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Silent They'd Be and Down On One Knee

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"What are thoooose?!"

The hovercar zipped along the busy highway through District 2 of New Albion. The streets glowed in the dark, the city alive with lights and nightlife. Giant screens advertised the latest and greatest in cybertech: the next generation tablet the Mascot 550C, a virtual reality simulator that could take you to the moon, and a new club the first to feature a robot DJ. Rebecca’s mom was pointing at a holographic ad displaying a new line of winter jackets, sleek and trendy with neon accents. The jackets looked quite nice, but they were not shoes.

“Mo-oom” Rebecca whined “You're using it wrong!"

"Am I? I thought for sure I had gotten it right this time." Her mom looked genuinely confused. On some level, Rebecca knew that she should be glad she was making an effort to understand, but gods this was embarrassing.

“I can never keep up with you kids and your me-mes.”

“Memes, dad,” Rebecca rolled her eyes. She swore her parents were doing this to her on purpose. “They’re memes, not me-mes.”

“Right. Me-mes. Isn’t that what I said?”

“I do like that one with the cat,” her mom piped up before Rebecca could correct her dad again.

“Which one? Mom, there are so many cats.”


“Yes, really. There’s Nyan Cat and Grumpy Cat and Keyboard Cat and Monorail Cat and In-Bread Cat and--”

“Keyboard Cat!” Her dad exclaimed. “That’s my favorite.”

“I like that one too,” Rebecca said with a grin.

“What is this inbred cat?” Her mom asked, the telltale crease of disapproval appearing between her eyebrows.

“Not like that, mom!” Rebecca rushed to explain. “It’s a slice of bread, like actual bread, you know, the kind you eat. People tear a hole in--”

There was a screech of tires, a resounding crash, thousands of shreds of flying glass. A violent jerk threw everything out of balance, with twisted metal and the taste of blood. There was a hot flash of searing pain and screams pierced the air.

And then, silence.