daily – 79

Back on the screen, the heatmap, with no more color than a static satellite photograph of the moon, circa 1950, stands prominently atop the pile of monochromatic videofeeds. Lines of hard white cut perfect black shadows. Near the bottom, bodies of grey.

“They’re not dying,” Officer Gerent says in a small but even voice. “They’re already dead.”


My chair bucks as if suddenly alive, jerking me up and to the side in an awkward spin. There’s more yelling, but my ears are ringing as I fall hard, in a tangle of chair, cushion, body, and floor. Pairs of shiny black shoes at the bottom of black pants stomp and shove and tangle with each other, barely a foot away.

Something hard hits me across the back, but not very hard, like something dropped, and then one pair of the shoes lifts free of the ground, as if flying. Stunned and confused, with one hand on my echoing ear and stinging forehead, I roll onto my back with bizarre slowness and watch the shoes rise.