An Excerpt from “Home of the Brave”

The room was dark and cold.  Chris had never been there before, but he felt oddly at home.  The only illumination came from a large window at the far end of the room that looked out into space.  A figure interrupted the uniform picture of stars and galaxies in the window.  Slowly, the planet Earth rolled into view, but something didn’t seem right.

He walked hesitantly towards the figure.  “What are we looking at?” he asked.  His voice sounded distant, even to his own ears.

“The world,” the figure answered in a feminine intonation that was all-too-familiar, yet he couldn’t place it.

Chris stepped closer as the world in the window stopped moving and he was able to recognize the continent of North America at night.  It was the same as pictured on one of his computer desktop wallpapers, but the web of white lights spread across the landscape from the east to the west had vanished.

“What happened to the lights?” he asked.

The figure opened her mouth to speak, but only a loud, pounding thud emanated from murky hole.

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