Blank Stare

Your words garner only a blank stare in response. You wait, expecting her to say something eventually, but she remains silent, eyes not wavering from yours.

The blank stare continues.

It stretches for so long that you begin to wonder if she really is a human woman, or if you have been dating some sort of eldritch abomination this whole time and it is only through luck and her good will that you have escaped destruction.

You lose yourself in the blank stare, and your girlfriend’s eyes begin to look unnervingly like the void, a bottomless abyss of despair framed by one disdainfully raised eyebrow.

There is nothing but the stare. You find that you have trouble remembering your own name, where you are, what you were doing. Somewhere in the back of your mind, a tiny voice suggests that you ought to say something to break the silence.

The voice falters, its frail cries meaningless compared to the echoing expanse that surrounds it and you and her. Continue reading →

Cyber Monday

At midnight, the power goes off. Around the country, refrigerators are packed with blocks of ice to keep the leftover turkey from spoiling. Families huddle around fireplaces, gas stoves, pine-scented candles. A flashlight would probably be safe, but it’s best not to risk it. In a few houses, cautious mothers have long since taken all the batteries out of not just the flashlights but also the alarm clocks, the cell phones, the smoke detectors.

They will survive the night. Others won’t be quite so lucky.

It starts quietly, as it always does. A phone, forgotten by a careless 20-something, starts flashing messages across its AMOLED screen.

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The phones aren’t so bad. Annoying but harmless, as long as no one touches them. Continue reading →

A Selection of Lives I Probably Will Not Lead

cluny

I live in a large Chicago apartment with a black lab named SeaTac. My cats are named JFK and Reagan, both after the airports.

I have a husband with very shiny hair and three daughters, all of whom share names with members of the British royal family. My house is always spotless and I am invariably polite to my neighbors. I wear a lot of J Crew.

I join the rebels in the Cyber War of 2037. I narrowly escape with my life and spend the rest of my days hiding my bionic shoulder.

I move back to my hometown after college graduation and take my mom’s old job. I am moderately content with my life.

I simply am not. Continue reading →