Like a Cancer

Robert Quick

Where the -@!# did my muse go?

Writer, dreamer, knight, shackled by entertainment . . . and people.

Ethan walked away from the makeshift camp of encircled cars, leaving the forty or so people relying on him behind. He could feel his responsibility for them as a tightness in his shoulders. He didn't like it but it was a burden he had taken upon himself.

“You're not running away, are you?” Mrs. Dapp asked from the window of her truck.

“Not today. Just looking to get a little perspective.”

"That's what you said yesterday. Do you have any idea when we'll be able to return to our homes? Pearl is almost out of diapers and Greg won't stop complaining about showering in cold water."

"I'm sure it will be any day now." Ethan tried to sound reassuring.

Mrs. Dapp didn't say anything else but Ethan felt her eyes on him until he reached the stairs leading up to the observatory.

At the top, it was easy to see that they weren't going anywhere. Everywhere he looked those hard pale ridges that had burst up out of the ground without warning created impassable alien walls.

"Any day now." he repeated without conviction.


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