Originally published in Sick Lit Magazine
Test Subject 65382 came out of the vat at 16. Older than most, older by far, but no matter; she was beautiful—perfect, really. Dr. Gilpin couldn’t have asked for better, and he secretly congratulated himself for the decision to leave her in past the customary gestation period. He was alone in his thinking; his colleagues disagreed with his methods, thought he’d become obsessed—dangerously so—and that his disregard for protocol would put the entire team at risk.
There are stories in the clouds. My mother used to tell me that.
“That one there,” she’d say, pointing to the sky, “is a spaceship, come to land in the Nevada desert and colonize the Earth.”
We’d lie there for hours, stretched out on a blanket and looking up at the bright blue sky. Her words fascinated me, and I believed every one of them.
There was a time Branson could move 50 dreams in a single night. After 10 years dealing dreams, he’d become the top ace. It was a hungry world out there, and he was damn good at feeding it.
He took a hard-right turn, leaving the poorly-lit sidewalk and entering an alleyway littered with spilled garbage cans and indistinguishable shapes wrapped in shadow. His steps echoed off the cement buildings to either side, announcing his presence to the scurrying rats and the vagrants who battled them for real estate.
In my head I hear the sound
In my imagination it is a melody
I have captured perfectly.