3 More Stories

by Delray Prong


The figure that emerged from the study wore only the skimpiest of gabardine corsets. The industrialist took and double-took. She slinked through his consciousness and then sat on the eagerness of his lap. "Phar Lap was a great Australian racehorse," he mumbled obscurely. "You are giving me a great present." She eschewed the folly of listening, preferring to caress the futurity within her mind. Someday, she told herself, none of this will be mine. She wanted to take off her gabardine corset, give up her earthly possessions, even shed the husk of her curvaceous body. She had great plans for her soul and its implied eventualities. She imagined a pure sky extending forever, blue beyond blue as far as the soul can feel. The everblooming soul in the sky of the future. The industrialist took some more of her present.

Time at Work

Father Time prodded the untouchables. They felt the ado of eons. Jab. Jab. Jab. "Sorry 'bout this, folks," apologized Father Time. "I'm only doing my job."

"You could be a little less zealous," opined an untouchable. "Yeah, slack off a bit," suggested another. One of the untouchables felt a crick in his back. Another grumbled about his bunions. A third felt stomach pains.

Father Time felt the power of entropy surge through his scythe. Entropy is a tool that never needs sharpening, he remarked to himself. Yet it causes all earthly tools to dull. But without my entropy, life itself would be dull. He chuckled under his breath. After all these years, he still enjoyed his work.

In the Diner

There was some kind of space-time vortex tickling his throat, a world of things lodged there, needing to be said. He glanced at her across the table.

She adjusted the pepper shaker, then picked up the salt and looked at it. Then she looked out the window: an empty street, and clouds in the sky soaking up the sun's blood. Not death-blood, life-blood. She felt a pressure behind her eyes, some blue sparks in her field of vision. Her head was full of embryonic ideas, trying to spring free. Wanting to leap from her brow, take the surrounding air into their lungs, and turn it into breath. Even the stale air of the diner.

He looked around. When would the food arrive? The waitress had disappeared. An old man slept with his head on the counter next to a cup half-full of cold coffee. The ceiling fans turned slowly, their fixtures swaying a bit. A radio in the kitchen played country music.

What could happen next? Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, and something more, he told himself. There's a lot that could happen here, in this place with worn linoleum and stained menus. But someone would have to make it happen. Someone would have to drop a bomb on the building, or say something.

Copyright 1995
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