I traced my finger
along the article entitled Common Halloween Tricks. Womens
magazines attempt to create balance between affected banality and blatant tosh.
Hence, the issue I held urged homemakers to mash marshmallows into ghosts and
to paint skeleton bones onto their black leggings.
I turned the page to
search for coupons. That particular publication was notorious for offering
seventy-five cent discounts on all manner of useless personal effects. As I
needed neither a Miss Piggy hairdryer or a coin counter guaranteed to function
equally well with minted dollars, euros, and yen, I flipped until I reached the
In that piece, a
periphrastic vixen vented about our colony on the moon, and about the cost of
sustaining the war in Iran. Her solution to each money sink was the same; send
a powerful atomic missile. I shook my head at the author, surprised that
genocide had found a home among columns devoted to: using licorice whips to
craft credible spider cookies; employing smiles, during PTA meetings, to disarm
unfriendly homeroom teachers; and manipulating plastic wrap to warm up
Two weeks later, on All
Hallows Eve, I heard the blast. That thud resonated from Ljubljana to
Port Moresby and from Bolshevik Island to Wellington. The lights went out, but
my WhatsApp group stayed frenetic. Someone had detonated a nuclear device on
the moon. Many of the worlds most powerful governments were calling the
Long before dawn,
another weapon of mass destruction exploded. Tehran was leveled.
governments, too, were rattling sabers. After learning that a few world leaders
had been assassinated, I pulled Duke into my safe room. He slobbered doggy
kisses all over me and settled down, nose to tail, for a rest. I had prepared
food, water, flashlights, tampons, and bedding, but had forgotten about his
need to void. I hoped that the worlds chaos would quickly
Two days later, my cell
phone died. Whats more, my panic chamber reeked. Plus, my muscles were
knotted. I pushed open the secondary door, expecting to see a landscape
blanketed in nuclear snow. Instead, I found Terry asleep, with his shoes on, on
my living room sofa. My brother opened an eye and smiled at me.
But the WhatsApp
Friends of mine,
Did you bother
verifying via Internet?
utility room. Hope the neighbors didnt freak. I restored it after you
locked yourself in.
Bored, I guess.
You should clean up that stink. He gestured toward my safe room, shook
himself and then left my apartment.
On the sofa sat a
mens glossy, twin to the one I had read. It featured the editorial about
the Moon Colony and the Middle Eastern War. It offered coupons, though, for
shave cream and for beer and ran a slightly different version of Common