Dying SoldierThe pain was ignorable, so long as he didn't move too much. His limbs were bent awkwardly, some beneath his body as he laid there in the rubble of what was once some family's home. Blood pooled and caught flecks of ash as they drifted down from a swirling sky of thick black smoke through which no sunlight shone. Instead an eerie glow of orange and red illuminated the city's skeletal skyline.
The thought of dying flooded his senses. Panic rose in his mind until he gained control of the turmoil. Trying to relax, he examined why he wanted to live. He thought of all the people he loved, the projects he'd started, the plans he had, the work yet undone. But a new thought washed over him with cool tranquility. He no longer had to worry about all that.
His loved ones had each other as much as they had him. Someone else would come along and do everything he would've set out to do, and maybe even better. Though he'd not done everything he wanted to, his life had already been filled with fun and
SleepA girl with first names and numbers scribbled on a napkin in her pocket walks from a bar, breaking off from her group of laughing friends with a cheery smile and wave.
A boy in a two-person apartment stands numb as two soldiers change his life with three words.
A girl returns to her home, finding it empty but for a hastily scribbled note with three words and a man's signature.
A boy rides in a violently bucking armored car as explosions rattle about, throwing dirt and road high into the air.
A girl argues with a suited man in a bank, throwing down a list of crossed-off companies as he shakes is head apologetically.
A boy runs in utter terror as bullets snap through the air and his comrades drop heavily into the mud, screaming into the fire-lit night.
A girl sits sadly with a packed backpack on the steps of an apartment building while several men in plain uniforms carry furniture into a truck.
A boy grabs the vest of another soldier, pulling hard as he runs to a nearby helicopter, only
No DifferenceA light rain of large drops patting against ceramic rooftops and smacking onto concrete played musically around the man in greenish-tan clothes as he walked past boarded up shops and burned out buildings. His patrol cap was dripping near the sides of his head, the water falling onto the red shoulder boards of his uniform.
He reached a building with a small, simple drawing painted on the doorway of a rose. His combat boots clunked on the wooden floor as they followed a trail of red pedals up a flight of stairs and to another door with an empty note tacked on. Inside, sitting on the bed's edge before him, was an American woman dressed in simple black underwear.
Her light brown hair was carefully orchestrated about her head, and scarlet shone on her lips as she stood and walked gently over to the smiling man with thin eyes. They tenderly embraced, lips carefully touching in a long awaited moment of solitude.
The sirens wailed, blaring their fearful tone into the ears of the Marines mannin
Not a black car"I like the red one we saw." Casey didn't look up from her cell through which she was texting from the car lot. Her brother glanced back a few rows over to the sedan they'd first looked at and then back to the SUV sitting before him. On a white page in the window was a full list of features dramatically displayed in a minimalist style.
"You like it?" his friend asked, peering in through the opposite side. "Wireless modem built into the headrest. Never lose contact." he read aloud, one eyebrow raised. "I still say you should go with a black car."
"Dude, I can't drive one of those things in traffic. I'll get killed!"
"Well, I'm still alive." he said comically, holding out his arms as if he'd just been challenged.
"Yea, but it's easy for you." They looked for another minute. Then Ed asked respectfully
"How often do you turn that thing off?" Kyle had to think about it for a moment.
"I've never run a backup either."
"That's not good, man." a tone of concern ca
Nobody uses cash anymoreA nearby boy was speaking on his cell phone to a friend. Josh instantly knew he was under eighteen to be using such an archaic tool. In passing, he even caught a small amount of what the teen was saying in regards to doubts. Josh smiled to himself. The kid could throw out all the naturalist propaganda he wanted, but nobody who could afford the augmentation chose to go without it. Maybe if they were joining the service.
The glass doors opened welcomingly for him, allowing a small gust of air conditioning to blow about his person while entering. Along one side were small cubicles where people spoke out of courtesy, ahead was a long desk of helpful looking people, and to the other side were the tellers filling in for both customer service and the ATMs in the vestibule.
"Can I help you sir?" one man said, looking up from his black and blue striped tie.
"Yea, I've got some change here..." Josh held up his jar of coins.
"Around the corner and straight ahead." was the kind man's reply, indica
The Standard IssueIt doesn't fit, at least not around the limbs or body.
It's rough, coarse, doesn't like to bend, and chafes.
The corners are sharp, the seams are obvious, and the fabric's loud.
It smells of glue and ammonia.
Where it should conform to the body, it sticks out.
When it needs to be out of the way, it's a nuisance.
One size fits all, but all sizes fit none.
It wasn't made with the user in mind.
Lose threads stick out from every corner and flap.
Thin lines of chalk illustrate the few features.
It's standard; everybody's got one.
It's cheap, disposable and insignificant.
One in a million, just like you.