Wednesday, March 16, 2011

to return life to its normal state

In the days immediately after the plague the buses were running again, though there were few passengers. During long stretches of the day, a coach would be occupied by the driver alone, guiding rows of empty seats through the rainy avenues. The smell of burning was still in the air. Everything smelled like fire: our hair, our clothes, our shelters, even the food we ate. It would take a whole winter of rain to wash all that burning from the air, to clean the soot from the faces of the buildings and citizens left behind. We didn't mind the charred air; it masked other, worse smells we wanted to forget. The buses were part of a general plan to return life to its normal state as soon as possible. Vast numbers of citizens and large swaths of the city had been reduced to cinders but public transportation was up and running. Schools, hospitals, churches and liquor stores were open and I made pilgrimages to all of them in their turn. We all did. What else were we going to do?


  1. The buses were part of the general plan to return life to its normal state as soon as possible.

    This is probably the scariest thing I've read in a long long time. (keeping in mind what came before)

    I don't know why, but it reminds of me of 1984.

  2. This is a really cool project, Scott. I'm enjoying reading it.

  3. Anne: My Kafka is showing. Just you wait.

    Big D: Thanks! I'm having fun with it. I have also finally started writing a new book. I'm about 1,000 words into the first chapter already. So far, there's the makings of a picnic. Tell me that ain't good dramatic writing.

  4. Picnic always means high tension and drama!

  5. SPOILER: There are also pink and purple flowers!