Contributor: Eve Francis

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“Do you ever feel like you’re a character in a book?” Will asks.

Greg looks up from the grass, using the back of his large palm to shield his eye from the sun. More people, tiny specs of color, move towards them on the field. Greg grabs the blanket from his backpack and lays it on the ground.

“Why on earth would you think that, Will?”

“I don’t know.” Will sticks his hands in his pockets. “It just feels like everything we do isn’t as personal as it used to be. It feels like we’re being watched half the time, like someone is looking over our every move and analyzing the good parts. It feels like we always have words to say, and the actions that happen are beyond our control. I don’t know…”

The people across the field move closer, holding more blankets and backpacks like Greg’s. Will knows he should be helping set up. Greg digs through the bag, discards an item, and then goes back for something else. Nothing seems to be what he’s after.

“Did that scene take a turn for the worst, Will? You never finished your thought. I don’t think these characters are well thought out or written.”

Greg grabs one of the folding lawn chairs and sets it up to the side.

Will looks at his shoes. Over across the field, other people set up their lawn chairs, too.

“Where’s Beckett?” Greg asks. His voice takes on a concerned tone, rather than his patronizing laugh from before. He blocks the sun with his arm and looks around. “Is Beckett coming?”

“I don’t know. He said he was,” Will says. Greg unfolds the other chair. He digs through his pack and retrieves his sunglasses. With a smile, he motions Will towards the empty seat.

“Maybe what I’m feeling is something religious,” Will says. “Maybe I’m talking about God right now and I’m just committing blasphemy for thinking outside the box.”

Will looks at the sky, and then to Greg. Greg hums.

Will shrugs. “I’m probably completely wrong.”

“Not completely. At least, give yourself some credit.”

A breeze catches both men, making them shiver. The sun in the sky disappears and fades into night. Sunrises and sunsets happen in the blink of an eye now. With the explosions happening more than ever, there’s nothing anyone can do to control the weather. Beckett said he’d help them find the answers to prevent the world from ending. More people with survival packs and lawn chairs join the two men in the field until it fills up. Beckett’s promises become as ubiquitous as myth.

Will shivers again.

“C’mon, Will. I don’t think you’re wrong. I just pictured us in a movie instead. Now,” Greg states, leaning back. “Let’s get ready.”

After a moment, Will follows in suit. The two men wait for the scene to unfold in front of them, murmurs of “Beckett” on everyone’s lips.

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EVE FRANCIS has appeared in The Fieldstone Review, Hyacinth Noir, Plunge Magazine, and Gay Flash Fiction. She has a forthcoming sci-fi series on on JMS Books entitled Metal and Dust. She lives in Canada and can be found at http://evefrancis.wordpress.com/
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