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May 28, 2005

Volume 1, Issue 16

Imagine a day like any other ordinary day. Then, you see this:


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When I'd listen to David Bowie's "Five Days," this is what I'd see. Suddenly, the sky becomes oppressive. The clouds knit together and press down upon the earth, sucking out the air. The color palette changes, and hues of illness cover everything and everyone.

No one would know what was happening, but everyone would know that it's time to say goodbye to everything they love. Everything is changing-- being stained-- and everything will fall into the sea.

We see this now, and we are scared.

Bowie had it wrong, though. I don't think we have the luxury of five days.

Posted by: Adam at May 28, 2005 4:22 AM · Permalink

Dammit! I'm sick as a dog with a cold, and said, "Five Days" instead of "Five Years." It's "years" in both the first and last paragraphs!

Posted by: Adam at May 28, 2005 4:36 AM · Permalink

I've passed Papa's treasure on to my son, of course, but he's so young and clumsy, I'm afraid he'll break it.

But today's his birthday, so we take it out. A large chunk of lapis lazuli, with smaller flecks of malachite, ivory, and opal that seem to move over the surface, just under the flawed glass, like the windows of an old house. A very common tchochka, really, but it seems magical in its simple beauty.

We play until the boy becomes restless, then I wrap it back up in the cotton batting and return it to the highest shelf.

Posted by: Tanya at May 28, 2005 5:07 AM · Permalink

Egon looked up as the sky suddenly darkened and the clouds began to boil.

"Uh-oh", he said out loud to no one, "What is Venckman up to now?"

Posted by: Eric Blair at May 28, 2005 5:39 AM · Permalink

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking about God.
You don't even believe in God.
And even if God did exist, which doesn't, for sure he'd be an asshole.
A complete shitfaced asshole who thinks that forcing a bunch of insignificant insects to worship his fragile ego is amusing.
What other explanation is there?
But you're still thinking it.
Because maybe he doesn't want our worship?
Because maybe he's always waiting for someone to just say it. And mean it. And his hand will come through the clouds and touch your cheek. He'll smile. You will too.

Posted by: jamie at May 28, 2005 5:47 AM · Permalink

In retrospect, it’s amazing nobody thought of it before.

I mean, have you ever looked at a sky filled with featureless gray schmutz and become immediately depressed? Happens to me all the time. It’s not just the color or the sameness, it’s the feel of the thing. It’s plain impossible to have a positive attitude under a sky like that. So it makes sense that they’d start selling custom-painted sky domes. Mine’s a beautiful Mayish blue with puffy cumulus scattered around for texture.

My neighbor’s, on the other hand, is decidedly more ominous. Makes you wonder what mood he’s cultivating…

Posted by: Keiran Halcyon at May 28, 2005 7:21 AM · Permalink


Sighing, I take my foot off the pedal. Flat fell seams take concentration and now this! Alex is at the window, pointing.

I look out into a gathering dark, the sky roiling like a hurricane tossed sea. The neighbors have left their homes, standing in the street. Some are clutching each other, sobbing. Some have fallen to their knees, eyes fixed on a sky that punches down towards them dancing with silvered flame.

I cross and open the back door. She stands rapt; arms spread wide, her hair whipping in the vortex.

“Young lady! Didn't we discuss this yesterday?”

Posted by: Darleen at May 28, 2005 8:15 AM · Permalink

Every day, it seemed, in the late afternoon, the clouds would begin their assembly gathering high and dark above the cemetery up the hill. From there they would move down spreading out across and overhead turning the air an eerie monochromatic that caused the trees and even the church across the way to cease their silhouette and blend in to join the roil. Then would come the winds and the torrents and the fears of sirens sounding through the howl in a powerless night. These midwestern summers, though alienly predictable, were hard to get used to for a coastal boy.

Posted by: marc at May 28, 2005 9:19 AM · Permalink

I had seen the same vision in my dreams for a month.

A great, luminous hand, reaching from among green clouds, plucked some of them up and passed others by. Some were relieved to be left alone. Some even smiled when the hand came for them.

Most of them, though, sank to their knees, unable to scream or run.

When I told them about this dream at my sermon, some of them smiled. Others listened intently, but I was never sure if they believed me or not.

Then, one day, storm clouds gathered to the west. Large, fluffy, evergreen clouds.

Posted by: Shawn at May 28, 2005 9:32 AM · Permalink

Mabel carefully dusted each item in the cabinet. Fighting back the pervasive Kansas dust was a daily chore.

Mabel acquired the cabinet after her sister had died. She also acquired guardianship of her niece. Dot was a good girl but far too rambunctious to be playing inside on a day like this.

A day like this. Mabel hadn’t noticed the summer storm rolling in. Its sickly green hue warned of impeding tornadoes. They must get in the cellar!

Mabel opened the door and called for her niece. Then through the gathering wind, Mabel heard the reply.

“I’m coming, Auntie M!”

Posted by: Jim Parkinson at May 28, 2005 11:19 AM · Permalink

Side by side they sprawled on deck chairs, his snoring a rhythm to the afternoon. Ten straight days of sunshine, she marveled.

He sat up suddenly. Grabbing his groin, he scanned the sky.

"Quick," he hissed. "The shutters."

"What? There's not a cloud--"

A shadow fell across the lawn.


She scampered toward the windows. Slamming shutters frantically, she watched the side of the house darken. A thunderclap broke overhead.

The last shutter secured, they raced inside. A torrent of rain hit the roof.

"How?" she panted. "How'd you know?"

He tugged at his nutsack. "Better than Doppler," he said.

Posted by: Allah at May 28, 2005 11:29 AM · Permalink

Darrell and the boys went out for a few well-earned beers. Upgrading all the wiring in the old department store had been hot, sweaty work.

Darrell hadn’t meant to have more than a couple of beers but it had been months since he’d been out with the boys. He never really meant to go to the strip club but he ended up there anyway.

Driving home in his truck, Darrell felt regret. Should he tell Ann where he’d been?

Then he saw the twisted, roiling clouds boiling ominously above the apartment’s parking lot.

Ann already knew. And she was mad!

Posted by: Jim Parkinson at May 28, 2005 11:45 AM · Permalink

As the air temperature dropped, the hairs on his forearm stood up. The course flannel of his uniform was scant protection from the chill of the downdraft, but it was all the protection he’d get on this assignment.

He struggled to get the rapidly forming tornado in the frame of his camera, but it was difficult since the descending vortex was coming straight down at him. His camera and netpod were ripped from his grasp, pajamas torn from his body as his limp form spiraled upward into the worsening storm. Pajamamedia weather services’ first death in the line of duty.

Posted by: joe at May 28, 2005 12:57 PM · Permalink

Things always got clearer when he ran. That's why he did it. And indeed, pounding up the last yards of trail through scruffy pine woods, he felt the fog of hope and denial drop away.

It just wasn't going to happen. They would have to accept that, stop paying new doctors for new deceptions.

From the plateau Adrian watched the ferocious storm building, a hundred miles out across the gray eastern Colorado plain. Boy, he smiled to himself, some folks in Kansas are just about to really get it. Of course, our turn will come, soon enough.

He started down.

Posted by: Carthoris of Helium at May 28, 2005 6:50 PM · Permalink

Check before you post!