50 First Words: Bear

The prompt

This world is blue, here in the reinforced plastic tube into which we – he and I – are crowded, staring up at the tank of rippling water that swirls above us. Even one crack in our fiberglass bubble would turn the lot of us into the next three day news tragedy. Outside it’s a sweltering ninety six degrees and only getting hotter. Here we can forget. It’s blue. Ice blue.

“I think we should see other people,” he says, slender hands in the pockets of his skinny jeans. He never looks down from the ceiling. No one does. I nod. The silence slaps my cheeks. They redden. “Here it comes,” he says, pointing with thick knuckles to the liquid sky. We hold our breaths as the crystal air around us goes black, then cracks back to the frozen, unabashed glare of sunlight. The white bear swims back to the edge of the pool, climbs out, shakes. The crowd begins to shuffle toward the door. He turns, moves with them. I watch the water slowly settle. A new crowd is on its way in.

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