Eclipse 21

Meanwhile, my kitchen waited.  Water started heating for tea.  Pear and raisin compote went into the microwave.  Milk and orange juice went to the table.  A steak went onto the electric grill, to be followed in due time by two slices of soda bread.  The slow part of this was the steak — I like mine close to well-done.  That’s why it’s called well-done, after all, because it has been done well rather than so poorly it is still bleeding.  The breakfast room has a small video; I cued up Eagle News-News for Adults.  They are sometimes a bit heavy on financial coverage, but focus on real news, not celebrity scandals.  I was shocked, truly shocked to find they were talking about the Namestone and the mystery persona who walked off with it.  There was great enthusiasm for the earthly wonders that would soon be bestowed upon the people of the world by the bearer. A brief excursion covered other news notes.  Alliances between the thirteen Great Powers drift slowly in time.  After the 1908 Summer War, no one wants another World War.  National persona teams are rough on small, breakable objects, like forests and cities.  Even the Prussian Kaiser builds museums on the horrors of war. 

The South American strangeness received extended coverage. “Invisible sky octopus” made no sense, but — and my attention was drawn sharply toward the video.  Supposedly an Argentine village of 500 people had been destroyed overnight.  There were almost no survivors.  Kudos, however, to the little boy who grabbed his family’s camera, pointed it up as he ran, and snapped image after image.  Most of his family was safe,  He had taken really strange pictures.  A creature, a cross between a jellyfish and a squid, floating in the sky.  Tentacles.  Claws.  Teeth.  But the tentacles and claws and teeth weren’t attached to each other, and moved in wrong ways.  A pair of images clicked in my memories.  Those weren’t pictures of a standard quadridimensional object, but it was something like that.  Someone might be able to figure out the shape.  I leave that to folks who have copies of all the picture files, lots of computer support, and some smart math people.  I like math, but unscrambling those pictures is way above what I know how to do.  Yet. 

The smell from the electric grill reminded me that I do know how to cook, and my steak was approaching ready.  Setting the table left-handed was inconvenient, but my right arm was staying below shoulder-level for the next few days.  Hot water went into the tea pot.  This was surely an Earl Gray morning.  One thing I did not feel was sleepy.  After all, I’d been asleep almost continuously for a couple of days. 

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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