I mail something to a far off country and friend I’ve lost; I end the possibility of choosing. This is: a dedication or a terrifically bad dream trying to tell a terrible dream? A nightmare, but not as evil.
She observed a landscape both growing and in decline, with its children proliferating and rotting. She watched them flee and perish, mushroom and perish. None survived. Once, a sandstorm so monstrous rose to the height of the mountains, surged under the roof of the stars, and spilled over the celestial ranges just enough to cause an unfamiliar sunset for the other country.
She replaced the telescope lens afterward and kept the old one as a necklace.
She spinned on her heel for a cursory check of the other country behind her. Through the gleaming telescope, the landscape is perfect as ever: verdant, moving, oblivious.
A bad taste: a bad taste, her mouth I drink. Why suck down a beer with a TV for a God? God is located on computer screens. Cars are made, and no one will take them. Love is cheap. Toss chips and lime and my religion. I have to make a meal out of it, you see. A magnificent flower, a child turned an ugly color. Day-to-sort-out-soon flowers, I do-or-I-do-not-love flowers, or always-in-bloom-or-about-to-wilt flowers. Yeah, and you’re not even thorns. I feel this way, and in my opinion you love. How sad that you can hear inside my head. Huge upset, and honey off all the same. Radio or exit from this world. I, soon as the generation of my girth, will pull my pants back at the seams. This is not over. I’m still not angry.
Behind the desk, the priest slowly passed his fingers along the seam of his cuff. It was torn and felt like the wilting flowers of dead parishioners: soft, humid, brimming with expiring breaths. The singing usually consoled him. Not today. His side ached with emptiness where his god usually dwelled.
Wreckage they call sky. She’s looking in directions I can’t see. The big wooden cross hanging across her neck. She fidgets with it. She asks for escape from it. She’s being shy or lonely or lost. Who can tell, who can read signs with eyes. I’d rather not. It’s getting darker and the skin is closing in. The needles do their work and the darkness smells of meat.