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.
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.
I can see them from here lining up to climb over the wall. Some have grappling hooks, at least one group looks to be forming a human pyramid, and I swear there’s a guy in a jet pack. Most people are just milling about, lost or desperate. A few are selling snacks or water bottles or trinkets like t-shirts that say “I saw the wall and all I got was this t-shirt” or some other pithy phrase.
I’m perched on top of the wall. It’s my job to signal when the coast is clear, but there is no coast even if it is clear; we are way out in the middle of the desert. I know, if I’m up on the wall, how did I get here and if it’s that easy, why doesn’t everyone? Good question and I’m not answering. Go figure out your own solution.
Here comes a guy with a pole to try to vault over the wall. That’s not going to work. First, the wall is taller than his pole, and even if it did work, what happens on the other side? There’s no pad or anything to break his fall. This should be entertaining.