The boy scoots inside the rusty recess of a car because Papa has told him to hide. He counts breaths and waits. He waits and sleeps and eventually he wakes. The boy has learned to be a good listener. He lifts the trunk the length of his ear. No pop-popping of a worn-out knee. No wet, phlegm coughs. No hushed murmurs of love and dreams and life and skies.
Where are you, Papa?
The boy hears beyond Papa’s silence. The familiar wind loops around the desert brush. Aimless feet shuffle in the distance. His own heart struggles beneath his breath. He is scared and curious and hungry and alive.
He opens the trunk and scrambles out. The brown sky is pushing into the brown earth. His hand fumbles for the sky-paper and upon contact, comforts him.
“Hey! You there!” A Gatekeeper sees him.
The boy walks faster.
"Hey!" The Gatekeeper's footsteps quickened. "Use of the present tense was restricted in this zone. Have you obtained a permit?"
The boy takes off at full speed.
Faintly he hears the shouts behind him, feels the shots kick up the dust at his feet. He keeps his head down and runs as hard as he can away from the past.
Opening: Chris Eldin.....Continuation: Sarah from Hawthorne