Donnerstag, 14. Juli 2011

Silence

[A few days ago I sat at my desk in the early morning and, instead of writing the story I was supposed to write, came up with this drabble. I thought some of you might appreciate it, and for the others... well, reading one hundred words doesn't take up much of your time. I hope you enjoy it!]

From up here, everything looks normal. There is no sign of existence or disappearance of our fellow humans. But communication has been dead for days. Maybe it is just a technical glitch. But the news, last bits we heard… unexplained deaths in Africa, Asia, then Europe. US government trying desperately to keep the threat on the other side of the ocean, without success. Maybe it arrived via Mexico, along with housekeepers and construction workers without papers. The disease spread. People died. From space, everything seems pretty normal. Except for the silence. I look at the stars, distant and indifferent. Beautiful.

Freitag, 8. Juli 2011

A night out with Kevin

"Wouldn't it be cool if there were aliens among us, watching, as in the movie?" Kevin is excited, as I knew he would be. He must have been the last person in the western hemisphere to not have seen "War of the worlds". Great movie, despite Tom Cruise. Can't stand that guy.

And now he is all over the place with ideas. Kevin, that is. Wouldn't know about Mr. Scientology.

You have to know, Kevin is a bit slow. With everything. His family lived across the street from my mother, and my mother made me befriend him. As a kid, I hated it. All the cool kids were making fun of Kevin when he sat in their garden, watching the world with a smile. And I was forced to go over, drag him out into the world and protect him there. Well, somehow he stuck with me, and although I am pretty busy these days, I think I would miss him. My suit is wrinkled after a long day at the office, my back feels as if someone bent me into a pretzel, the tiny cinema was loud and dirty and uncomfortable, but Kevin smiles, and that is about everything I care about right now. He's one of the good guys.

"Don't know about you, man, but I'd crap my pants." I point in the right direction. "The car's that way, I think."

We walk down the road, make it a game not to step onto the cracks in the pavement. Kevin likes this kind of stuff. He may look dangerous - he's as huge as a mountain! But deep inside, he is as soft as a new-born puppy. Sometimes he stops, head back, and watches the moths dancing through the cascades of yellow light washing over us. His eyes are almost black, and his crooked teeth look quite orange. He's always been fascinated with insects, and has got quite a collection at home. It used to creep me out, just as his collection of chicken bones which he kept in the desk drawer, but I am cool with it now. Way more interesting than collecting stamps, I'd say.

It's a short way home, and I let Kevin's happy ramblings wash over me without paying attention. The streets are deserted, so we pull up at his home after just a few minutes, and somehow I feel reluctant to let him go inside. A grown-up guy shouldn't live like this. I'm not sure what to do about it, though. "Say hi to your mother", I offer, weakly. Then I wait for him to reach his door, weave, and drive off.

My flat is waiting, all dark and chaotic, and as I drive through the familiar streets I think about Kevin's day-to-day life. Must be strange, in that quiet place, with the decaying mother in the rocking chair. He says he didn't harm her, and I kind of believe him.