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 thirty-eigth installment is presented this week by Michelle Detorie.
I went underground and never wanted to come up. But then one November every sky was apocalypse pink and purple and orange like nuclear honey poured into the atmosphere drunk and soft and sweeping round us. And I strode with my dog to the top of the hill and looked down to the place where there was once an ocean but was now nothing more than poured mud stretched upon rocks and reaching out out out towards the islands. We could walk there. Mirage trouble a bridge spread under the wefty exhaust of hot comets.
I understood the weather as a thing that could be read but it was a type of reading without letters and barely any shapes. Blue clouds turning purple against the troubled populations of corporeal glyphs riveted out from the earth, the tangled roots thin as a thread of lived wages — never enough and tenuous, but clotted and tough.
I held what I could in my mouth and for as long as was tolerable. I tried to steady my mind around what my tongue knew but could barely remember to me. This feeling is made of houses. A darkening afternoon — daylight never enough to reach. But each night the lovers rise from the grave to meet each other in the domestic atmospheres of spent mechanics. The silent speech of semaphore and shadow.
It was important not to talk or listen to too many human voices which became so much like paper. They papered over the places where we’d printed our paws. The air misted with a lilac alphabet we’d exhaled. Ticking like seconds. Invented insects (texts). Star-spackle and drift.
And then there was the day you’d ask me where my baby was. But there is no baby. The baby is rather a dog who has gone next door to sniff through the ruins of the neighbor’s house — loose shingles and hanging slats of plastic siding. Her fur a web spun from shell-bones. She unspooled from my hips.
All we do is feel like houses.
I call the dog letting the words stay loose and edgeless, low and rumbled in my throat, and her ears prick at the sound. She comes back to me, limping up the eroding hills lit up like phosphorescent transcripts feral with data, reckoning.
For now we gather what we can from the landscape, and we are fucking wealthy.