By Douglas F. Warrick
Read by Ben Phillips
It was weird, wasn’t it? Weird how little it impressed him. It was an alien world, after all, a whole new planet, a landscape that held only a vague familiarity with the world he’d been born in, the atmosphere he’d inhaled for twenty-nine years. Maybe that’s it. It was just congruent enough to orient yourself, to fool yourself into thinking you were okay here. Up was up, down was down, you could breathe the air. But you weren’t okay here. You were drawn into this landscape by a different artist using a different pallet and a different technique and you just weren’t okay here.
Art took the cigarette out of his mouth and pointed up ahead. “Chalkie.”
It was at the very edge of the road with its long doughy fingers wrapped over the top of the metal barrier. Its skin was dry, dusty, cracked and curling like old paint, and dull white like chalk. Its tiny black eyes were set deep into its face, which was long and snoutish and bald. Even when nothing on this planet seemed to reflect the glow of that big red moon, the bleeding moon, those eyes picked it up like deep black wells.