Sunday, February 15, 2015

neon dreams

Garish neon light poured through the window, an unavoidable stain in this brave new world. There was something about the world ending tomorrow or maybe yesterday blaring out of the 24 hour news sirens below. A human scream quickly rose to a loud falsetto outside the flat’s window then dwindled again before ending in an unceremonious splat. Someone snorted in derision on the streets below.

He heard it all through the paper thin polypropylene walls of the twelve story shanty. The haphazard construction was just barely held together with duck tape and dead hope.

Things had kept devolving long past the point that nobody thought they could. The automatons continued to produce goods, but never quite the ones that were needed. There were more than enough pharmaceuticals, though. Some thought this a blessing; most saw it as curse but swallowed the pills anyway. There was never really enough food.

The local light manufactory churned out nothing but neon signs for restaurants and strip joints that no longer existed. After the dayglo green sunsets the whole town was lit by hot pink triple Xs, soft blue Breakfast Served All Day signs, and arcane yellow triangles with scattered red circles.

A few days before, the chemical plant started spitting out cans of paint. No one really had a use for ‘em, but everybody had too much free time so the city got splashed a riot of taupe, sage, and russet brown.

He sat in the middle of the floor. He was bent and emaciated and tense, but he was also too still, far too still to have that many track marks on his arms. Three half empty gallons of paint sat beside him. His hands, clothes, and ragged greasy hair were covered in paint, and so was the floor.

It was a crude likeness of a woman, but he had made her. Her brows were knit tight but there was the barest hint of smile at the left edge of her mouth. He had made her.

He tossed his hypodermic rig out the open gash of a window.

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