“When did he get here?” the taller of the two men asked, pulling a hefty book off the shelf. “A few minutes ago.” “How’d he go?” “Plane, small-engine.” “Shit. All alone?” The shorter man nodded. “Yep.” “The fool — he’s early. Look.” He pointed at Gregory Donahue, D.O.D. — May 28th, 2064.
Davey wandered barefoot along the abandoned railroad tracks behind his family’s trailer — almost stepped on a busted bottle of Jack. He walked until he stumbled upon an old, engraved sign in the woods: On August 17th, 1819, in this exact location, nothing happened. Davey snorted — almost laughed — then headed home.
The battle-hardened men of the past gaze at us in silent contemplation through clouds of cigarette smoke. The lines on their faces are like medals of honor — wrinkled badges of courage. I run a hand across my own, feeling the smooth surface, and wonder if I’d have it in me.
Purgatory was different for everyone. When John entered, he was thrust back into his old world, forced to live out his new life firmly rooted in the ground. See — John became a tree. As he aged, he understood tranquility. He became home to animals and insects alike. He still stands.
Tre rapped about his life. Paul plucked guitar strings, telling a different version of the same tale. After the open mic closed for the night, Tre and Paul swapped stories at the bar, connecting over their shared fates: both orphans, both dropouts, both directionless until they found meaning through music.
He was trapped inside his own body and mind — the world obscured in a dark shroud of mystery. But when he heard music, everything came alive in brilliant landscapes of color. Mountains, forests, and oceans appeared before him, breaking his chains, sweeping him into this alternate reality — this immaculate universe.
Uncle Joe loved the rain. It was only fitting that on the day of his funeral the skies opened up. As the trumpeter played “Taps” and umbrellas flipped inside out from the whipping wind, I knew without a doubt he was smiling, laughing down at us – soaking it all in.
After winter’s thaw, two young sisters muddied their sneakers as they hiked through the woods. One halted. “Forests are like libraries,” she whispered. “Why?” the other asked. “They’re quiet. And you can learn a lot here.” They walked on, fascinated by this newfound world — this beautiful discovery in their backyard.
He looked high, low — all around. For years he searched in unlikely places, always hoping truth would rear its ugly head. On his deathbed, he called his children close: he had finally found it. “Time,” he whispered. “It’s all we’ll ever have.” Though his had ended, the moment was eternal.
When the sun faded, we knew the world would harden — as would its people. We were wrong. Old Ms. Tristan brought us in and tried to keep us warm. She stoked the fire, but it was only a matter of time before the cold and dark enveloped everyone and everything.