And Yet... ("Kindling," for ecosopher
The silence gets to you. No insects, birds, or animals. The only sounds left are yours and the wind's, apart from the occasional voice.
Other people are dangerous. Predatory. You learned to hide when you hear them, and you don't talk to yourself anymore.
You never know who might be listening.
Not everything is dead or gone, but so much is beyond hope. You gather firewood anyway, warmth and day-to-day survival something you can't abandon even if you don't know why.
You build fires only at night. Winter will change everything, but for now…
Now, you're just grasping for tomorrow.
The Two-Step ("Wily," for xo_kizzy_xo)
She was a dame with killer gams and I was her mark, down at the juke joint on the lower east side.
"Hey, big boy," she said, like I was somethin' special and not the lunkhead she was trying to snare. She poured out her troubles and I listened, Mr. Nice Guy. She needed money—money to quit this town and her cheatin' ex, and she knew where to find it.
She batted those baby-blues like her rescue was a done deal.
"Sorry, toots," I said, and almost meant it.
But she wasn't worth losing my badge.
They never are.