“J.D. sipped his drink. He thought it would give him “courage” and settle his nerves.”

John Dunn Sylvester sat in his window seat staring out at the tarmac and watching the loaders complete their chore. The Flight Attendant came down the aisle offering assistance and instruction. She stopped by J.D.’s seat.

“Sir, can I get you anything?” she asked.

“Huh? Oh, no thanks, I… no, thank you, I’m fine” came his distracted reply. Her smile offered little in the way of comfort or assurance. It would take more than that, he was afraid.

John remembered passing through the terminal thinking how appropriately the word irritated him after his journey. The doctors at the clinic were all in agreement. They labeled his condition with the same hopeless word. Terminal.
His cancer had metastasized. 18 months was the sentence proclaimed. He got nothing off for good behavior.

“Get your affairs in order, John!” the words ringing hollow in his head.

Sylvester was coming home to do just that. For a moment he thought it was a blessing that he and Beth couldn’t have children. But guilt washed over him, knowing that now his wife would be all alone. Her tears had been plentiful during their ordeal, but the determination as a last “second” opinion would surely open the floodgates.

J.D. sipped his drink. He thought it would give him “courage” and settle his nerves. But all that the Sweet Soco Manhattan did was excite the butterflies in his gut.

It is amazing how when your mind seems a million miles away, you don’t notice the obvious happenings around you. Announcements and recommendations filtered across the intercom.

“Approaching runway 19…”

“Tray tables in the upright…”

“Keep seat belts fastened until…”

The screech of the wheels as they contacted the runway, pierced him with a final thrust. As the plane taxied to the terminus, he tried to compose himself. How could he face Beth knowing he had refused all further treatment? He didn’t want to fight anymore. He just wanted to spend every minute he could loving the love of his life in his last months.

The line of passengers spilled into the waiting area, heading for the baggage claim. John had followed the others like cattle; mindlessly plodding along.

And there she was. Near the carousel. He saw Beth’s tears glisten down her cheek as she tried to retain some semblance of calm. As they embraced, he felt her shudder against his chest in muted sobs.

Pressing his cheek against hers he whispered “Beth, I love you so much!”

She gave a squeeze. Beth sniffed in her last tear.

“Let’s go home!” she whispered, never veering from his side.


DECEMBER 22, 2012

Amazing Images

The Dark Rift they called it. We all waited for it, but we didn’t anticipate it. It was a freight train looking to leap the track and level what we had come to know. Yesterday seemed to be the longest day of any in our lives.

Blame it on a dead civilization, the Maya (or were they a band of ancient extra-terrestrials?), whatever they were, what was supposed to happen, happened. The Rift.

More correctly, The Galactic Alignment. It was the positioning of the December solstice sun with the Galactic equator. Occurring only once every 26,000 years, it was what the ancient Maya were pointing to with the 2012 end-date of their Long Count calendar.

The Grand Eclipse; the mother of all.

There was a small band of people left from the “Pact”. I mean, let’s be real. I wasn’t about strapping on the Nikes and guzzling grape Kool-aid. If God wanted me that quickly, He was going to have to reach down and pluck me from this treadmill of life upon which He had placed me.

Eight of us here. Me, three women, a teenage boy, two young girls, and Jenkins. Well, OK, it was Seven of us and the robot.

The events of the past 24 hours were a whirlwind. Everything happened in a flash of eternity. The tides swelled. Electricity ceased to be. None of the habitation sectors were livable any more. Radio waves provided static, nothing more. We wandered in the darkness until the world ended.

There was just one problem. We woke up this morning and things seemed very familiar. The earth continued to rotate. Sure it had a slight wobble, but it turned. The moon resumed its orbit and the sunlight flooded the open spaces. The world had ceased to exist. Or at least the world we knew.

It was a revival; a renewal. The New Era had begun with high tides and no bells and whistles. Now we could do nothing but finally get it right this time. Jenkins agreed. We were getting too old for this shit!


They had outlawed the concept once referred to as time; there is no when.

26512 walked 17 miles until the sunlight had gone away. She knew that her journey would continue on the return of it to lead her onward. The security warden had instructed her to only travel where her path was illuminated.

She had more miles to traverse. 26512’s legs were sore and fatigued. She knew she needed to arrive in another 137 miles.The way she felt, she didn’t think she’d be able to continue. She needed to call her destination to inform them of this fact.

“You have obligations!” the sector seven security warden reprimanded. “You must arrive!”

“I will try. I can not promise I’ll make it” she said.

“Well, when do you think you might arrive?” the officer inquires.

“What do you mean?” 26512 replied. “I do not understand.”

“I need to cover your absence if you are not here. When do you think you can make it?”

“Excuse me Sir, but… I will be there in 137 miles! I do not know what… when… is.” 26512 answered in her confusion.

The security warden was not fully briefed on the new existence mandate. In fact, he could easily be banished for such talk. They had outlawed the concept once referred to as time; there is no when. There is only where, and how, and how far. If 26512 could not make the 137 miles to New Cincinnati on foot, the warden did not know what he would do, and he didn’t know why!