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Love in the Time of Darkness

I have been published by Daily Science Fiction, 365 Tomorrows, decomP, Vestal Review, FRIGG, and others, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, included in Wigleaf's 50 Best Short Fiction, published with Joyce Carol Oates. I am an attorney.

I hate dawn now. He tweets early every morning, and then the squads go out. I've seen them in the blue fogs, here in Georgetown, near the canal, near the Potomac, men in black clothing, masks over their faces. Neos, they're called.
Now I'm looking out this dirty window, high above the cobblestone alley where thin cats appear and disappear into the murk. You're sleeping. Don't wake up. Don't move. I hear voices down below, on the main street, M Street, where we used to go and party. Not anymore.
You're everything I ever wanted, everything I could want, so good. Sleeping, how innocent every one of us looks. You're burrowed under patched quilts Nana made, sad blankets, your hands near your face as if for protection. I paid four hundred dollars to an old man for this attic. I pray he doesn't give us up.
I don't want to see the latest tweet. I don't want to hear it. I don't want to know it. Who's on the list.
You are.
In the nights we make love, and it's so good, so close, everything I want, everything I could want. But now, dawn, squads move up from M Street, into the alley, checking the doors, looking in the windows, searching for people.
Don't make a sound. Not a sound. Not a breath. While they're in the alley, not a breath. The light radiates, red gold, fills the street, fills the air, like time, grows against us, waits for us, a glowing rose, a deadly revelation.
POTUS is pleased when he gets the numbers, but he lies all the time. How many really are dead? Is it all lies? Were they all born in Mexico, Iran, Korea, Kenya? I was born in Baltimore, you in Pittsburgh. They'll kill us. The Neos will kill us, and he'll be glad. He'll sit under that painting of Jackson and smile that smile.
Love in the time of darkness.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, May 17th, 2018
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