Under penalty of torture, our fearless leader has ordered that we compose in a literary genre exciting & new. I can't promise that Gavin MacLeod will make a cameo, but there's always hope & change.
She knew time was running out, fast, but opening that door was Pandora's Box all over again. The world could never comprehend how titanic a task it was shoving all the evils of the cosmos into a thirty-two cubic foot closet, how relentlessly numbing was the epoch-spanning sift through the asphyxiating detritus of a temple built with the woe-lashed clues of a thousand thousand years, tracking each malignancy regardless of dimension through long-crumbled bricks of an Alexandrian murder, Godfrey's bone-strewn prize, Ottoman bloodthirst, Mengele's blade, a script of ancient massacres & fresh-faced sequels, the Amazon stripped & replaced with a river of poison, every realpolitik assassination, every capitalist black ops & rote, mote interpersonal, interoffice dismissal to dig beneath the world's rib, dredge from the dissembling muck of a trillion pulsing organs their hiding places, bring their rot into the light & back into the magic Mason jar.
Only to let them out again, for time was running out, fast.
Long bubbled the ground & the fizz in the next table's glasses, the cthonic blood of slain gatekeepers & celebratory champagne, for every day was worth celebrating now, to the point of absurdity. She chuckled at the overt contrast found only in the pages of poorly written fiction.
Looking out the window, the surface of her drink lay as silent as her drab mask, the space above conquered now & again by the ghost of a cigarette no doubt celebrating the gift of a another new minute.
One by one she gathered her plan & her doubts, not with an Olympian rage but a Wertherian resignation, sounds & furies signifying time making corpses of us all. A shot in the dark can still kill, right? An imagined laugh washed down with a last swig, for tomorrow, she thought, we'll all probably die.
A thin film of creamy louche remained, a pale green become old copper in the diminishing light, quietly gurgling to an unseen turbulence marching beneath the nurturing topsoil, to the frenetic buzz of a nest of bowels. The jangling fifteen percent refused to settle, a quarter rolling off the table towards the door. She got up & followed, knowing there was a good chance, an excellent chance, that the coin would soon be spent not on vice, but on passage to the land of the dead.
Exiting out into the black, she strode past a choking, naive joy & over the angry earth to open another door, open the hope of man in stopping Time himself.