Friday, July 28, 2006
New Beginning 12
SEATTLE IS FALLEN, yelled the loudspeakers. ALL IS WELL. RETURN TO YOUR HOMES.
Crowds of women cheered. The tanks carried the loudspeakers down the street and repeated their message. Women waving rifles and flowers followed the tanks. The vehicles were draped in flowers and only a little blood. Two women tore a cloth owl from the sign on a nearby coffeeshop and hung it from one of the tanks like a flag.
In the Owls’ Ley coffee shop a great cheer came and died away in the same second. Everyone went right back to their drinks and their discussions of Rilke. And what began with the brutal murder of a witch and a flamewar on the river ended with a cup of espresso and Mel Torme performing on the dilastage.
The Velvet Fog was in good form for a holograph. But halfway through the second chorus of “Makin Whoopee,” the sirens began. The loudspeaker’s words seemed to match the movements of Mel’s lips.
SEATTLE HAS RISEN. RED ALERT. RUN THROUGH THE STREETS IN BLIND PANIC.
Jim sighed and put down his cup. Not again. Tucking his copy of Rilke into his jacket, he plodded out to the street, then ran around in circles waving his arms. His screams were half-hearted. How could they sound otherwise after all these years?
Opening: Jerry Stratton.....Continuation: Nancy Conner