Thursday, November 08, 2007

Entry #8

No Margin
by Josh Vogt


The plastic filter muffles the elder’s heavy breathing. His pale eyes are thumbprint smudges behind the glass panes of his mask.

“I remember when sunsets meant romance, not retribution,” he says, vocal cords creaking from acid-clawed scars.

I am disoriented by how organic everything is beyond the threshold. Mold instead of plastic. Dirt instead of steel. Bones instead of fiber optic cables.

“The trees grew green,” the elder says. “Not black. You could have sex without spending two weeks in a decontamination center afterwards. Swimming in a lake didn’t sizzle your fat like bacon.”

He shoves me outside, far enough so it’s useless to try and fight my way back in.

“Birds sang. They didn’t scream.” He gives me a last, baleful glare from within the airlock. “I ache for the world, but not for you.”

The door irises shut, hissing as it seals. It will not open for me again.

I press a hand to my stomach, noticeably swollen beneath the orange webbing of my biohazard suit—new life within me, waking to a dead world.

Unplanned. Unacceptable. Unforgiven.

I watch the sky burn, and wonder how far I can chase the sunset before the oxygen tank runs out.

17 comments:

Mirtika said...

I love your use of language in this one, Josh, and the post-apocalyptic feel. Muy bueno.

Mir

Bernita said...

Excellent style and setting.

Sarah Hina said...

Very unsettling, creepy feel to this one, Josh, along with some great descriptions (love the "pale eyes as thumbprint smudges"). Wonderfully imaginative, and sinister. Very well done.

SzélsőFa said...

Oh, these dystopian sets disturb me...well written *shivers*

RachaelfromNJ said...

Wow I like this one alot. I also loved this line.

''His pale eyes are thumbprint smudges behind the glass panes of his mask.''

Very nicely written!

Church Lady said...

Very, very nice. Unsettling and creepy.
It was a pleasure to read.

wrath999 said...

I enjoy end of the world tales. You did the very well in such a short amount of words

Jaye Wells said...

So many great images. I especially like the last line. Nicely done.

The Quoibler said...

"Irises shut."

Now that's just freaking awesome.

Angela said...

The movie! When does it premier?

Good job!

Beth said...

Angela stole my thought. This should be a film.

Abhinav said...

Wonderful gems you've scattered as you wrote; like this one:- 'I remember when sunsets meant romance, not retribution,' and 'new life within me, waking to a dead world'. Great going... Loved it...

Hoodie said...

This one really spoke to me. The language is smart without being pretentious. Excellent work.

Dottie said...

Usually the preachy aspect of why the world is ending overtakes an eco-apocolyptic story but not here. You have a smart plot and two fully developed characters. This is great and one of my favorites.

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

Yes, what Dot said. A little Wm. Gibson in there, too.

SzélsőFa said...

Congratulations, Josh!

jason evans said...

Powerfully written. The dialog was a great tool to get the backstory across. A very good mix here. Vivid and well rounded in technique.

High marks.

Congratulations on the honorable mention!!