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worry about yourself.

you realize it’s probably a mistake when you stop for a hitchhiker. He’s an old man and you feel sorry for the guy. he climbs into your car grunting and wheezing while thanking you for your kindness. it’s not until after you’ve merged back onto the highway that you notice what might be wet blood on the left cuff of his tattered, filthy jeans. you’re thankful when he falls asleep a mile or so down the road.
as you reach for the radio button, you notice out of the corner of your eye, violent muscle twitching in his leg. he wakes screaming and grabbing desperately at his legs. he pulls his pant leg up. you see blood and exposed muscle and bone. there’s something long, thin and black, like a few extension cords twitching around in the bloodied area. he pulls the longest from out of his leg. it’s flailing around wildly in his hand. an opening at one end has an undulating array of needle like teeth. in it’s wild thrashing it brushes against your face, it’s teeth catching your cheek. immediately it begins devouring a hole in the side of your face and then bites up into the roof of your mouth. the last thing you hear is the sound of a tractor trailer air horn as your car careens across the road into oncoming traffic.

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ice sheets

In the distance thick sheets of ice shatter and explode and then it’s very quiet, very cold, and the sky is always twilight. The Sad Men have torn apart much of their ice locked ship and used it’s timber to build small fires around which they huddle. Wrenching apart the ship to keep the fires burning consumes most of their day.

There’s little to do but think about dying out here on the ice and snow. Here your frozen corpse would lie under a few dim stars until spring. Your eyes wide, staring up through the perpetual twilight.

So for now you keep moving. Moving reassures you that you are not yet dead. Keep moving. Keep cursing through the breath that unfurls from your mouth. Keep moving while thinking about the woman you’ll never touch again. Keep moving and remember the children you’ll never see grow. Keep moving and whisper a toast to friends never to be seen again. Keep moving, dwelling on the life you’ll never live.

“Captain, the time has duly past, Sir.” The ship’s Lieutenant stumbled toward his superior, his left foot wrapped in blood stained cloth. He dragged his frostbitten limb past the bodies of the recently dead crewmen.”We’ve known where we are, Sir, and that IS LOST. And furthermore, we know our course from here and it IS NOWHERE, SIR”

“You WILL pipe down, Lieutenant. We have men in distress”, the hoarse whisper  rasped  from between the Captain’s chapped and bloodied lips, “and I will not have an officer incite more fear in these desperate men. Do you understand me?” He turned back to the bodies to review those lost overnight.

“Distressed? I’d worry not of their distress. It is their hunger that will hang you, Sir. The bodies at your feet are vacant. Their souls have taken leave and they need this meat no more. Were we home this soulless flesh  would be feeding worms. I ask you Captain, would you feed churchyard worms yet starve your crew?’

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