by A. Silvestri
As the escalator grinds on beneath my feet, I wonder if it’s really there. The movement of steel coincides with the movement of my individual mind. It is no small feat. Normally, nothing coincides with any part of me. As a matter of fact, I rarely coincide with myself either. Therefore, it puzzles me. The notion of motion, reality and the two fat women gliding past me in a display of reckless disregard for the laws of mechanics. I don’t think that they dare speculate whether the steel steps truly are real. A stray thought could break the strenuous cord that holds them safely in place. The look at me as I look at them. They don’t connect. We don’t connect with anything else than the moving metal that lies beneath our soles. They are beyond me, in every sense of the word. But I can still hear them, commenting on my blank stare as we passed each other. I turn my head, slowly, as an owl lost in a city with no trees. They look away, anticipating. They see, what I don’t see. The end of the escalator. Polished floors on the second floor. Harshly reality pulls me out of the string of ridiculous thoughts, as my feet stumble. Flying, then sprawling. I taste blood and polish. It is real, for sure. The escalator could be a figment of my imagination. But the first and the second floor are as tangible as my broken teeth.
(A. Silvestri is a 31-year-old teacher living in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has been published in a few anthologies, science-fiction and horror. One of his short stories, When The Musics Over, will hit the American market later this year. It is one of the selected “best” science fiction stories from Danish writers, and will be featured in an anthology as well.)