Wednesday, February 19, 2020


My time machine shudders to a stop,
and I step outside,
blinded by daylight,
and things look much as they did
before I left,
so I wonder
for a moment,
did it even work?

Then I hear a terrible,
thrilling sound,
a crowd running towards me,
surrounding me in seconds,
Desperate grabbing hands,
lunging towards their prey,
knocking me to the hard pavement,
stepping over and onto my body,
curled into the fetal position.
Then someone,
a young girl,
helps to pull me up,
and I stare for a moment
into her wild widened eyes,
tear-stained, flushed cheeks.
She just looks at me
and starts shrieking again with the others,
pulls away from me,
and runs again with the crowd.
I sit for a moment on the curb
after they pass,
my knees skinned.
I pick gravel out of the palms of my hands.

They press forward,
then surround a black car
that has stopped in the middle of the street.
The wailing intensifies.
Some of them climb on top of the car;
some try to strip the vehicle where it stands.
I wonder what the occupants inside are thinking.
From the shrill din,
I can hear cries of “John! John!”
And “I love you, Paul!”
Police officers appear,
try to press back the crowd,
as a young man 
in a black suit
emerges from the car
with a grin and a wave.
Camera flashes popping,
the crowd swelling
like an unstoppable tidal wave,
the howls turn into a roar.
A girl faints from within the mob,
and a brave officer
wades among them
to carry her limp body away.

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