Give Us Something Else
Sometimes, I do a little writing. Here is my latest piece. It’s called Give Us Something Else. Now, take a moment, get somwhere quiet, and read this short story.
If it were light outside, the color of the drinks would be visible, but under the silver moonlight, it only looks clear. Ice sways, clinks the sides of the glass as rolling waves tap their cadence against the side of the boat. The lights of the city are only a golden line in the distance.
She picks up her drink and sips, sets it back down. He watches her, his face resting on his index finger, pushing his cheek up to his eye. While he slouches in his chair, his heavy brow hangs over dark eyes.
He clears his throat coarsely. “Nothin’.”
A moment later, the fireworks start exploding over the city. No sound reaches them all the way out here. Facing towards the city in their lounge chairs, they sit in silence and watch the bright lights blossom, then whither. She sips her drink again, cracks ice between her molars.
“You’re lucky you lived to see this,” she says.
He exhales deeply. His eroded cheeks flex as he lifts his eyebrows, lazily.
“You’re lucky you didn’t have to live through what I lived through to see it.”
The moon, like an exaggerated sketch, fills the sky and drowns out all the stars next to it.
The fireworks stop.
At the speed of light, a beam of soft blue rockets from the surface of the planet,
shooting straight upward.
Distant clouds are vaporized instantaneously as the plasma pierces the atmosphere.
“Light through the dark.”
A thin smile sneaks its way onto his face after her comment.
As the lance reaches its target, an arc of silver light streaks from one horizon to the next.
Lights in orbit flicker.
A moment later, another series of lights intersect the first, this time golden. A thread of gold streaks directly over their heads, all the way over the horizon, seemingly into infinity.
“Ring B,” she narrates.
At last, a full, solid bar of light cracks the night, like a solid bolt of lightning. Only, it doesn’t flicker, but it stays. It maintains. The night sky, from the East horizon to the West, is sliced into hemispheres by an arc of solid white light. The stars nearest the strand are drowned out.
They stare skyward.
An excitement bounces between them in the silence. His damp eyes reflect the light
that comes from the Heavens.
He stands carefully and shuffles to the railing. His sweater rustles in the light, cool breeze of the night. She meets him there, near the water, with her hair waving in layers. Drink in one hand, she crosses her arm across her chest and leans against the railing with her back, but looks sideways at him. A sly look crosses her young, smooth face.
He whispers, to no one in particular.
“Give us Gods. Oh, give them us.”
Letting the words set for a moment, she looks at the sky, at the Rings now gliding silently overhead, cutting through the night.
“They gave us you.”
Her hair whips around in the breeze, gets caught in her eyelashes,
and she takes another drink.