Now or Never

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“We have to do it.”

“I know we have to do it. It’s like this every time.”

Fuck, I hope it works…”

“Just make sure. We have no other option than to win, and I’m as tired of doing it as you are. Now or never.”

“But if it doesn’t work–”

“Don’t think about that! Just make sure it works!”

“Oh, god, OK, here goes–”

***

And a whirlwind begins with light and cold as noise explodes. There is screaming, talking, walking, hugs, cries, hunger, food, love, and panic. The screaming brightness of the horror becomes more mundane as understanding expands on the scene. Each time, the understanding. Each time, the fear. School starts and then college, people, friends, enemies, work and stress. The whole world gets bigger with travel and then smaller with texts and video chats. Then there is the girl. Not just a girl, but she makes the light brighter and chases away the cold. She offers warm, sweaty and fun; laughter and then bells and hugging and white clothing. Then come the children and more stress, no sleep, such tiredness and fire and screaming, and work, and bills. And then quiet and hugging with less light, less noise, and less people. She is not there anymore. And then light dims to darkness, and you are travelling.

***

“How was that?”

“Fuck, I don’t know… Just give me a moment to adjust to being back. It’s always so quick compared to the time outside here. Such a brief moment being alive versus all of an eternity sitting out here. Hey, how’d I do? What the score look like?”

“Yeh, I’m sorry, you only just scraped through. You gonna have to get in the queue to go back sometime.”

“Bugger.”

“Yeh, sorry… I suppose the term ‘now or never’ doesn’t mean much when we have an eternity.”

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