Watch the fires go out

I know when she wakes, she’ll walk out of that place, Sleeping Beauty crawling out of the thorns surrounding her castle. She’ll come up, breaking the surface, a deep sea diver taking a long-needed breath.

She won’t be able to help herself, and she’ll make her way across the canyons of carnage, the rubble, past the twisted steel and shattered glass, the rocks and husks of cars, and she’ll look for me.

I know, because we’ve been there before.

We’ve done this a hundred times.

A hundred hundred times.

A thousand thousand times.

She’ll find me on this pile of rubble, my eyes red-rimmed, my gloves off, my coat torn. She’ll ask me what happened and I won’t have any real answers, so I’ll just light a cigarette.

The fight turned, sometime while she was asleep, and when the Statue of Liberty fell, it went from a silent war to a full-on horror-show, all red all the time, fire and blood and in the night, in the shadows, whatever moved was likely trying to kill you.

The fight turned while she slept, and we all became what they promised themselves we would. We all became the monsters they feared, and they hunted us, so we hunted them.

My hands aren’t bloody, but that’s simply coincidence.

I’ll light her a cigarette too, and offer out my hand.

When she takes it, like she always does, the city itself will shudder, and we will stand there, holding hands, smoking, watching the fires go out, one by one.


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