• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 01
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Left Alive

I look over the haze of purple smoke.

“It’s lavender,” I hear my sister say.
I shake my head, I want to tell her that right now there’s no room for matter-of-fact statements or pretentious entities.

“Let’s just get to where we’re going.” I continue walking.

The buildings that once stood, were destroyed into a million little pieces.
The brownstone that was once my piano teacher’s home laid in a mess of broken glass and brick.

“I do feel kind of bad, though she wasn’t the nicest to me.” My sister kicked a scorched piece of brick.

I picked up a torn photo of my teacher’s smiling face. “How would you feel if someone spoke ill of you?”

“Oh, I’m sure that they do.” I felt the venom of sarcasm in her voice.

I continued to walk, looking up at broken stop lights and storefronts that were once filled with tired mothers and their energetic children and men who went home to be alone. At least that’s the story I came up with for them. It’s amazing what the mind can do.

“You’re daydreaming again.” My sister’s voice startled me.

“No I’m not.” I walked past the burning bus stop.

“Keep focused on reality.” She warned.

I crossed my arms. “I am focused.” I looked at my reflection in a tinted car window.

“You never were focused.” I saw her come into frame in the window. “Your imagination had always been bigger than life.”

With bated breath and an eyebrow raised I bellowed the word, “So?”


Left Alive

“Look where you are,” she whispered in my ear.

The next thing I knew the warmth of her presence was gone, and the bells and whistles of the city bus whizzed by my ear.

“Move.” A businessman brushed against me.

“Sorry,” I whispered.

Perhaps the city was more than alive, and the haze of gray pollution hung low over the buildings above. I wasn’t alone but in my head, I’m the last soldier alive.