Fast asleep

Something tapped at his cheek. It was a gentle, lingering touch. Then it faded. Then it came again, only to fade once more. This process repeated itself a multitude of times, increasing in pressure ever so slightly each time, every iteration bringing his that much closer to awareness. With a slowness that would make scientists of an empirical bent question whether it happened at all, he regained consciousness

At long last, he came to the realization that it was, in fact, the rising tide that poked and prodded him. “I don’t mean to impose, but I am the ocean”, he thought wryly, and at long last got up

When moments strike

He was well and truly, completely, utterly, unequivocally, irrevocably and irrefutably stuck. No matter how he thought about it, looked at it from another angle, rephrased it, kicked it around conceptually, or tried to divine it using easy to reach occult means, the stuckness remained. He mused that this must be how Faust felt right before entering into bargaining mode

At that very moment, a gust of wind blew open the window. Strangely enough, the only thing that seemed to have been moved significantly was a book, which lay open on a very peculiar page

Cautiously looking at the page, he slowly nodded to himself. Yes. This was indeed it. The thing that unstuck everything. “Is not chance and accident the bearer of the greatest gifts?” he thought, before proceeding

How to break a leg

She had practiced and rehearsed the role for weeks. Months, now, she realized. Soon, the big moment would be upon her. Soon. But not quite yet. There was still time for another round of rehearsing, practicing and going through the routine. Just to make sure it would all come down perfectly. These hours before going live would not be wasted!

Just as she thought that, a would-be well-wisher dropped by, to offer words of encouragement. “Good luck”, he said, not knowing better

“How could you say that in front of кошка?” she exclaimed, half in, half out of character. Truly, this was not going off to a great start

Inked, armed and ready

This was it. There was no going back now

As the whirring process started, she felt a small pinprick, then nothing. Was this it? Nothing more than this? This opened up a great many possibilities

Mind aflame with implications, she thought about future themes, motifs and combinations. Truly, this changed things

Alas, like so many other things, only one possibility could be pursued at a time. Reining in her eager anticipation of the future, she turned her attention back to the present. Her tattooist, hard at work, showed off her excellent motor skills. Which – now that she thought about it – was entirely appropriate, given the motif

Soon, the word “Mechanic” was written on her arm. The arm of a mechanic, and a mechanic arm

She could get used to this

The first minute of a new day

This was it

He had been up all night working on his application, and now it was done. Perfect. Complete. All he had to do was to click the button. That was it. Everything else, all the details, all the things – they were done. The one thing left was to make the decision to push the button

He hesitated

Then, suddenly, at that very moment, the playlist moved onto a new song. As Gil Scott-Heron voiced the famous introductory words “Well, the first thing I want to say is: Mandate my ass!”, he thought

Yes

This is precisely the energy I want to bring into what I’m about to do

He clicked the button

This is the end of the world as we know it

There is a first time for everything, he thought philosophically. Then, wanting to complete the implied analytical schema, he added: and thus there is also a last time for everything. You may or may not know it to be the last time, but there’s bound to be one at some point

To go on dates is an example of this. There are plenty of first ones, some even fondly remembered, but there’s bound to be an equal number of last ones, probably less fondly remembered

His thoughts, not wanting to linger, moved on to other things. The phrase “the last vape” briefly occurred to him, and he thought it ever so slightly too pompous to ever be used in a proper context

When the tigers broke free

On a whim, she decided to visit her local library. As a kid, she used to haunt these halls like a literary ghost, seeking words of wisdom and – more ferociously – character-building frivolity. Whilst browsing the shelves, she noted that many of the books were in fact the very same as in her youth, down to the last dented page and cracked spine. Shortly, she found a book she’d read many a time, one about a tiger seeking to escape its captors. Opening it, the ancient pages fell out. Not one page, not two, not even a representative sample – all of them

Yes

The tiger was certainly free now

Inspired by this stealthy escape, she discreetly left the building