“Sorry, but we don’t deliver out there,” the woman on the other end said.
“Because,” she stammered. “The neighborhood.”
Our call crackled with silence.
I stared out the tattered screen mesh that shielded my doorway from the neighborhood. My eyes met an abandoned home, probably housing squatters, across the way. An old air conditioning unit oozed black goop and white spray paint adorned the sunbaked fence out front.
Why would anyone want to come here? Not even the neighborhood’s inhabitants wanted to be here.
I’m unshakable when it comes to my dreams of being an author. I’m not sure why I haven’t grown out of it or if I ever will. I suppose naysayers are the reason why it has so much staying power.
When I’m told “You can’t [insert reason why authorship is preposterous]” a sudden and passionate emotion wells up. I can’t pinpoint what that emotion is, because it’s a cacophony of feelings combined to make one entity.
“I am Legion,” would be its response if asked to name itself.
Legion floods me with so much energy and emotion that its difficult to communicate its grievances in the real world. It’s akin to standing in the center of a packed football stadium where everyone is simultaneously giving you their opinion on a subject and expect you to repeat iton the spot.
It’s impossible. In fact, I usually babble or seem incoherent.
“You cant [reason].” “Yes. Maybe. Watch me! Someday. I dont know…”
Legion, however, is my cheerleader. My only believer. My pilot light. My muse. My best quality. It is reliant, unshakable and stubborn. Birthed the day I first created. The day I first put pen to paper. Tongue in cheek. The day I first felt worth existing.
A few months back, I was in a nasty rut and needed a change of pace. That’s when I found Yoga Girl Daily podcast on Spotify. The episode I listened to inspired this journal prompt.
Prompt: One of my greatest qualities is _______. How did this quality come about?
The sun boiled his sweat. Air was like a thick mass in his lungs and if it weren’t for its necessity, he would’ve expelled it like a lump of mucus. Tendrils of heat wafted from the ground and tickled his exposed, cut legs. Everything around him was alight except for a distinct shadow.
He focused on the clank of his pickaxe as he drove it into stone.
The shadow shifted as if aware that he’d taken notice. “Have you thought of my preposition? I can give you whatever you desire,” it said as it had for the last twenty years.
Has it really been twenty years?
The pickaxe droned on–clank clank clank–pieces of sediments tumbling to the ground.
“Warm bed, not the rock,” it continued. “Your enemies to take your place. All you need do is say you’re mine and I’ll free you from here.”
The pickaxe stopped mid swing. Twenty years toiling. Twenty listening to the shadow’s promises.
It takes a special person to be the failure of one’s lineage. To not only be the disappoint of ones current family, but also that of one’s distant ancestors.
Gregor would have to face all of them at the arcanum. He’ll have to stand there and let their digitalized minds know that the business they’d erected in the late 3000s and carried for a century, was going to die.
The particle wall to his office hummed to life as his robot assistant rolled in. The whirl of its inner parts were deafening. “They’re waiting for you sir,” it said.
The lights haven’t been on for weeks. A hot meal and central heating were privileges we couldn’t afford. We considered our small TV, sitting on top of a box labeled “shoes” in our empty living room, an exotic item.
It stared blank faced at the two of us.
His body protected me from the cold. Rough carpet rubbed against my exposed skin. We were a tangled mess of heat and pleasure under a single, tattered blanket.
Outside the wind screamed and rain pelted the roof as if upset we could find joy—delicious joy—in a time meant to break us. A time we’re supposed to want more.
She closed her eyes and watched her thoughts shoot across the blackness of her mind, but the music stood in their path like a slab of concrete. They shattered against it, exploding into shiny bits and fading as if never there.