FEAR OF A RED PLANET

MARS GENTLE WEIGH

Gravity is about a half on Mars, but inside the tunnels it ranges: it can be more like a quarter, and it can be double. For Boss, the air strummed weightily, his limbs leaden, his sleep could not be called sleep really. Images blinked and blurred moving at amazing speeds. He found himself questioning each and every figment in his thoughts, if not in fact, craving something from them. He needed answers. He felt a hole in himself that seemed bottomless.

He was back to being a boy, and the first true wrestling match he ever had. The boys stood in front of each other, peering into each others mirrors, seeing their enemy. That enemy was a boy from a neighboring tribe,  face painted with local colors, lighter than himself. Boss himself was just a boy, and though he was first to pounce, he hefted the boy up, and set him down like a full tea cup on a platter, back down on his feet.

Training had him locked, but his innocence never dreamed it would be violent. He had no will to do harm to others. He looked back to see crowds jeering and yelling in disbelief.  He wasn’t capable of being a monster. His loved ones cried out for blood.

Suddenly, he had seen crows pull a dying man to ribbons and was again, bulging eyes picked like a fruit from a basket… his lids closed defensively.

 

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