Its voice is the tempo of a slow waltz in his mind. He taps the back beat with the heel of his worn down shoe.
Tick… Tap Tap… Tock… Tap Tap…
Just like when he was a young man again, and he would dance with a beautiful lass who happened to meet his gaze. Only now, he is older. The house is empty aside from the grandfather clock. All close family is long dead. The only thing he has is the tempo, and when he loses what little hearing he has left, he will have lost everything. This includes his mind.
“Kirby… where are we?”
“Hell if I know. I think we’re still in Nebraska”
“Well don’t stop.”
“Wasn’t going to.”
“Did you see that?”
Kirby fell silent. He had seen it. It dashed right by the passenger window. All he could make out was a shape which could only be compared to legs. Not human ones though. That was for sure.
He’d gone fishing, at least, that’s what the sign said. What’s a business owner to do? It was always calming, and the pastime had inched its way closer to becoming a serious ritual. It’d only taken a couple years, after obtaining his new job in street cleaning. The water rippled at the motion of the electric stilts, the waves disappearing long before they reached the scattered horizon of the lakeside town. There was no wind, no voices to be heard, not even the movement of water. It was merely the hushed whiffling of the machine’s movement, and Vander’s own relaxed breaths.
He withdrew the fishing rod with the slip of a lever, and it slid out of the waist compartment. The click of a button, and it let its line drop into water, making more little ripples. It plonked as it did so, and somehow that was the most relaxing thing. He leaned back in his seat, and the electric legs supported this movement as sturdy as if it were stone. His eyes closed almost without thought. He wondered if he would catch anything today. There was hope, but little effort to actively think it over. He couldn’t concern himself. It had been difficult back at home. Surely, this was his time to unwind, even though this was double-duty in a sense.
In Singapore, the skies are clear. Everybody makes their way around the busy interstates, ensuring that they keep to themselves. Something is askew. Birds silently fly overhead. Smoke from a cargo ship paints dripping streaks onto the sky. Someone nearby coughs. Life continues on.
The janitorial office is but a hazy repetition of the previous morning. It smells vaguely of burning hair and soap. Today, you will be cleaning the restrooms. They escort you to a nearby office, with the guarantee of a good month’s check if management is pleased. You shut yourself in there, and begin to work on the stalls. You are aware of the chill which surrounds this place.