THROUGH ALL KINDS OF WEATHER
They’re down to the final four on So You Think You Can Text? The judges have locked in their scores and Richard is going home. To costal Regina.
The party’s off to a slow start on Orgy Pad. Contestants can’t concentrate. Not with the roof missing. There’s mood-killing daylight in the Velvet Room. And all that blurred-out flesh moves with virtually no enthusiasm.
Flash floods in Fredericton. Wildfires in Winnipeg. Tornados in Toronto, the CN Tower plucked, planted needle-down, piercing a pipeline. It’s Russ and his State of Emergency roundup.
“Is this the end? This reporter thinks so,” he says to empty living rooms across the country. “Is anyone out there? Maybe you’re flipping through the channels, looking for something mindless to take the edge off.”
Russ hits a button. It brings up a banner graphic with his cell phone number.
“Russ is going full telethon. All Russ all the time. Call me. I don’t want to die alone.”
Undercover Brute. In which Rico discovers the smog-related respiratory illnesses plaguing his deadbeat clients. He’s moved to tears. He gives them another week to pay up before he breaks their legs.
Knife Swap. A cleaver for Rita. A carver for Ted. Because it’s getting crazy out there, people.
Russ has the whiskey out. And his clothes off. He’s draped over the anchor’s desk checking his phone for missed calls.
The banner graphic with Russ’s phone number is still on screen.
“Call me. You can’t live for tomorrow. Tomorrow is happening and it’s an arid wasteland. Fucking disease and tumbleweeds. And I want to live. I want to find you and make post-apocalyptic love. So pick up the phone and—”
Adam Giles’ short fiction has appeared in Sonora Review, The Feathertale Review, The Humber Literary Review, Riddle Fence, The Dalhousie Review, and other journals. His story “Corduroy” won the University of Toronto Magazine Short Story Contest in 2013, and other stories have been longlisted and named runner-up in PRISM International’s Fiction Contest, the House of Anansi Broken Social Scene Story Contest, and the Penguin Random House of Canada Student Award for Fiction. His writing has also been nominated for the National Magazine Awards and the Best of the Net Anthology. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with his wife and two children. Find him on the web at www.adamgiles.ca.
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