It was cold enough to freeze your balls off; he wanted nothing more than to be back at home, sitting in his big green recliner and sipping a hot cup of cocoa with little marshmallows floating in it. But no, the little bastards needed their toys. That was bad; worse was that those toys had gotten more complicated (and more expensive to make) over the years. Once upon a time, a little red truck or a simple rag doll would have been enough. Hell, even the days of the Etch A Sketch and Easy-Bake Ovens hadn’t been so bad. A few brats burned themselves with those ovens, but was that his fault? No, siree; they’d asked for ‘em, and they’d gotten ‘em.
It’s nighttime, so we all wear sunglasses.
I know it sounds absurd. Only a week earlier, we all would have agreed. Why do you need shades when there’s no sun?
Welcome. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’d ask how you came to be here, but I know you can’t tell me. Do you know where we are? No? Well I suppose that is to be expected, so don’t be troubled. You were somewhere else, and now you’re here. That’s all.
I had trouble sleeping through the night in high school: insomnia. But I hated the label.
It is a stupid and hateful prejudice that words are truth-bearers. I remember those torturous dark nights spent shifting beneath my blankets: the desperation of those countless hours I spent tossing and turning. I felt like I was lost in a thick mist. I tried everything: supplements, meditation, exercises. But nothing brought me any nearer that gentle foretaste of death. Insomnia: what nerve it must take to reduce it all to four digestible syllables.
So here you are, sitting on the train, reading this book, looking for excitement. The cover caught your attention: some sad hero, sweat pouring down his forehead, eyes desperate with fear. You love to read about poor souls in torment.
The first Pango babies were born six years ago. It started in Southeast Asia so, naturally, no one in the West believed it. The odd morning show’s chuckling hosts would read reports of Cambodian women giving birth to strange creatures and they’d laugh it off. Then a Pango was born in San Francisco.
I’ve been the postmaster around these parts for going on fifty years and I reckon I just might stick around until I’m dead. I ain’t got no plans to retire and that’s the truth. My Daddy was the postmaster before me, he got the job through the New Deal and when he shot himself back in ‘69, I took the reins. I ain’t ever left since. It ain’t never bothered me none to stick around, not like my Daddy who had left a note saying he just couldn’t do it no more. Besides, you get to see plenty of folks when you have their mail. You never get lonely. It’s been the same old same for all these years. That is, until that Becky Sharp mess.