Thus continueth the Slowtime serial. For those who didn’t see earlier episodes, Slowtime is a concept album by my friend Paul Ramey. It’s set in a dust bowl future of overpopulation and shortages.
– Slipping Under –
The warning chime rang.
“My love, it’s time for Quietus to begin.”
“Will it hurt?”
Enu hesitated a split second. “They say it’s like falling asleep,” he said. “But you won’t have your bad dreams.”
“What if I get stuck in a nightmare and stay there for all of Quietus?”
He pushed a lank blonde lock out of her face. “Elaida, you won’t. I promise.”
“You can’t promise.” At least she was smiling now. “Nobody knows.”
“I’ll be in the cryochamber next to yours. I’ll be the first thing you see when you wake.”
The fading sun slowly slipped behind the plateau.
She bit her lip, “I guess I should do my civic duty. I know there’s too many of us. It’s time for someone else to be Awake.”
The chimes rang the hour. Everyone else had already began. Silence washed across the desert.
“Don’t be scared.”
She slid down into her cryochamber, looked up at him with sad eyes, “See you in a year.”
He kissed her with a ferocity that startled them both. As he settled into his own chamber, her voice floated over.
“Tell me I’m not giving my life away for nothing, Enu.”
“You’re not giving it away. Just leaving it for awhile.”
The cover clicked shut.