Wednesday, August 31, 2016

#2: For One Night Only

"For one night only, you could come home on time!" the woman screamed. Her voice echoed through the thin walls of Joon's apartment, a marriage holding on by loose threads. Her neighbors had been doing this for weeks, months maybe? Time seemed to pass so slow these days.

Joon stood in her kitchen, gazing at the bright light bulb above her head. She was waiting, patiently, for it to flicker. Two days ago, the power had gone out in the Winthrop apartments, darkening the already gloomy hallways with black. 

Pitch black painted her eyes, and no matter how hard Joon blinked, it wouldn't go away. She had reached her way to her apartment's door, grasping her flashlight. 
Her feet had carried her down the dark stairwell, and right into a tall, top-heavy man. He grunted, not looking her way.  

"What are you doing in the basement, m'am?"

Joon's brain fizzled, eyes blinking wide. Suddenly, the lights had flickered back on, breath returning to her in puffs. Joon dropped her flashlight, stunned. His eyes looked back at her. They were the color of grey. Not sad, but tired grey. Swiftly she ran, forgetting her flashlight, legs carrying her back to her safe apartment, behind her sturdy door.

Her kitchen light was still on. An small orange bottle lay on her counter, her name meticulously labeled on the side, unopened. 

Joon decided to take a walk. Her feet carried her. They seemed to do that a lot, without her full permission. Her purple converses kept walking, till she was at the train station. 

There was a huge tent, more like a building, with windows and floors. There was a rusty ticket booth outside, a large sign splayed red letters, promising entertainment.  
                                                     HERE FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY. THURSDAY, 7PM. 

Something, Joon knew, had brought her here. Something she knew she would never find in that orange bottle. It was almost 8:30. She had to be home, under her green star sheets by exactly 9. Milk in her glass, black pen on her bedside, purple journal right beside it. Her shoes, right and left, by the door. Her brass knob, locked at 8:50.

 The tent was watching her, it's large arches asking her to come inside. She felt her dad's voice in her head. He was crying, yelling to her.
Joon's legs carried her home, pushing her solid weight forward, until she ran right into someone else. 

He laughed, his uniform bore his name. 
"What are you doing in the basement, m'am?"

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#1 (Apt. 1007): The Day Started With

The day started with the rattling of metal on cold tiles. The sun was just starting to rise, but Joon had been up for hours. Her shopping cart's wheels ground on the supermarkets floor, screeching to a halt as she narrowly missed hitting an old women.

She was frantically looking for the new Star Wars themed macaroni. It needed to be the yellow and blue box, with stars all over the top. It needed to be on aisle 7, right with all the other regular macaroni. Joon was going to grab it, and buy it. She flew down the aisle, out of breath, eyes searching, hopeful. She saw the regular macaroni, even the kids macaroni, with the stupid dinosaurs. But there was no Star Wars macaroni. None. Zero.

They were supposed to be there. Joon had looked up the supermarkets website. The one in Winthrop Place didn't even carry the new boxes yet.
Why weren't they there? They had to be there.
Joon blew out an angry breath, chest constricting.

Frizzy whips of red hair flew into her face as a young women and her child walked in front of her, grabbing a box of pasta beside the macaroni section.
They were completely unaware of the panic attack burning hot coals in the pit of her stomach.

Things needed to be perfect. She had done everything perfectly. She had taken the Northbound train from Winthrop to Lexington. She had put exactly $30 in her wallet, just in case. The macaroni was only $5.25. She had checked the supermarket's website 10 times on the ride over. The empty spot on the shelf mocked her.

Joon's looked down, when had he hands started shaking? Hot tears ran down her freckled cheeks in in perfect time with the rain running down the supermarkets windows as she left. She waited for the bus under the grimy covering. Thunder and lightning painted the sky, it was 7:46AM.

Joon put her headphones in, playing her favorite David Bowie playlist. Bowie was her absolute favorite, because of his shared love of anything space related. She often wished there could be life on Mars. She dreamed of floating off to meet them. Joon used to listen to him on constant repeat after what had happened.

As she returned to the city, a sea of blue and red lights illuminated her face as she passed the east side of Winthrop. Joon assumed something must have happened by the old Winthrop pool and empty playground. All the teenagers used to go down there to smoke and make trouble in their youthful boredom.

Joon had only been there once, last Christmas. When she had gone, snow had covered the sidewalks in white clouds of gloom. But something about that place always felt cold, even in the heat of July.