Sunday, January 30, 2011

Seven Cities: Chapter Two

On the day the world ended, William DeSautel chanced to look out from his fourteenth story window onto the streets of New York City. Things, it seemed, were weird. New York could never be called normal by the usual usage of the word, but there was a method to its madness, a certain lunatic laugh. Now, though?
It was wrong.
Despite living near Times Square, despite it being noon, despite it being New York Center of the Universe, the crowds seemed thin. That is, thin for New York. The people that did scurry along did so with even less politeness than the famed New Yorker's courtesy usually dictated. Maybe half of the street vendors had turned out.
And there was something else. Something somehow more menacing than the change in the well established daily migration of the rat race. Something more terrifying than the large purple-green storm clouds in the east.
Aren't those supposed to go the other way?
William shrugged. It was just his imagination, surely. He had always been cursed with a mind creative beyond its right. His kindergarten teacher called it beautiful. His high school teachers called it distracting. His grad school professors called it deviant. His psychiatrist called it Generalized Anxious Escapism to the tune of four grand a month.
The cigarette in his hand had begun to smoke. It turned out to be a self-fulfilling hallucination, for William couldn't help but light it before moving to get his pills.

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