The Color of Her Heart
Roop’s eyelids fluttered gently as she woke up to the rays of the morning sun. The sunlight made its way through the rips and tears of the old shawl she pinned over the glass square in the wall. The glass square is locked in place and does not allow any outdoor noise or fresh air to come into the small square room. It is meant to let in light only to wake up the room occupant. It is not supposed to be covered. It should not be covered.
Have you ever woken up feeling disoriented, looked around and not recognized your own bedroom? Maybe after a big night out. Maybe after doing something you regret but know you’ll laugh about later. Maybe next to someone you’ll never see again… This time I’m not in my bedroom. A ringing in my ears persists loudly and shakes me into sobriety. Where the fuck am I? I try to stand up only to stumble onto the floor. The mattress I was sleeping on looks grey and worn, with dark stains on the far end. The only light in the room hangs from from a wire by the door, glowing a warm yellow. I use the wall as support to drag myself up from the floor and immediately feel a heaviness in my head as I try to piece together the events from the night before. I look down at my hands to see one of the tips of my fingers covered in a plaster. I vaguely remember knocking into someone last night and breaking my nail. I start to notice my finger pulsating and unravel the plaster to reveal the entire nail from my middle finger is gone, a bloody nail bed in its place. I gasp for air but instead feel my throat closing up. Tears fill my eyes as memories rush back and I crumble back down to the floor.
See, after the Merge, almost everyone found their Parallel within a few days. That was 5 years ago today and I still haven’t found mine. What’s the Merge? Well, you know how most people go through life feeling like a part of them is missing? That they don’t really fit in, or have dreamt about havin gpowers? Turns out, it’s true. They discovered an alternate dimension years ago. A dimension filled with the monsters, and creatures that we had only read about in stories. Apparently, it was like the proverbial heaven, grass is greener kind of thing. Ever since humans destroyed the earth decades ago they have been trying to figure out how to get to this alternate dimension, we called it Earth 2.0, clever right? What we didn’t know was that the closer we got to actually killing the planet, the closer we got to the Merge. Earth and Earth 2.0 merged…that’s right, they merged. Some God, somewhere had mercy on us and basically gave us a new planet BUT with that new planet came everything in it. Everything on Earth 2.0 was a direct parallel of everything on Earth. The plants, animals, people, landscape, everything except manmade creations. So, when it happened, every living person merged with their parallel and became a better version of themselves. The best we can figure is that a person and their parallel shared a soul.
Tubes to the Mountains
The morning sun breaks over the horizon in the distance, beaming its light across the vast flatlands. Giant grasshoppers flutter between tall stalks of wheat, munching and drinking up the morning dew that has collected overnight. That was the one benefit of working the wheat fields, mass amounts of moisture to gather in the morning. It made you feel like your thirst could actually be quenched since the water distribution to each household was abysmal. These brief, beautiful moments in the sunrise helped to make Danae feel like life was worth living. The deep purple clouds appeared flat with homogenous color against the vibrant sky of orange, pink, and blue behind it. Danae breathed in deep the dawn air.
3 Million Marks
Miren swept a trembling hand over her wet lips, the taste of bile on her tongue and teeth threatening to send her retching over the toilet bowl again. The nausea had been a constant if unobtrusive companion all day until the overfilled garbage bag she had been carrying had split down the side, releasing the stench of day-old caviar and stale champagne.
A Frozen Heart
“Come on, Amity. Everyone knew the pods wouldn’t last forever. I’d bet my right arm that we’re in the final stages of The Freezing,” Umber declared.
The woman's eyes dart rapidly, scanning the dilapidated Los Angeles streets as her heels pound through the rubble, shattering splinters down the pavement. The city, vibrant from a distance, shows cracks in the convincing facade when viewed with scrutiny. Buildings, once state of the art, line the streets crumbling in disrepair after years of tyranny and war, covered in ivy and inundated by squatters. The upper floors, however, tell a different story of luxury, dominated by Skyborn. In the skies, airships streak by, some blimp shaped and bulky, others streamlined and luminous. The woman is simply a blip in the idealistic landscape.
Locket of Hope
October 21 I woke up today with another excruciating headache. Consequently, I didn't get in as much studying as I needed. Motivation to write tonight was weak, but I promised myself that I'd dedicate a portion of my day to journaling, so I can manage the feelings of suffering and anxiety that I experience because of Lauren's death. I suppose it's helping a little. I miss her so much. Her poor, asthmatic lungs just couldn't take the harsh, volcanic dust we're now breathing in every day. As the older brother, I feel like I've failed her.
A boy stood before a mirror, staring intently towards his reflection. He slowly glances down to look at his chest in the reflection, almost docile in his movements.
Angel of Death
I tugged my hair loose from its braid, golden waves cascading to my shoulders. Running my fingers through it, I grimaced. I couldn’t remember the last time I had taken my hair out of its braid, forget about the last time I had washed it. The stream gurgled invitingly next to me, offering the promise of reprieve from the grime that seemed to have become a living part of me. Tossing my clothes on the bank, I waded into the water. It lapped at my thighs and the sun warmed my bare skin. I sank below the water and only then did I allow my mind to wander.
With Love, G.W.
The chirping of cicadas is the only sound that occupies the dimly lit intersection of Citadel Road and First Avenue. It’s 1:55 a.m. and her window of opportunity is just ten minutes from closing. The night patrol is turning in, and the early morning shift never starts their rounds before 2:05. With one final glance at the nearest guard post, Robyn lowers herself down from her flat’s second floor window and proceeds toward the graveyard.
Winnie hunches over to support herself on her knees. The shouts from Orion’s amplified voice reduce to whispers in a startling instant. Though, even through the sturdiest of steel walls and the soundest of soundproofing, the megaphone echoes dimly.