“Because…the Neighborhood”

“Sorry, but we don’t deliver out there,” the woman on the other end said.

“Why not?”

“Because,” she stammered. “The neighborhood.”

Our call crackled with silence.

The neighborhood.

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 see,” I said and ended the call.

Credits

Picture: Abstract Surface by Anna Guerrero via Pexels

Twenty

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.

Twenty

And it was all beginning to sound more promising.

Credits

Picture: Pickaxe by Samer Daboul via Pexels

We’re in Paradise

“We’re in paradise,” they said. “Unhappiness doesn’t exist here.”

As they smiled and ruffled my hair,
I felt darkness overtake
The last bastions of light
In my soul.

“Yes,” I said. “We’re in paradise.”


Picture by: Gerald Friedrich