Here we are, I wrote this week’s InMon prompts because Steph’s auto-posting didn’t work, but for the first time I failed to use all of them in the story. The InMon prompts that I posted were Feeding Like a Plague of Locusts, The Moon Hung Like an Ancient Coin, Asleep in a City That Never Wakes Up, The Sorcerer’s Curse and Beware the Ides of March. I also used this week’s 3WordWednesday’s prompts: Flag, Might & Passive, as well as two recent Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Day words: Grisly and Riposte. And Sesame Street’s Word on the Street: Predicament. I’ve been sick all this week. Drifting in and out of lucidity, and this is my fever dream. Good luck, and I hope it (at least) makes sense…
The sun rose, fighting against the memories of the night before, forcing its way through curtains drawn as a barricade against the encroachment of a new day. The figure on the bed lay, embraced in a cocoon of crumpled sheets, one hairless leg employed as ballast beyond the bedpost. Asleep in a city that never wakes up, lost in his dreams of the moon, hung heavy, an ancient coin against the velveteen background of the night sky. The sunlight fingered past the debris built up on the bedroom floor like the ruins of a forgotten civilisation, crushed beneath the omnipotent might of the jungle, swept aside by the glaciers of time. Advancing beyond the detritus of a life spent alone. The mannequin on the bed stirs in his slumber, rolling as he passively resists the echoes of engines greeting the morning. He pulls the sheets tighter to fortify himself from the too cheery “Good Morning” uttered by a thousand newsreaders confined in the cluster of omnipresent television sets. He was doomed to live through the sorcerer’s curse that hangs like the sword of Damocles above the collective head of humanity: the threat of having to face another day alone.
He wakes, slowly, to the world – guerrilla warfare, hoping to undo the work of the sun. Resistance is futile, as the world demands his attention, for these two hours before his hive of apartments empties before he is abandoned by the cohort of office workers off to slave away for another day. A crumpled packet of cigarettes is like a flag for his cause, as he pushes open the glass door of his veranda, fishing inside for the last battered survivors of an evening shared with a box of cask wine and late-night infomercials. His lighter failed to strike and so he cursed the empty windows surrounding him, cursing against his predicament. His glance drifts towards the warning atop the packet, “Beware the Ides of March,” as he turns, heading inside to the sure flame of the stovetop.
Cockroaches scatter as he walks inside. The same infomercials flicker on the television screen and he rages against them, against the impossible whores and girls-next-doors of that false world. The fire dances, enabling his addiction, encouraging his ranting delirium. His heart races as the welcoming kiss of nicotine engulfs him and he stares into the gaze of the mind-killer that is the campfire of modern life.
“Beware the Ides of March.” Now that was a strange thing for a packet of cigarettes to say. He looked back at the packet, still sitting outside, innocent on the veranda. The weather man smiled out of the television’s face, his grim riposte exploding from the set as he sought out the young man’s eye.
“It’s the 15th of March, and you know what that means don’t you, Chris? Today is the day you meet your fate.” There was a knock on the door, shaking the thin wooden boards in their slender frame. “Beware the Ides of March.”