He’d outgrown the nest many years ago but insisted on sleeping near, or even on, his childhood home. Now, to be clear, he wasn’t a bird, and the nest wasn’t made of twigs or downy feathers. The nest was an isolation chamber in a scientific laboratory replete with sensors and numerous bundles of cables. And he? He was a conglomerate: parts genetically stitched together, an artificial lifeform, a prototype product, a pharmaceutical proving ground. He was property, and the corporation never let him forget that, although they allowed for some latitude in regards to his treatment; after all, property, especially a prototype, can be expensive to replace.
The dark moon rose over the remains of the day, a virulent challenger to the setting sun and the native full moon obediently reflecting its pale orange face. The usurper, dark from eating the sunlight, suffering no surfeit, lifted higher unsatisfied, an angry eye with evil intentions.
The lighthouse sounded the foghorn as the ocean brume rolled in for the evening. Fog this thick might settle in for the rest of the week, covering and hiding the small fishing village. Fishmonger was both a blessing and a curse here where a sailing man might just as easily end up as chum as hauling in one of the big fish as the seafaring dinosaurs were called in these parts. Many years had passed since the beasts were reintroduced into the open sea, long after most of the ocean had become uninhabitable to the flora and fauna of the modern times. Mountains of plastic and toxic waste had taken its toll. Still, no matter what swam beneath the waves, someone had to keep the fog horn blowing when the sea and the sky melded into each other and obscured the boundary between water and land. Abigail took her charge seriously and she wasn’t about to let a recurrence of the gout slow her down.
Previously, as in before the fire—he thought of everything in terms of before or after the fire even though there was no evidence found at the scene to implicate him (unless you count that suspicious barrel of charred love letters, not that there were any envelopes or the more damaging cancelled stamps) and all of his friends testified to the depressed state he was in after the two of them broke up—the simple task of washing his clothes or doing the dishes (seriously, doing the dishes) left him bereft and unable to cope.
We are tied by gravity, a string that holds us, no matter how far we travel, pulled by the place we started, home, a place to leave, where we are from, a reminder of how far we’ve come, the anchor, the root, the foundation, our little egg with broken shell fragments scattered on the ground, the where of it which explains so much more than the why.