So, I turns to him and he’s lookin’ all glum, so I says “Hey, you could cheer up a l’il. We are going to fucken’ Disneyworld.” I didn’t expect him to; I bought him some Mickey Mouse ears. He knew shit, and he’s givin’ me this look, this damned look like “We can just stop the car here.” But I couldn’t. We got to the drive in front of Magic Kingdom, and the tram. I let him out, and there’s the look. He got on the tram; I never saw him again, but I see those eyes every day, pleading: “Mister…”
The tallier sits at his desk and calculates. There is something magical about working with numbers and quantities. This one did this, that one did that. And he discovers that This One jumped from a window, and That One expired tragically under the wheel of a transfer truck. It’s a game that digits play: to hide their real meaning, what quantities they truly stand for, until the time is ripe. Numbers are tricky bastards, he thinks. He closes the spreadsheet, turns off the lights, and walks home, cherishing the night air, for he knows what he will eventually be: a digit.
– Wade Redfearn
Like a reed in the wind, he swayed on the spot for what seemed like an eternity. His arms were heavy, and his eyes sore. He was so very, very tired. It seemed as if nothing would prevent his slow descent, nothing could stop him from tumbling down like the steadfast statues of so many failed dictators. There was only one way to go, a voice chattered to him, it sounded like a thousand hyenas laughing at his fortune. He knew he couldn’t resist, he had barely hit the ground when he heard the ever soothing ring of the knockout bell.
He is a good man – a married man and a father. She is a good woman – a married woman and a mother. Their paths crossed by chance, one warm summer night. Curiosity turned into familiarity. Familiarity turned into passion. Passion turned into love. Love turned into hope.
They live apart in different worlds. They live together in their own, separated by computer screens and telephone lines. Sometimes they venture out. Looking over their shoulders, they embrace in the shadows, kiss in dark alcoves, and make love on moonlit beaches. Stolen moments are all that they have.
Their fate has been sealed.
– Agent X
They met on January second. He was attractive and so was she. At night they slept alone, and so they made an agreement – from then on they would sleep in her apartment – because she had hardwood floors and he had a roommate. She treated him the same as she had treated everyone that had slept in her bed all the time, except when they were out of town. She treated him like a comfortable stranger for 9 months, and then they decided to carry on this way until they died, because it was nice. They had the same taste in soap.
I never even looked. You’d think in all the years I’ve been at it, I would have checked the box, but no. I mean, I’m hardly to blame, one assumes in my profession that there’s a standard. I still can’t help but feel a bit responsible for what happened. I still hear the screams, at night when I’m alone. It was a tragedy, what that boy did, barely a hair on his chin, no idea what he was doing. The next time I make balloon animals, I’ll have to make sure the kid didn’t get the balloons from his parents’ bedroom.