Fascination belongs to the believer.
The Snake Charmer
"'There weren't always dragons in the Valley. Were there?' It was the first thing that he had said that caught my attention. We was in Aya's pub, the local kitchen for many a traveler. He was no different 'til the question came out. Then again, it wasn't really a question. He was makin' a point and everyone knew it."
"I swear you were alone. I watched you from my distant altitude as you left your hometown behind. The trail you stomped was a coarse cut in the smooth snow. I remember it because I didn't understand it. How could you leave so much destruction behind you?
“Okay, so I’m thinking… an old man who takes on an Oz-like form. Uh, he knows all of apocalyptic history, which is important because few know how to read anymore and records are lost. Although, he uses everyone’s knowledge of his status to exaggerate his ‘power.’ Using smoke and mirrors, he convinces guests that he can alter time and space itself with his words; defying death multiple times and even changing the course of history and the future. Of course, many try to disprove him with logic, but to no avail, as his followers fearfully try not to provoke him. Quirky and clumsy yet always a step ahead, this wannabe is always trying to be something great in the apocalypse; something he never was during the Good Time.”
Inside every building it smelled like elevators. And the outdoors smelled like cherry blossom chapstick. It sounded like a typewriter. All the Braille being punched into or onto anonymous objects. Food was exquisite; and after a few months of touching everything, you develop callus that starts to rob you of the new norm. Makes you feel like you’re going blind all over again. Then you develop this hypersensitivity, and learn to feel through the rough palms. The True Sight it's called. See the new world by how it feels.
The leaves sounded like the waves beneath them, both roused by the breeze that induced the peace of the place. I had built it that way; kind and inviting. It was tranquil, for now. Though I was relaxing on the cliffside, I knew it would end. My paradise was too inviting. And as soon as I thought that conscious thought, I saw the first boat on the horizon. Its sails, tall and proud, were leading the fleet that was hidden behind their grandeur. A few more blinks and I witnessed the vast armies of the dawn conquer the skyline as they approached the shores of my kingdom.
Hello. My name is Dave.
He snapped another pen. The simple ritual prevented the annoying trial and error of trying to write with a husk. It dropped to the floor, paper-ridden with overdue bills and red tape and blackmail. Well, that’s probably what it all was. Nothing like that mattered anymore. He was hunched over, sitting under someone’s desk in a dusty abandoned office, hacking away at a safe. He grabbed another pen from his backpack side pocket instinctively; furthering his scribbles of tried combinations in the Sudoku puzzle book he finished last year. "Thank God I found you," he said to the combination safe. His mind was starting to wander too easily throughout the weeks. Or months. Room was running out on the number filled pages from all the failed sequences. He thought that maybe he should try the largest numbers and work backwards; meet in the middle. But he decided against it. After his typical three hundred attempts, he stood, and packed his things. "You'll open eventually."