My personal websites, davidchess dot com and all, which are hosted somewhere in like England by friends-of-friends who stopped billing me in maybe 2010, seem to be down currently; but I have located a local copy, and have been looking nostalgically through it at random. Here is a piece of microfiction from March 2008 that I had entirely forgotten…
“So you know what you’re going to say?”
Chervais looked down at the squat form, sitting behind the piled shapes that served for a desk, sucking at a damp cigar.
“I was thinking I could just tell the truth.”
There was an explosion from somewhere outside, and the gondola rocked sickeningly for a moment. Chervais imagined the view outside, the gondola suspended like a parasite from the vast flock of harnessed geese, the bulbous airplanes that flew by now and then in slow irrational dogfights, the oddly glowing ground over which they passed, trees in the shape of nightmare reaching toward the starless sky.
The other grabbed at the desk automatically, and looked up.
“First, no one would believe you,” he stubbed the cigar on some component of the desk, which grudgingly caught fire, “and second, it’s not allowed.”
“I don’t think you have any way to enforce that.”
The big bloodshot eye rolled in its socket. “That’s a dangerous thing to assume.”
Chervais sighed and looked down at his hand, colorless and insubstantial. “All right,” he said, “first I became aware of myself floating upward, then I turned and saw my body lying on the bed.”
The other just nodded, the eye staring.
“Then there was this intense light, and I found myself moving toward it –”
“The calmness,” the other cut in.
“Right, right, there was this great feeling of calm, and I was moving up this tunnel toward the light, and there was this ethereal music and a great feeling of,” he made a sound, involuntarily, with his mouth, “of love, and a gentle voice, telling me I had to return.”
The squat cyclops grunted. “Ya still got some work to do on attitude, but I like that ‘ethereal’. Keep it up.”
Somewhere outside there was another explosion, as a cargo helicopter full of cheese plummeted from the sky.