Jenny

Checking back in on the Colony. It’s looking like everything I’ve written since and including the Colony, with the exception of the Hemingway re-write all take place in the same universe.  Currently it’s at almost exactly 10,000 words.  I’ve mapped out a number of flash fiction and short-story length pieces to fill it out.  In short, cataclysmic war on Earth leaves a lone remnant of a Mars colony, a generational spaceship on its way to Gilese 667 Cc and scattered survivors on Earth as the last of humanity.  I’m not as concerned with the overall story arc as with describing the period in a series of vignettes.  Think: a mostly-flash fiction I, Robot.  I’ve no idea how will this will work.  Anyway, best read The Colony before this one.  Cheers.

Jenny

You are in the midst of the sixes now, you know. Sixty six and sixty six. This is vital. You understand the importance right down to your bones.  Sixty six and sixty six and coming steady to the end of the world and the Armageddon is of your making.

You sure are keeping count Jenny and you sure are here.

You remember others, of course you do. There were eight and they counted to eighty-eight.  And there was comfort there so you knew there was meaning too and so you would line the rocks in 88 and straight and then over again and that helped. When you saw our faces and our faces were a thousand quick cut photographs spiked into your head like ice and you could feel all of the touching, everything, then 88 made like center.

We went away one by one and stopped being eight and that felt wrong but we kept at the 88 until it was just you and so just you did them every day.   You took the 88 steps to the sun and left a stone each step.   And the giant mushroom forests spread far and you found things to eat when the year came and the year said you were the last one and he didn’t wake up then. But you realized the numbers had to match and it hurt when they didn’t so the first year you did one. And two and two and three and three. And now your footfalls are already there to greet your toes in the stepping. Sixty six years and sixty six steps this year.

You sure are keeping count Jenny and you sure are here.

You sleep and you see the bringing you make with the steps. The world you’ll bring. You see your bones snap at the score marks, our grass and slab both queer in that strange endlight. There is a strange living vibration and a billion birds in panic, steadily rising wind. Already anguished, choked sobs there in the cold and the dark. The ground is drawn by a sediment of shining dark carapaces. The kind of black skittering things that scatter from the light when you flip the switch. They’re up your arms and down your shirt, tiny and busy articulate legs all in sequence.

There, the sharp angled bedrock of a cityscape, black as construction paper and more, the dull distant fire. Can you rise and be a living equation, the fit and cut of every numerator planted according to your own steely gaze? You see gathering pairs of lights on the horizon and the sharp detail of a rabbit with a shattered back drags its limp legs along a ditch.

You sure are keeping count Jenny and you sure are here. Sixty six years now and twenty two to go. There is a dusting of ash the threat of rain and what can you make of the world?

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