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Dischenectody I
A Nick
Dischenectody II
Moments of Horror
Six Men
What The...
Red Pens
Welcome to t.b
Cover Letter
What is It?


Posted August 20, 1996

It's about 2:30 am.  Most of the neighborhood is sleeping, those that
weren't awakened by the thunder.  The rain stopped about fifteen minutes ago, 
and I'm outside, walking down the street I live on.   The warm, silent glow of
incandescent porch lamps constrasts with the alien blue-green glare of the 
buzzing streetlights.  Down the street the slowly changing red, green, amber, 
red of a traffic signal blends together hazily with the distant multihued neon 
signs that troll for alcoholics, expectant mothers and truck drivers.  The sky
itself joins in, the night-time colors of the suburbs blending together on the 
remains of the storm clouds to create vast air-borne piles of reddish-orange 
cotton.    The chromatic cacophony of this early morning tableau is a silent 
testimony to the rarity of true darkness in our modern world.

There are huge puddles in the road, and the post-storm stillness of the air 
leaves them without a ripple. They mirror these vivid embers of civilization 
in perfect reflection.  As I walk down the swale, I see a perfect inverted 
image of the neighborhood in the pooled water in the street.  The sillhouettes 
of trees, reflected back to me, are massive blots on this upside-down world. 
An oak tree creates a cutout in the billowing pinkness of the sky as if a 
giant cookie-monster had just snacked on the heavens.  A tall pine tree 
resembles nothing less romantic than the outline of a space-destroyer, 
arrowing towards the stars.  

I stroll quietly down the street, watching the twin neighborhoods, one 
normal, one inverted, amble by in reverse.  The complete absence of wind and 
my slow speed tries to hypnotize me into thinking I am on an enormous 
treadmill, motionlessly moving absolutely nowhere as my surroundings flow 
ever rearward.  After several blocks, or perhaps just a few feet, I pass 
under a huge willow tree, and there the draping branches seal off most of the 
light from the sky and the street.  All that remains are the edges of the 
world reflected upwards.  I stop and stare downward, entranced by the image in 
the water below.  The inky nothingness of the tree's shadow surrounded by the 
topsy-turvy edges of the neighborhood's nighttime glow forms a wide corona of 
colors, which is itself shattered into luminous fragments by the blocking 
blackness of the willow branches.

It is a bizarre yet beautifully serene picture.  As if the real world had been 
cut off from me, and I was now looking up from impossibly deep inside one of 
the pools of rainwater. Looking up at someone else's neighborhood, in some 
other city, or even another country.  I rest my back against the trunk of the
tree and my mind drifts off into a fantasty world borne of staying up much too 
late and having too large a supper.

Sean "catbear" Puckett
Editor, AllAbout Games - http://www.nexi.com/aag
Creator of the Nexi Hyperinteractive Content Server