I’ve been pursuing them and now, here, they are. They would be my friends, but something in them has broken.
They respect me and, laughingly, tell me they’ve fucked up. The timer is set for only 10 minutes. Their car is 5 minutes away, and not reliable.
I understand. I cannot honestly say that, having lived as they have, I would be better.
Something in them has stopped. Become deeply distorted. Yet I would find no joy in their defeat – for they are already defeated. Nothing remains in them that could win.
They have become
what they despise.
They go, laughing at death.
Beautiful beings: ruined.
I let them.
And arrive eight minutes later.
I check the doors and windows.
My son is there. He is autistic. His listens, utterly without guile:
“There will be a bright flash, but you must not look out the windows because it can hurt your eyes.” “Right after that will come a big wind that might break things. So you must be sure and lie on the floor and cover up your head and close your eyes. It will not take very long.”
The flash comes, then the blast. The house pitches and slides – but the windows and doors have remained sealed. We are 2 miles east and a little south of the epicenter. As I suspected, it was not a large device.
The wind is strong and steady out of the north. If we avoid the initial fallout we may survive..