Jesse Jarnow

looper in the dark, no. 7

(Short fiction, recipe shorter increments.)
Looper in the Dark: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12
It was in the next week that other people began to recognize the offness, too. Walking to work in the snow, Looper saw a boy, perhaps about 9. The boy was blonde, and he studied the row of Christmas trees on the sidewalk as the snow fell around him. Looper could see why instantly.
The trees were not in a straight line, absolutely, but the wind blew through them wrong, as well. In some places, the branches sagged, as if in a breeze. In others, they threatened to snap. Looper could not tell if it was the fault of the wind or the trees. He and the boy acknowledged each other, and Looper continued on to work.
The man at the newsstand complained of too much ink on his fingers. At the bank, Looper overheard tellers speaking in hushed voices about the ledgers being several dozen cents incorrect. In the dark, Looper drank his off-flavored milk and wondered when society began to expect it to taste the same every time.