Sean Tilley
Sean Tilley
Sean Tilley

"Come on, son," Dad says to me, "We're flying to England in the morning tomorrow, so we need to finish getting ready."

A chill runs down my spine as I realize that I don't have my passport, and have never had one.

I'm sitting in a van. It's a red 90's Ford Windstar, rocking side to side as it barrels down a long road. The land is flat, repetitive, and boring.

"We're in Nebraska," dad says. The hours of driving have left him in a quiet stupor, his mind dedicated to the bends and twists between objects in motion.

I look over at my brother, and he's seven years old, staring out the window as he plays his GameBoy. We're making our way to Colorado, our yearly summer pilgrimage to the house of my mother's parents. The van''s CD player is blaring Da Vinci's Notebook, and dad sings along to keep himself awake.

My gut feels an awkward sinking feeling. This isn't real, and there is no coming back to this. There is no fixing the marriage of my parents, there is no convergence between scattered people who won't talk to each other.

I sobbed bitterly, and tears streamed down my face.
"We're in Nebraska," dad says.

I went to Hell and back last summer.Node: ‪Hell‬ (‪160368207‬) | OpenStreetMap


OpenStreetMap is a map of the world, created by people like you and free to use under an open license.

A battle rages on in the near reaches of our settlement. Dozens of ships varying in design hang high in our planet's sky. Thousands of lazers light up a desert night. We stand far beneath them, as our base scrambles to mount any sort of defense.

"We have to get you somewhere safe," one of my commanding officers bellows, practically grabbing my entire body as we run together. We run towards the temple of Kronos, keeper of time.

"Are you sure about this, Commander?" I ask, staring down his eyes.

"We don't have time. You need to hide in the past. I'll come looking for you when the coast is clear."

I nod, and step inside.

I find myself in a chamber shaped like a coffin, and kneel at the altar. I cut my hand, place a gold plate against my blood, and touch the marble surface.

I stand alone in a red desert at the beginning of sunrise. Sweating, I set my bags down and sit. A timer starts on my watch, and I hear the gentle low hum of wind scraping against the dunes. Now it is time to wait.
And z is only actually cool in Zot and Hubzilla.
In Australia if you use the '-ize' form, kangaroos will shit on your lawn and you'll be drinking alone whilst everybody around you chants "yank, yank septic tank" in unison.

My brothers and I wanted to visit our grandparents, so we built a makeshift airplane and started flying it towards their state.
Somewhere along the way, I thought about how we were supposed to land it and that we weren't talking to any air traffic controllers.

At that point, I realized that everything we were doing was Totally Fucking Illegal.

I lay, half-paralyzed, in an effort to embrace the comfort of stillness. A low drone hummed over my head, crossing the divide from my right ear to my left. I winced, as I knew deep down what would happen next.

"Hello," a high-pitched voice rasped into my ear, "I've been watching you for a while now."

My heart skipped a beat, and I found myself in disbelief.

"Yes," it continued, "I can in fact talk."
"That's incredible," I whispered, "can all insects do this?"

A pause.

"Only some of us can. You would be surprised at how little an ant has to say."