Jack Davis became sitting on his. Stevenson, Harvey and Campbell stared back at him; they were sitting on theirs too. Sorenson sat on a bearing prop.
Jack Davis examined his: the callused hands, the warped wedding band, the friendship bracelet his daughter Emily had made.He tried to caress it but it didn't work like that now.
'I feel funny Jack. Are we over?' Harry Campbell's lay belly up. Its head cocked.
'I dunno know mate. Somethin's not right.'
'It blew,' said Mac Harvey. 'The bloody thing blew.'
Mac's lay with an angle iron across its legs.
'We'll have to muck our way through.' said Jack. He and Mac stared into each other. An understanding. But neither knew of what.
Pete Stevenson's rested back against the granite, like it was napping, while Liam Sorenson was a grainy presence. He sat thumbing a necklace. His was nowhere to be seen.
'Kid's wonderin' what the hell happened,' said Mac. 'Colleen will never forgive me for bringin' him down here.'
'I can't see his...ya know?' said Jack
'Christ, it's probably in bits.' said Mac
Jack moved away from himself towards Liam. But the further he migrated the more he felt himself slipping into an unwelcoming firmament. He did not care for it.
'Nup. Don't try that.'
They sidled closer to themselves and for no apparent reason, began to hum. The chesty, tuneless din, reverberating in the chamber.
In dreams, Emily Davis hears a faint noise grow louder until the deathly sound of a thousand throat singers fractures her middle ear.
Without prompt the humming stopped-dead. The echo remained, then fell away.
'Is this our heaven, Jack?' said Pete Stevenson.
'If it is Pete, it'll do for me.'
A boyhood memory evolved for Harry Campbell. He had broken his father's thermometer to get at the silvery liquid. He remembered being intrigued at its resistance.
Pete Stevenson recalled his first date with Olivia. The poem he had written.
"The backyard has its citrus, their acidic in the dew. The cat sleeps in the peg box, cause there's bugger all else to do".
Jack Davis expanded. A photograph unfolded. His great grandfather. Emaciated and alone against the wasteland of Verdun.
Something broke. Liam Sorenson began contracting, his body writhing--gnarling and whooping like prey. Mac Harvey moved towards the disfiguring arrangement of his nephew.
But the further he ventured, the less he was.
'You can't reach him, it's different now.' said Jack. They watched the boy capitulate, into the lack of himself.
In dreams, Colleen Sorenson hovered above a sinking ship. The funnels hissed and cracked as they hit the icy water. Lights fizzled and died. The bow slipped away. Into an inky blackness.
The chamber breached. Luminous shapes breathing from tanks, moving about leaving entrails of yellow light as they congregated in front of Harry Campbell's.
Jack, Pete and Mac watched as Harry and his ascended. He began to dissolve, his mouth expanding into a gaping hole into which the rest of him disappeared, leaving only his grainy outline.
A wind came and blew it away.
'What's happening Jack? Where did Harry go?' said Mac.
'They've come to get our...'
'But they can't! We have to stay here,' said Pete. 'They don't understand.'
'The humming,' said Jack. 'Let's try the humming.'
The glowing figures hesitated, turning their heads in all directions. Then they were on the move again, rummaging around Pete Stevenson's.
'Jack! It's not working!'
Pete Stevenson ran when his took to the air. The further he ran the more he faded. Until he became nothing.
Mac Harvey looked to his friend. They were coming for him. 'What say Jack.' he said. 'We'll muck our way through.' said Jack. Mac smiled as his lifted. Then dissipated.
Jack watched the murky frames assemble where Liam Sorenson had been. A necklace unravelled itself, lingered, then fell into the light.
Jack Davis sat cross-legged upon his. A final glance at the exquisite nook. The secrets of evolution pressed in. He felt a hint of everlastingness then began to hum. Nothing became.
Wilson J. Wilson(c)2017