Mittens stayed in the box for three days.
Window-light woke Daniel up the next morning. He rolled away from the glare, felt too stiff to get up, and spent a minute sprawled out under the guise of stretching. There’d been thunder last night. Dusty was passed out under the table again. Read More
Daniel whistled a sci-fi tune and swished bacon grease around the edge of his frying pan. He owned a frying pan, as it turned out. So he was moving up from toast. Bacon posed a more intricate challenge so far. Daniel felt he had barely scratched the surface.
The Northeast Sacramento outlet of Designer Pals was a high-ranking establishment. Daniel had been one of thousands of patrons who left with a pet in tow. But like all establishments, it wasn’t free from its own little quibbles. In mid-summer, in particular, cries of despair could be heard through the drop ceiling. That was when the surrogate mother for Deluxe Fun Bunnies gave birth to new litters.
Daniel didn’t know what to do next morning. So he made toast.
As far as Velvet could tell, there wasn’t a single petrol station between Arizona and Oregon. The truck would only hold out for as long as the gas did. Hopefully that would be long enough to reach Sacramento. According to the news ticker in a Fresno convenience store, the city had rain scheduled for the next three days. Water was being distilled over from the Pacific to feed almond farms.
A woman with raven locks flowed round one cozy corner of the room. She was humming. A slightly doughy man reclined on an armchair near the door, shoes half-removed. Daniel had started to take them off, but become uncertain of himself halfway through.
The gist of the year 2056 was this: no one asked what wound up in the garbage.
On a certain night in July, what wound up in the garbage were the contents of an armored transport the size of a semi-trailer. An escort of six black vans followed it across the state of Arizona, clawing at the sand. Flying cars were still too conspicuous in this part of the country. But ground vehicles had very little traction here. They slid through the bare Mojave like a particularly callous funeral procession. The motorcade muddled on this way for hours until, at no especially notable point in the desert, the transport squatted up against a lonely concrete building.