I glare at the wall and wait for my machine to respond.
It whirs. Clicks. Thumps a few times. It should’ve done
something by now.
I wait. Flick a switch. Tap the keys. Once more.
The seconds crawl into minutes on the wall. I breathe. The
machine whirs and thumps and whirs and clicks. On the outside, I am pure
On the inside, I’m in a fighting rage. I’ve already smashed
the machine against the wall a thousand times.
On the outside, I wait.
They assured me the machine would free up my time. Instead,
I’ve become its slave.
“Aw hon, cute hoodie!” She held it out happily. “If only it were pink.”
“Do we have to get something at every gift shop,” I ask apprehensively.
“Mmmm,” she said, licking her lips. “Taste.” A mini spoon tapped my teeth, tasting of dragon fruit.
“Where’d that come from?”
“The gelato shop next door. So good!” She handed me the empty cup.
And she’s gone.
There’s chanting across the street. It’s my name. Ke-vin. Ke-vin. Ke-vin. A rooftop bar breaks into applause when I see her, Mai Tai in hand. “Honey look, they have karaoke!” She’s wearing a pink hoodie.
A deer ambles through the forest, occasionally stopping to
nibble a leaf.
Meanwhile, denizens of the anthill are panicking. Tunnels
are collapsing and members of the collective are lost.
It must be the will of the gods, some claim.
We are destroying the earth and this is her revenge, claim
The sinners, they are to blame! Sacrifice them! Bring
balance back to the hill!
The conflict grows and spreads through the hill. In the chaos
of war, so many innocent lives are lost. Lives who only wanted to rebuild the
hill and move on.
Meanwhile, a deer ambles through.