Falling Further In

At dusk, I arrived at the lake. Children skated figure eights, mothers standing on the side lines.

One button push, and they’d be gone. I imagined the nerve gas – green in my mind – from father’s package, rising across the pond like the childrens’ frozen breath.

As a child, I fit in. Father and his allies wouldn’t have.

I set down the device and triggered the mechanism. A beep started the countdown.

I walked away. Father waited among the trees. He started across the snow. I followed.

“Why them?” I asked his back.

“Families are the locus of any cultural system,” he replied. “To bring down the society, destabilize its basic units.”

He turned, grabbed my shoulders.

“You want to go back?”


“I’ll say the gas got you, that you’re one of the dead kids. They don’t know what you look like, they won’t know.”


“It’s your last chance out.”

“I want to be with you.”

He let go. We went on. Behind us, I imagined gas swirling in the night sky like the aurora borealis.

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