Darkness cooled the city. Storefronts snapped bright under a falling haze. Every surface turned into something shiny. Traffic and sidewalks began to glow. Neon clung to tin boxes overhead, buzzing dangerously and begging for attention. The streets became slick and damp with the sweat of the creatures that came out only at night. The seedier shops stayed open for them, calling them in to fuel their wandering lust for life. You felt their sweat stick to the bottom of your feet. It got in your hair. Under your fingernails. This cold sweat of a fever dream doesn’t break until dawn.
Sometimes my computer wants me to prove I’m not a robot, which I find strange. Apparently if I can point out traffic signals and stop signs, not a robot. What about self-driving cars? I would hope they know what stop signs are for. The day these two robots meet, one’s going to be very surprised. “Stop signs mean what again?” Also apparently, robots don’t know what pancakes look like. Maybe after running a few stop signs, we look like pancakes in syrup to them, and they’re just trying to figure out which is which. We need to educate machines, people!
We returned to the house on Halloween night and picked through buckets of treats spilled out on the floor. The kids waited patiently as I removed the unsafe candy. Then more.
“This is candy tax for taking you guys trick or treating”, I announced. They groaned, and I ate.
Don’t remember taking more from their spoils through the night but I had, until I was doubled over in pain on the bathroom floor. I caught my breath, unlocked the door and stumbled down the hallway, my hand stretched out, leading me to more unsafe candy.
Something was happening to me.