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From This World to the Next

Version Elephant Cobra

Scorpio almost passed out. He grabbed hold of awake and clung to it, the weird lighting of the internet cafe punching into his eyes, his stomach wrestling with the deluge of coffee. He grit his teeth, he clenched his fists. He imagined Wolverine from X2 carving his way through the soldiers storming Xavier's. He took a deep breath. He almost passed out.

Typing quickly, then slowly, sometimes needing to find each key, sometimes running across the keyboard, drunk tightrope, words mispelled, didn't matter these days. Bad spelling, new jargon, Scorpio caught between the two. Hoping he wouldn't fall asleep, didn't want to be awake anymore, caught between the two.

Couldn't let her go. Couldn't let her log out. Didn't know how to ask. Couldn't stay silent. Caught between. Could she tell, could she tell as his text appeared on her screen, wherever she was, whoever she was, how messed up he felt, how desperate he was. Did the stark lines and curves capture the apocalypse in him or erase it. Magic runes summoning the right feeling in her, or suburban architecture strip-malling the forest inside him.

He could just ask, but she was already asking. Would his question connect them or scare her off or worse sound contrived, his true desperate agenda inverted into a ploy, an online flash of a smile and a wink, boozy end-of-the-night lunge for the finish line.

And if she was asking then she couldn't tell him. But maybe he didn't really need to know, he only needed to know that others were asking too...

Except for all the typing he was doing, all the passing-out he wasn't doing, keeping the exchange running, lobbing text at each other across whatever was between them, he couldn't aim for what she had put on display - he envied her courage, he feared her intent. He almost typed about it, finally, but he had another strange flash of black-suited men storming the cafe and he almost passed out again.

He stared at the screen. The chat window open. Their exchange about politics and movies. Her name and quote in the top corner.

Mayganne - who is max cube?