Half-sentence Flashes

Glowing like an impossible inferno, the city streets smoldered all night long. We walked them out the back door with the tips of bottles like guns to their backs. Kids with bandanas covering the bottom halves of their faces held the gates while the pros lit gas lines drawn in letters and sentences and messages across someone’s old hometown. There was a sense everyone was noticing that this was more than your average football riot — well, because football wasn’t on anymore and riots were out of fashion nowadays. But really, who could tell that it’d be tonight for the underground revolt to come bubbling up like stale sewage from the dead city right below the wealthy’s feet? A few in the food service lines joined up, passed along keys to the bandana kids. For this brief, optimistic, idealistic, anarcho-utopian moment, even the pros and little me thought we’d taken hold of something real, some slice, cut, edge of history. There was never really any chance though, I thought while I pressed harder on my bottle that cut into some lonely sas single nice suit. How was this psueo-fashion police bullshit, all charge-in-gestapo-style, even semi-consensual in its enactment of violence against those someone told someone else that one of the real high-up pros called out? But in a few hours now, or less if time started slipping, I’d get the call to release or terminate, depending on the state of chaos all this show created in the capital buildinng, wehre our aim really was. I say “our aim”, but the scope of this metaphorical rifle had never really been against my eye, and now I’m considering the range of our fights — not discussions — in all those meetings, I realise — yes, a little too late — that someone’s got a bigger gun to my metaphorical head. It should have been time for a quick and careful escape — it should have stayed underground and moved silent through blocked doorways, out past curfew, only a few of us even seen or heard or known for what we were; agents of change, but not like this. Not this abrupt outer-shell change that didn’t speak to the ones it was trying to shake loose, but jammed make-believe guns into office workers’ backs. I took the moment to disbelieve — Bottles? Really? This was a stunt no longer worth my time, so I broke it and pressed my mouth against my captive’s ear. “You wanna live, then do exactly as I say, just like you thought it up yourself.”
Until the gas arrived, there would only be a lingering sense of disappointment at how little distance they had covered. River had lost the flip to cross the mile stretch of a road, but probably would have tried anyway, if there’d been time. Instead, Baker made a single call and it somehow dragged on enough to get the whole crew bored to tears, kicking dut and squinting aross the dry concrete. Finally, fucking heroically, it was Pan who grabbed the phone right out of Baker’s useless hand, their mouth hanging open in mid-useless-sentence, threw it into the distance, and blew it to pieces to everyone’s instant delight. Pan just smiled, list a used-up fag, and threw the searing cinders into Baker’s smug face. Baker tried to retaliate, bark or cut Pan with this old rusty knife they’d had for years, but everyone knew they’d never be able to ever actually do it. So big ol’ Goat stopped it right then with the coin toss, River and Lack calling immediately. So goes River out over this goddamn river, metaphorically dead, of concrete and dried up oil to hopefully find, sometime sooner than the inevitable end we all face, a fucking service station – God (or whoever) help them. Meanwhile, Pan and Baker are making these nasty hate eyes at one another while Lack tries to figure out what in the fuck compelled them to enter the coin toss, regardless of their good fortune in it. Too late for all that because here comes Goat now, chewing something as always, dribbling while drawling, “So, eh,…what’d you think you’d head fer if you won the toss…eh or *did* ya win, eh?”

Pan just laughed, but Lack stammered back, “Oh. u-uh to the- I’ve gone like River.”

Goat grunted, “Yer all so…lack-a-daisy-cull, y’know?” and spat out a sickening was of some crumbled plastic bits, bright blue against the blinding grey ground.

That goe something in Baker’s head tumbling down off its respective messy shelf. “At least we aren’t just doing around and chewing shit a-and spitting and all that!”

Goat spat a particularly blue chunk in front of Baker’s left foot and jeered with that typical tired face.

Written by Ashesbrand and Ghostori, one half sentence at a time.


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