“Oh, look at that!”
Jerome couldn’t understand what the man was saying, but he couldn’t mistake the expression of confusion. He followed the man’s pointing finger and saw, half buried in the sand, a pair of binoculars. He understood the man’s confusion. Here the party was, crossing the desert, three days from any kind of civilization, and a pair of binoculars half buried in the sand seemed more than out of place, it seemed like finding a living mouse inside the shell of a desktop computer. He walked over to the binoculars and brushed the sand that clung to them off. He raised them to his eyes, expecting to see the far deter, brought close, but to his surprise, instead he saw cities, enormous skyscrapers dotting the landscape. He focused the binoculars but instead of sharpening the image he seemed to be scrolling through images. He saw earthquakes, fires, the skyscrapers falling, the sand creeping into the desert. After a minute, he withdrew the lenses from his eyes. He passed them to his companion, who raised them to his eyes for only a moment before laughing and taking them away. Jerome looked at his companion with what he hoped was an obvious look of confusion that would cross their language barrier. The man laughed again, and drew from the folds of his robe a pocketknife. With quick movements, he used the butt end of the knife to crack, then destroy the lenses in the binoculars. When he finished he threw the useless metal body of the binoculars into the sand.
“Trouble,” the man said, by way of explanation. It was the first word the man had said to him in his language.
Written at Fairport High School on 12/16/15 as part of a “Write Off” at their Creative Juices Cafe.