The Last Song

Do you think we’ll get a last song?

I’m not sure. This diary I’m writing in is full of holes. It’s sopping like a wet sponge. It reeks, but what doesn’t in the filth and the mess?

Storm’s passing. Not like I’ve ever seen here. Even the explosive storms of my youth; running in the fields, the junkyards, the rust-ravaged train tracks of old wasn’t quite like this.

Something’s exploded against the skyline. Orange is reflecting off the glass; the spider-striped, near shattered glass I kicked two weeks ago while mowing the grass.

It might be the gas works. Or the chemical sheds. Wyrdstoms do this, you know. That’s what the warnings said. Electricity and chaos and hellish atomic confusion mixed into an atmospheric slurry and let to rage. I ask the question because music’s the one thing I’m yearning for right now. It settles me, helps me think. Always has, though keeping my sister’s sniveling furthest from my head might be an ulterior motive.

Do I think I’m escaping this place alive? Not sure; my heart’s trying to tug up my head full of figures. No off switch in a head such as mine, more’s the pity. The tendrils of pure force will crush this place, this house full of creaking baseboards and tougher, fonder memories.

Then the creatures will come. First the shambling wrecks of the storm, the ones the Army’s been mentioning in the flyers. I’m worried about the ones that come after. The rain-coated family men with their shovels and weasel words. No lie is too great with the demands of a young life, sandwiched between Red Cross blankets and the ruins and the horrors.

Nothing deserves that fate, I’ll admit. But I’m not going to hold my head up high when that world of mud and timber and asphalt and the slapdash helicopter’s silhouette themselves against the pounding rain.

There’s not much to do but sit. Mom’s away. Dad’s in the corner.

Do I want a last song? Will it anchor my sweaty mortal form to the shifting, uncanny ground?

Probably not. But there’s an infusion of beauty in the notes between chords and words and atmospheres constructed in ignorance of any storm.

There’s a beauty to it all.

A rhythm.

My hands are fumbling the record.

God I’m cold. Flip it.


About Ben Dodge

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