And thus having gazed upon it, Aelius corrected many abuses and constructed a wall three hundred miles in length so that the people might live in safety. After arranging this matter, he returned across the sea, for he was disturbed at the news that the god Horaps had been discovered again after a space of many years.
—Anonymous Imperial History, BG, Aen. Ms.Hl. 17714
“You ever get lonely out here, Silas?”
“I’m afraid I do not understand the question, Hal.”
“Ah, yeah, I guess you wouldn’t.”
“Do you feel lonely, Hal?”
Originally published in The Nassau Weekly, 2016.
Let me tell you a story. There was a storm on the day my great-grandmother died.
I arrived at their little house in the countryside on the first week of June, having just finished my last year of college. I planned a whole month to go and visit her, though I only stayed about three weeks. We hadn’t seen each other for years, so my mother suggested I go as soon as I was able to. I had been distant from my family during college, and I was planning to take the next few months for myself, to get my mind off school, but with Nana–we called her Nana–nearly ninety-two years old, I felt it was the right thing to do.
James sat in the office, mesmerized by the rhythmic flickering of the overhead light. It was Thursday night. Usually he worked the Monday shift but he’d gotten unlucky this time and drawn the short straw to cover for Charlie, who had come down with the flu. At least it was one night only. He pitied the poor bastard who worked this shift on Saturdays more than anything.
In nineteen ninety-five, someone else came to live at my apartment, even though I hadn’t asked her to. I had moved into North Star Heights by then, a poured-concrete sort of affair that flooded a little whenever it rained. My landlord, Mr. Alan Veitner, used to look up the hill in both directions (North Star Heights was, ironically, in a valley) and say “It’s just not fair that all of those people get to live so much higher up.” But for all his complaining he never left.