Zero Hour by Eamon Ambrose

By Eamon Ambrose

A soldier wakes, most likely the final survivor of a brutal assault by way of machines motive on destroying humanity, yet all isn't really because it turns out.

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Sophia sm iled an am biguous smile. ” Sim on w ent on. “ H e has,” said Peter, without hesitation. “ H e has cured lepers, he has . ” • 21* . chan ged w ater into wine, et cetera, et cetera,” Sim on interjected. “ Y e s,” Peter continued. “ H e has m ade a calling o f m ir­ acles and . ” “ I thought carp en try was his calling,” said Sim on. “ A n d ch arity,” said Peter. ” “ T h a t’s easily said,” Peter replied, with a quiver in his voice. “ H e’s picked up all kinds o f tricks in the bazaars o f E g y p t,” said one o f P eter’s disciples.

W hen I saw him, I burst into tears: he was som ebody else. ) N ow here he is in fron t o f the C afe Central, then at a cinem a, w here a piano plays while Voyage to the Moon un folds on the screen. L ater we find him looking over newly posted an ­ nouncem ents on the notice board in Jelacic Square, one o f which— and I m ention it only as a curiosity— announces a lecture by K rleza. T h e nam e o f A n n a Erem ija— a m aternal aunt, in whose Ju risic Street flat in Z agreb he will later live— figures here side by side with the nam es o f K rizaj, the op era singer, w hom he once passed in the U p p e r T o w n ; Ivan Labus, the cobbler who rep aired his shoes; and a certain A n te Dutina, in w hose bakery he bought his rolls .

A lth ou gh nearly five years had passed since the event, B a n d u ra ’s voice grew hoarse and m uffled w hen ever he spoke o f it, as if he w ere choking on a cough. It was not only the result o f alcohol, though the truth o f it was that by then he had becom e a ruin abandoned by his kind, a hu ge rusty ship ru n agrou n d and rotting in the shallows. “ D on ’t w o rry,” B a n d u ra wheezed. “ N o w hore on earth . 2 ? ” G reen h ou se flow er beds and abandoned outlying g a r­ dens had been ravaged fo r M ariette’s fu n eral; dogs barked all night; the hounds w ere called out, and Alsatians straining at the collar, that canine crown o f thorns; links o f heavy chains slid up taut steel wires, clanging like the chains o f all history’s slaves; and no one had the slightest inkling, not even the tired old gard en ers in whose ailing bones lay a history o f ailm ents as enorm ous as the history o f the proletariat, that on that night a sm all, separate revolution had taken place: the sailors o f the port o f H am burg storm ed the villas o f the w ealthy; the proletarian children o f L e H avre, M arseilles, A n tw erp m assacred the gladioluses, slitting stems at the root with sh arp sailor’s knives and tram pling m inor flora, unw or­ thy o f the knife, with heavy, scruffy boots.

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