Down Here

Down here lives are gray. Above, the colors stream within the mist and air. The denizens of the deep city survive without looking too closely at one another. They keep their eyes down, down, down.

Theo stumbles home from work, between the towering spires of rock and glass. He’s felt this way before: lost, yet moving forward. Don’t look up, don’t look over. Keep to yourself. Don’t compare.

Looking upward, a strange sight, a glimmer in the darkness, pure and silver. Another appears, but soon the haze drifts over, obscuring the sight. He shuffles over the cracks on his way home.

Home down here confined him. Small and dirty, it kept him dry. The noise of life down here played minor keys in dissonant tones, descending, descending.

He looked over and stopped. A face looked back beneath the dirty smear, a face of death. A voice inside his head said, “reject it!” But another cried out for change, to leave down here.

“Where would I go?” he said, cracking his dirty lips.

He looked up into the mist where colors flashed, then back down at his hands. Caked in blood and dirt, he couldn’t bear the sight. Looking over, he aged ten more years down here.

Around him he saw the shambling humanity in which he lived, all dead and dying down here.

Falling down to cracks of concrete, calling up to color and light, he needed help and wouldn’t reject the truth of what he was down here.

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