He cracked an egg into a bowl as the coffee began to drip and the wires inside the toaster began to glow.
America once again enters peace talks with insurgents
George watched the television for a moment, catching a summary of the top stories of the day, intoned by a man of middle age with gray patches dotting dark brown hair in a voice devoid of emotion.
Bombing continues against suspected enemy strongholds with a reported twenty three dead and some hundred more injured. Military sources denied reports made by a local TV station accusing America of targeting civilians, namely a hospital on the west end of the city, which stands in ruin at this hour, a target of a missile strike.
George gathered his breakfast and coffee and settled down in front of the television. He placed a notebook next to his plate, ready to finish the work left from yesterday, which he began each day after hearing the news. As commercials played, he looked about the room, seeing the empty space and bare carpets, the light in the room coming through three large windows facing the street.
For the third consecutive day troops armed with automatic weapons and riot gear patrolled busy subway stations during the rush of workers arriving to work in the morning commute. The armed patrols guided the new arrivals through a series of metal detectors and other apparatus, which the spokesman from the local National Guard office said were to detect explosives and other manner of weapons of mass destruction. The measures slowed the morning commute to a crawl of humanity, which crowded through the temporary check points, all other routes closed off by ropes and tape.
“I’m sure we will have to carry travel permits soon enough,” George said, shaking his head with displeasure as he sipped coffee. He ate the eggs and toast without butter or salt, having forgotten to purchase these items at the market. He ate the tasteless meal, filled with a growing anger as he listened and watched the television.
George clicked off the television, his attention drawn to the windows looking onto the street. He stood and walked closer to see, against the belief of his eyes, the sky filled with fluttering black objects. He opened the front door and made his way down the steps to get a better view and the objects resolved into black rose petals. He picked one off the ground, feeling the softness against his palm as he ran a finger over the black petal. He looked about him, seeing neighbors on porches and pedestrians on the sidewalks, not one of whom gave a sign of notice to the phenomenon. As a café across the street, a man stood in a doorway smoking a pipe.
“Did you see?” he yelled at the man, who wore khaki shorts and an olive green tee shirt. The man stared at him, smoking in silence. George looked up at the sky, which blazed of hot blue summer, the phenomenon at an end. He stood silent and still in the middle of the street for some moments, shocked further to see no evidence on the ground of what he has witnessed save for the single black petal in his hand. He dropped it to the ground and watched it vanish in to the tar of the road.
George returned to his work with little success, the fact of his being the singular witness plaguing his mind. The rest of the day passed in a haze, his mind trying to comprehend the apparition of the morning. Before turning in for the evening, he made a note in his journal about the event.