• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 09
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The Future is Now

Melody’s birthday is in a week, and she plans to run away from home. Where to, she has not yet decided. But run away she must.

The music drones steadily at the tailor’s, barely heard under the buzzes and hums of machines and voices discussing lengths and hems and widths. Melody waits for her turn to speak. In her hands is a piece of fabric she’d like made into a dress. Black is her choice of colour. At first glance, the fabric appears as ordinary and unassuming as Melody seems, but shimmers of silvery sparkles are revealed when it moves.

Melody sits at her favourite coffeehouse, finishing the last third of a dystopian novel, “Forward Future”. Only 363 pages left to go. She picked up the novel at a second-hand bookstore a few years ago because the shade of red on the cover stirred something within her. "THE FUTURE IS NOW," she reads from the yellowed pages. The words linger in her mind. Melody feels slight chills and wonders if they come from the cool temperature around her or the anticipation of what's to come.

It’s dark in the bar where Melody sits. She comes here most Wednesdays, but never at night. A deep desire arises in her chest, but she can’t pinpoint it to anything. With an imperceptible shrug, she nibbles on the thin slice of cucumber that came with her gin and tonic, and observes the ins and outs of the bar.


The Future is Now

The same slow music is playing at the tailor's. Melody slips in, unnoticed. She heads towards a man draped by a measuring tape and an authoritative air. "Hello," she says uncertainly. He gives her a disgruntled glance, and looks back at his book of accounts. "I'm here to pick up my dress," she tries again, handing him a creased receipt. The man frowns, grabs the receipt, and walks towards the back of the store. Melody waits.

Back at her favourite coffeehouse, Melody sits with her long black and reads in the silence. It is 22 minutes past four and the place is mostly empty. She wonders to herself if anyone will notice her absence.

It's the eve of her birthday. Melody puts on her new black dress and reaches for her only pair of stockings. She sits on her bed and gently rolls the black, silky stockings upwards. First her left leg, then her right. Standing up, she walks to her dresser and looks at herself in the mirror. A small, satisfied smile meets her steady gaze. She's ready. Melody picks up her black backpack, turns the knob of her door, and shuts the light, leaving nothing but darkness behind.