Carter seemed hypnotized as Motts shared his sagely prognostications of the boy’s future.
Motts spoke of trials and tribulations, joys and frustrations. He spoke of love and heartache, friends and family and finally he gave a glimpse of what was to be Carter’s eventual end. Then Motts fell silent.
After a moment he whispered, “Please, put me back in the water.”
Carter shook himself from his daze. Unhooked the fish and dropped it back into the pond. As he gathered his stuff to leave, Carter turned back and shouted, “DUH! SPOILER ART!” And he stomped off, never to go fishing again.
Philly’s finger hovered over the ‘ENTER’ key as if it were hanging over the button that would trigger armageddon. His carefully crafted response was curt and direct, cutting but true, and clear beyond a shadow of a doubt regarding the matter Juniper raised – and that so many others felt free to join in on. It was true, and this time he had right on his side. Juniper had gone too far. She deserved this. And yet, his finger…hovered, suspended in time and space as his mind whirred.
After 12 hours of staring at a computer screen in a rather dull and lifeless hive of cubicles, Calliope stepped out into the brilliant afternoon sun.
The light and heat washed over her and she squinted so hard from the immediate impact that tiny tears formed in the corners of her eyes. Undaunted by the light, she forged ahead, her goal – to get as far away from this building and that computer as she could. Her eyes would adjust. She just needed to go.
As she made her way down the three short steps to the sidewalk, she failed to see the bicycle chained to the railing.
Polly tapped ‘refresh’ over an over again losing count of the number of times, not that it mattered. Refresh. What mattered was the response. Refresh. From someone. Refresh. Anyone. Refresh. Why were the responses so slow in coming? Refresh. Was it her computer? Refresh. Was it the other users? Refresh. Being online was like candy, but better. Refresh. It was more like a super rich, super tasty, no fat, low cholesterol, no calorie, covered in chocolate, dipped in love, sprinkled with sunshine and nuts and topped with a cherry sort of candy. Refresh. Mind candy. Refresh. Refresh. Where was everybody? Refresh.
Candy sat next the Billy a thousand, maybe a million times over the course of their…friendship? No, not friendship. They grew up together. To Candy, Billy was not so much a friend, but more an ‘accessory.’ Much like that familiar key ring, or that comfortable sweatshirt that just always seemed to be there.
But today, for no reason at all, when he nudged her with his elbow as he had done a thousand, maybe a million times, she grabbed his face and kissed him.
As the reality of the situation began to sink in, Bertrum realized two things almost immediately. One, there would be no time for all the witty retorts he had so carefully prepared for this moment. And two, there would be no good explanation for the lederhosen.
The far too distant sun rose to reveal a bleak and barren landscape. Marcus squinted into the icy wind, dreading another day in the cold, where he seemed to do nothing but work to live. Yes, he supposed, in the grand scheme of things, there was reason for his existence, but he couldn’t grasp it. And being a penguin, the options to make meaningful changes to his life and the way he lived it were few and fleeting.