Attendance was low at the dollar theater. They were showing Star Wars, again.
A.M. sat in a seat partway to the back. Head back, eyes closed, and hands folded over his chest.
He wasn't sleeping... no, he was listening. Th' score yeah, an' th' dialog, drekky an' wonderful as it was... but what he really wanted was the sound, that sound.
'bout halfway through the film it came, a shrieking angry mechanical wail dopplerin' out of the distance until it 'bout much as ran you over. Shrieking, screaming like a tiny angry alien god, raining death and destruction...
A.M. swelled with the music of it.
Too soon it was over. He subsided for a few boring bits until it was time for the trench run. Time for that angry screaming-bird noise to fill his ears again, like some sort of awful, wonderful everything, blotting out anything that was not its own anger.
He limped out of the theater when it was all over. It'd gone dark since he went inside, and the street smelled of wet and rotting foundations... stank of a humanity that never kicked the clay off its feet... Too many generations shitting in the same place with no ambition to move on, an' no frontiers to move on into.
Like barnacles on the ass of the world, clinging to the high-water mark of better generations and waiting for a tide to come in to' raise them up instead of making waves themselves.
There was no second coming but the one you made for yourself.
A.M. thought these dark and pitiless thoughts as he leaned hard on his cane and tried to take a full breath... to find some taste of a new wind that would blow this place out of its doldrums, breathing their own stale and sticky thoughts over an' over again.
Nuthin'. He let it go with a cough and shook, and felt trapped.
If there was a bright center to this universe... well it surely wasn't here, nor had been for some time.
He looked longingly up to the stars.
"Ah wish I was a TIE fihtuh."