Sunday, November 9, 2008


I scan through the pages looking for any sign of a sequence.  There's different colored inks, some pencil; no staples or page numbers.  A few pages have words written down the side. Crap, this is probably all useless.  Useless to me, anyway.

Here's a page with a recipe.  No, probably just a grocery list.  Another page is all numbers. God, how I hate these fits!

I close my eyes and let the frustration run out.  The hum of the tram car soothes me. Simple, electric, true.

I open my eyes; none of the other passengers are watching me.  I stack and fold the papers neatly, and place them in my jacket pocket.  In my pocket, I find a bizarre butane cigarette lighter.  It's quite large.  Ah, I see. It's a cigar lighter; there are three punches folded against side.  Fancy.  If I smoked, this would be nice.

I glance at my watch. 5:35. How long was I out? "Hey, do you know the date?" I ask the driver.

"The 18th." What? Last I knew, it was the 24th? Crap, what month is it? Could almost an entire month have passed me by?

My stop is coming up; I ring the bell.

When I step out, the sun has disappeared behind buildings, and I begin walking to my building. The wind blows cool against my jacket.  Of course, if it's already November, I'm lucky it's not snowing.

I turn the corner at my street, and the heat hits me.  I hadn't even noticed the smell why walking.  But now, it surrounds me.  My entire building is in flames.  What is going on?  Policemen stand by as firemen struggle to battle the blaze. I stare at the blaze, mesmerized.

A man walks towards me. "You, Thomas?"

I avert my eyes from the flames, but they cannot adjust to the dark. I cannot see his face. "What?"

"Are you Joshua Thomas?"

"Who's asking?" Considering what's happened to me, I should be running.

"Mr. Thomas, I was asked to give this envelope to you. You certainly look like the picture." He holds out an envelope, with my ID taped to the outside.  I feel my back pocket for my wallet. Gone.

I take the envelope. The man abruptly walks past me, back towards the tram line.

A small explosion bursts out of my building, and the whole structure begins crumbling down.  Firemen scramble; I hear quite a bit of yelling.  My eyes are again blinded by the flames.

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