25. Sons of the Silent Age

RD AUTO Message 170: Sat 12, Octobre 2086 – Steinenhurst, Maryland |

The air would have been gray.

There was a breeze that sort of didn’t dare make too much sound.

Old people were marching in unison.

The new UFED Cooperation with the Steinenhurst Micro-State of Maryland kicked off an Ad campaign targeting the 45 and up. A series of blockbuster romantic comedies featured newly revived, key pre-era celebrities–and had now consolidated the previously scattered market for seniors. Among these changes; we now had funeral parlors, B&Bs, pancake and breakfast houses, diners, nursing homes as well as Assisted Living communities, all contained inside official Theme Parks with rides!

The beach of the local Bitzeri ‘Arrangement Living and Interment’ camp was a faint sap green and billowed into a muted tan around where its dunes would peak. You could see the yellow blotchy horizon, and the bay, even the ocean beyond, but somehow, none of these things seemed to make a difference. A fog of atmospheric haze  coming in from the sea collided with the long perspective of the boardwalk until it disappeared into the sky. The walls that lined the boardwalk were made of a watery blue brick that loomed over their tennis courts and workout cul-de-sacs. Somehow it looked as if to be missing the crown of its own barbed wire. But there were no imprints of where it would have been, as the brick was freshly painted twice a year.

The pitter-patter of quiet sneakers hitting the ground seemed to be in slow motion. Looking at an old painting try to move and watching these people exercise would have required the same visual attention. Somehow it was as if witnessing only the aftermath of some distant speed. They had on noisy jump suits that represented the entire color spectrum. And still, the sharpest thing in Rachael’s gaze was the grayish-blue metal of the fence she clung her fingers to.

She felt playful, suddenly. Murmurings of things past echoed throughout her mind. She’d known pure boredom enough to make life a race against it. She started playing with these thoughts, tossing them around. She did this until she discovered the game in her head had turned her into an insect.

More like a bumble-bee, maybe.

They had made their way into the waiting lobby when her mom turned to her. “Rach–what’s your SSN again?”

“Wh–”

“They can’t pull up Fingers or Hands here.”

She gave it to her and looked around the dull yellows and grays that made up the lobby’s ceiling, aside from the skylights. A small company library could be seen to her right, possessing a curious addition on an island in this adjacent room that could have at one point, been a kitchen.

They stood in the center of the circular lobby filled with baby blue chairs, marble seeming walls, shiny black tile floors, and funny looking glass sculptures. All of this on the axis of a tiny fountain of ornate, undulating white metal. It was inactive and sort of hidden. Hallways spun off from the lobby in four directions.

They were visiting her Grandmother, not quite ailing  enough yet in her old age, they all thought, underneath it all…

It was the one on her mom’s side. Rachael was always bored with this sort of thing. Smiles, nods and fractured anecdotal conversation was her fate every time she went. Why should she be made to think anything different?

They made their way down hallways of that sweet, sickly aroma so indicative of rotting flesh. That is, of old age.

Monitors passed them, stuck one after the other on the walls, maybe ten of them to a hall. They were most of them, dead, black screens. Dead to their Eyes anyway, but not the Eyes of the inmates here, or any of the staff for that matter.

“So, I have to tell you Rachael, there was something I did talk to Helen about that I’d like you to consider seriously…”

www.VesperHelioTropic.com

Page 6 of the Vesper Heliotropic Graphic Novel

Page 6 of the Vesper Heliotropic Graphic Novel

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