It was quiet. Quiet for a change in the immediate vicinity of his living space. The formless apparition of fictional neighbors behind the staccato noises that would interrupt from time to time. Quiet within that event horizon of a gray patched city whose overbearing grid of streets melted intuit he distance of a carnivorous fog. The door was not banging and the phone slept comatose. Who was on the hit parade for this afternoon? The strain across his neck and that cool dry feeling in his nostrils said it was coming.
You couldn’t think of anything else here as you passed the time waiting until it was your turn to die. No need for speculation for what you might find after. The best would be nothing. Just there one second and then nothing. He checked his automatic, first releasing the magazine and pulling back the bolt. Then replacing the magazine with a sharp push from the palm of his hand answered by the snap. There was nothing else to do but wait now. The door was barred but he knew it was just a delaying tactic to keep out an otherwise hostile world. The hush of complacency moved freely without. All the organs of the usual information had been tamed with commercial messaging re-enforcing the trivial and the banal. No more mirror to reflect the terrible wrenching grip of despair that lay restless each night behind every other locked door. The cold rough checkered grip of case hardened blued steel presented a playground for his nevus fingertips.
How would he account himself he wondered when the door was battered in? He figure that at best the several seconds of delay would allow him to position himself to inflict massive damage on at least one of the intruders. The trick of course was to fully commit to the proposition so that there would be no hesitation. No second thoughts or middle road. Of course, you could not plan such things. You had no control only the decision to surrender to the inevitably. Keep the weapon near to the fingertips locked and at the ready. How many rounds could one get off> Remember to fire lower than one expects. They didn’t care about their pawns. The small cadres that made up these surreptitious assault squads relished the challenges and of course were edified by each successful kill. They were assured that the public notion of ‘right‘ would be on their side in the blogs and tabloids each morning. The headlines reading, “Another terrorist cell discovered!” or much more than likely, no headline at all. Just a cleaning job that was handled in the remaining hours before dawn where the setting was sanitized and the errant truth seekers cowering behind their peepholes knew enough to keep their mouths shut lest they attract their own form of the ‘wrong attention‘.
There was no possibility of help or sanctuary left in his mind. The distant rumble of train cars and the far off cry of the lonesome engine’s pulling the assemblage far afield into oblivion drifted though the icy silence. He was alone and he would remain alone and this vigil would go on in some respects like infinity. Sort of like some strange party game event where the immediacy of the calendar removed chair after chair to the constant beat of a rain of sand crystals. The Rhumba of that constant washing machine rhythm displacing the flow of blood his temples that went on uninterrupted. This animal alertness would eventually quickly fade as it did overnight and he drifted into the misty obscurity of slumber. He would walk the empty halls without betraying himself through sound or light. The lights of the city grid pretending to be stars disappearing into the mystery of a boundless untried universe. This would go on, as it always had, until like any event in life something completely unexpected would one night eventually awaken him. Maybe the long fiery arc of an asteroid on his birthday before the impact of the event horizon that would bring down the pancakes of the floors above upon his head?