Just Another Night
Ivory-knuckled was the old man's vice grip on the fat handle of the diner's stoneware coffee mug. The black brew danced inside, playing the reflections of the establishment's yellowed lighting across its surface. This man took his coffee like he took most things in life, straight and without the unnecessaries.
Gail bounced about the joint, her pink anachronistic diner outfit swaying as she made her rounds. She eyed the considerable figure who had refused a warm up about half a dozen times since he first received the mug over an hour before. Finally she crossed the counter and let her top weight drop onto her elbows as they hit the counter opposite the man. Her glimmering hazel eyes peered into the fellow's unfocused orb.
"You can't just sit here all night, fella!" Gail's gaze turned stern as she noticed the ineffectiveness of her words. "What else can I get you?" she spoke at him, her voice rising.
The man seemed to stare with his eye into the pattern of the diner counter's Formica top. "It's a night for cursing gods, Gail. I'm set with the joe. Give me a minute and I'll duck out."
"You can't stay here much longer, but you oughta be careful where you go when you get," Gail replied with a snicker. "You curse gods in this town and things get messy, ya know."
He raised his eye to peer at her. The wrinkles about it deepened as he scrunched up his face. "I'll god damn a god if it's all I've got left to do. They can hang me a million times out there and once again for good measure and I'll still hop down and be back here a'cursin' 'em!"
The sturdy, elderly chap slid off the stool he had perched on during this night's diner haunt. He let his left hand slip into his trouser pocket and allowed it to come back out again flipping a coin in Gail's direction. She caught it with both hands, trembling with an uncertainty towards her reflexes. "Yeah...thanks," she blurted, smirking at him whilst tapping the now firmly held coin on the counter top.
He gave himself a quick stretch and turned to make his exit. Before he shoved open the door he turned to face a pack of surly and equally elderly-looking men in the back corner of the establishment. "Hey, Yahweh! Go fuck yourself!"
A bearded member of the back corner group turned and gestured with his right hand's middle finger. "Back at you, Wod!"
The man, Wod, chortled softly and waved a passive response. The bell above the door dinged as he shoved it open. "Tomorrow, Gail. See you then."
Gail clicked her tongue through a beaming smile in response as he made his way through the portal. "Same as usual. Same as always. Night, night, All-Father!"
Here's what citizens are proudly saying about the Human Global Alliance (HGA)...
“If the Alliance hadn't formed after the Gulf Stream incident then we'd all be suffering. We'd be jobless, homeless, and probably fighting each other just for a bite of food. My goodness, we would all be dead! I'm thankful for the HGA and for all that we have accomplished through it. May the HGA prosper forever!
-Klaus Zimmerman, 29, European Solar Distributor Maintenance Technician
“My great grandfather always spoke of the hardships of the times he grew up in. Economic failure, gradual global climate deterioration, and rampant warmongering. He spoke of conflicts between the various world governments. Can you imagine that? No wonder there was so much struggle and failure. If only he could be alive today. We're incredibly fortunate. As for the HGA, well, it saved us all, didn't it?”
-Helen Lamberton, 24, Great Britain Physiological Research and Advancement Institute, Cardiff Facility
“My mommy says that everybody's in it together. I like that. People should be friends. I've got friends from all over the world, and I wouldn't if it wasn't for the Humanity...sorry, Human Global Alliance! Thank you!!”
-Amani Tawfeek, 8, North America, 2nd Grade student at Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson Science Academy
These citizens and many, many more are daily extolling the virtues of the greatest endeavor in human history. Together we as a species have united to heal the social and climatic wounds caused by our ancestors.
Never again will a human child die needlessly without food or warmth. Never again will one group of men direct weapons at another. Never again will humanity fall into the blackness of a past of ignorance, superstition, and greed.
Since the ecological crisis in 2022 in the current system known as the Gulf Stream humanity has worked to band together to combat the staggeringly monumental threat posed to the wellness of the entirety of our home, the Earth. As one species we rose to our greatest challenge, our most dire threat, and defeated it to the betterment of all.
We've eliminated systems built on the exchange of and dependence upon capital. We've banded together to strike out into that vastly and eternally rewarding frontier that is Outer Space. We've grabbed the reins of our own fate and struck out towards a future where every man, woman, multi-gendered, and child will prosper and grow without limit.
This is our present. Upon this glorious foundation we are erecting the upwards reaching tower that will be our future.
We are the Human Global Alliance. Together we have never been as great.
Forever prosper, Alliance!
Cliff Steward ceased his scribbling. The words upon the page stabbed at his eyes in which great, heaping tears welled up. He sighed and let his pen drop. His hand reached up to comb through his sparse hair. The crackling radio next to him gained clarity and began to blare the familiar Emergency Signal. This time, he thought, it wasn't a test.
He pushed himself up out of his chair and made his way to the glassless window to look out upon the horizon from his second story vista. A warm, stagnant breeze grated past him and caused his throat to tighten. It blew across the grassless field across the street and over through the equally barren yard in front of his shell of a home. Things, remnants of his neighborhood and its former life, creaked and groaned with the force of the wind.
The sun was apparently out, for it was dimly day time, but it remained unseen. Like a smothering blanket, black and red clouds swirled in the air above. Suddenly a flash of light, as bright as if a flash bulb was sparked, blipped in the distance. The breeze became more intense and a far roaring sound began to crescendo.
Cliff looked back at the paper upon the desk. The tears were still coming. He swung his head to face the horizon and back to the desk. He did this several times noticing with each turn that the distance grew darker, fouler. On the desk the pen rolled off the paper, failing then to keep it from rolling away in the now fierce gale.
Cliff Steward thought about that maybe world his fitful sleep had crafted for him through dream. It stung to realize that only dreams were left here in this dark and hopeless reality. If only he had given his dream world life by writing it out. If only things hadn't fallen to hell throughout the world. If only, Cliff thought. If only.
-A Tomorrow Story-