We are watching the stars through the gunwales of skylights that are a true fact of the apartment when the night sky explodes into day and all the stars dam their eyes. As the light fades again, two vertical tracks of fire shoot down like electricity coming home.

"Shooting stars," I say.

"It's the bomb," He says.

Of course it is. I hear it in my chest and we are flattened to our beds. We lie still, waiting for what happens now. First it's nothing.

"We have to run," I say. I throw off the blankets, but his cold hand is around my wrist in a cuff.

"No," he says.

What he means is, there's nowhere to run.

Out the window then we see the floors of apartment buildings beginning to slide off in a wave. Our neighbors collapse in on themselves and through the skylight I can see the roof of this building's taller twin compressing from the corner in.

It's our turn. We're on the top floor. That's fewer bricks on top of us, but farther to fall.

The ceiling on the far side of the room drops, creating a steam of plaster and our smashed future. I put my head under my blanket, where the air feels clean. If we stay still, maybe it won't collapse further. We'll get out alive. I take the blanket from my eyes in time to see two more kamikaze contrails drop across the skylight.

I cry, "No!" But it's not up to me.

I want to turn and kiss him goodbye, but even asleep I remember I can't anymore. There are other people on other mattresses. I get up and toss the contents of my laundry basket, looking for a blanket to cover everyone's face. We'll be impaled or shattered before we suffocate. Maybe it makes it easier to identify the bodies.

The second shockwave hits us. My stomach goes queasy, then cold. The floor drops away.


Funny how sometimes you don't see the symbolism in these things till you write them down. For context, I've just broken up with my boyfriend of three years after finding out he's been fooling around. The life I've had is destroyed and I can't do a thing about it. That I didn't see the meaning here, I must need a damned cane.

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