Chaos surrounds them snaking round and round slowly when backs are turned and gazes dropped. Vases break, cushions scattered, furniture upended, as everything that’s touched is carried away in a maelstrom of activity. They stand together resolute, determined to face things together, knowing what will befall them if they fail. Focusing despite the distractions they work mechanically through a list of impossible tasks, knowing that everything depends on completion, understanding that the likelihood of success is improbable. Chaos fades away for a brief moments respite and they cling together embracing each other, softly whispering endearments, encouraging words, willing strength into tired limbs and clarity into numb minds. Then they are torn apart, thrust into different directions, a million problems to be fixed and solutions to be found. Still, they smile, looking fondly at the chaos, at their family.
Neil Sehmbhy (@neilsehmbhy) is the author of several short stories, published in a multitude of anthologies, with two novels in progress that have hibernated for a time, two years ago, the words stopped and so did the writing. We are 138 is a way back, a way for the words to start to form again, in mind and page, together we are legion.