More... (the paper, btw, is starting to take off. sorta)

Follows "Fast Enough"

Naming the Beast

I'm rehearsing the mission plan while I wait for you. Any minute now you're going to walk through that door. Maybe you'll sprawl in one of the chairs at the table, next to the glasses with dried milk pooled in the bottom of them. Maybe you'll lean against the counter and watch me while I fry eggs.

You'll probably choose the counter, so that you can watch.

Then I'll look up at you. I'll ask if you're ready to talk. You will either say yes, or you will say no.

You'll probably say no.

Then I'll force myself to talk. For this I will make myself be brave, and I will confront this nameless thing between us. Legends say that naming the unnamed creature tames it, makes it docile. I will give a name to what is between us. I think I will call it love.

Then something will happen. I don't know what. This plan of mine breaks down with the infinite possibilities of your reaction.

I hope you will agree that the name I've chosen is good.

Your footsteps are padding down the hall. I season the eggs with careful hands that must not shake.

You're at the door. You've stopped.

Going home?

This was not in the plan. I turn and I look at you, and I don't like what I see. Your old mask is so firmly in place that I don't think I could move it in a million years.

But we need to talk.

How can you not be interested in talking? What's going on here? You're not supposed to be saying these things!

There is an iron band squeezing tightly around my throat. I can't swallow; I can't speak. I can only watch you as you turn around and walk away.

Behind me, the eggs are starting to burn.


<meeps and hides behind the essay>

...uh, do I dare ask for feedback?