The Cloud

by TheNextBigWriter Online Writing Community

ISBN: 9780982827307
eBook Formats: .epub (Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod), .mobi (Kindle), .lit
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In August 2013 a dark cloud appears over the skies of Las Vegas. Thought at first to be just another weather incident, the cloud ultimately becomes a concern for both science and religion, as over the course of several months, it only moves a few miles at a time, always returning to a similar position over the city.

The Cloud

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In August 2013 a dark cloud appears over the skies of Las Vegas. Thought at first to be just another weather incident, the cloud ultimately becomes a concern for both science and religion, as over the course of several months, it only moves a few miles at a time, always returning to a similar position over the city. The ten award winning stories from members of TheNextBigWriter.com explore how the cloud challenges religion, science, culture, and human behavior.

 

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Chapter 1


Black Jack

By Doug Moore

It was a wisp at first, but an odd wisp. Small and black, it looked like a hole in the sky when it first appeared. But the hole gradually grew into a large, dark cloud that spread like a blot of ink.

It contrasted starkly with the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Early August sweltered, heat spiraled off the asphalt, and the cloud brought welcome relief. As it grew, a murky shadow flitted across the blue hotel swimming pools.

It was an instant novelty. Vegas had fun with it. Within days one of the big hotels ran a Name the Cloud contest. Win a two night stay at The Flamingo flashed a neon sign.

Some of the entries in the contest were Rain Maker, Coal Breath, Death Cloud, and Vegas Vapor. But Black Jack won.

And why not? Vegas had been dealt a winning hand. Long awaited rain would soon fall and cool down the simmering city. It was just a matter of time…

Seven hundred and fifty miles away, in Denver, Colorado, twenty-eight year old Clare McElvoy sat beside a hospital bed watching TV news reporters comment breathlessly on the cloud.

"I know how they feel," said the emaciated man in the bed. "I've got a dark cloud hanging over me, too."

"Professor," Clare said with a tremble, "please don't talk like that."

"Oh, Clare," said Professor Phil Devane. "Why not? I can live with dying. I don't mind…" His breath escaped in a weak, sorrowful sigh. "Except I'm sorry about dying alone."

"You're not alone."

"Yes, I am. I'm not talking about a student - however prized you are. I'm talking about something deeper. About love, in fact. The kind of love that would shield me, even as I lay here dying. The kind of love that I frittered away all these years."

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

"I know. But you will some day."
Clare turned back to the TV, mostly to keep from crying. She saw people waving at the sky and begging the cloud to release its rain.

"What do you see, Clare?" Phil asked.

"People acting foolish," she said.

"Look closer," he said. "It's a pestle and mortar."

Clare smiled to herself. Professor Devane was always so cryptic. He saw things other people didn't.

"What do you mean?"

"The cloud is the pestle. The city is the mortar. And the people are the elements that are being pounded. A chemical reaction is happening. And you should be there to record it."

Clare gazed at his thin face, once round and radiant, and understood. "But I don't want to leave you."

He dismissed her with a wave of his hand. "Clare, I have nurses that tend to me round the clock. No offense, but as much as I enjoy your company - and I do - I don't need you here." He nodded toward the TV. "I need you there."

"But Prof… Phil… Why?"

"Because I haven't mentored you all these years to have you pass up the chance of a lifetime. This is what you've been working toward. What I've been working toward. And if I wasn't confined to this bed I would be on my way already."

Clare took his skeletal hand. "I'll miss you."

"No, you won't. You'll e-mail me your pages. Text your notes. And, as always, I will be your harshest critic."

She pressed his hand against her cheek. "Where would I be without you?"

"Mucking manure in a stable on your father's ranch. Even Vegas is better than that."

On the Vegas strip bets were placed as to when the cloud would burst and bring its downpour to the parched Nevada desert. So far, the year 2013 hadn't seen a drop. No significant rain had fallen in this part of the country since the El Nino of 2010. The bookies were even giving odds as to how much precipitation would fall. The bigger the cloud grew, the blacker it got, the lesser the odds for one inch, two inches, three inches.

The U.S. Weather Bureau sent meteorologists to study the cloud, its density, whether it was made up primarily of dust or vapor. They sent up balloons to take readings.

The balloons transmitted nothing.

Scientists from all over the country swarmed to Las Vegas, as did photographers, painters, poets, psychics, and thrill seekers.

Hotel rates soared.

Clare McElvoy rode into town in a dirty Cherokee Jeep with bugs all over the windshield. She was a slender, in-shape woman with short blond hair, always tousled. She was partial to dark pants with pinstripes that made her legs look longer. She liked white blouses that allowed a peek of cleavage. Her sun-freckled face was open and smiling and her green eyes lively.

Unlike so many others, Clare had not come to study the cloud. She was there to study people's reactions to the cloud. She was a post-grad anthropologist-sociologist doing her doctoral thesis on the dynamics of mass hysteria and its effect on communal bonds. As her mentor had said, she'd been handed a gift. The perfect storm of factors teemed under the black cloud.

Las Vegas was going nuts.

You could now get 100-1 odds that the cloud was the first sign of the Apocalypse; 200-1 that it shielded an alien space ship; 20-1 odds that it wasn't a cloud at all, but was in fact some kind of chemical release from a mining company; and 1-2 that it was the ugly face of terrorism.

The U.S. military was deeply concerned. They sent an AWAC plane into the cloud to gather data.

The plane's circuits fused, its equipment froze, and it learned nothing.

Clare made her first note upon arrival: Aug 26: people becoming unhappy with cloud cover. Want sun back. Will talk to meteorologists.

Her first interviewee was from the U.S. Weather Bureau. He was painfully handsome, with neatly cropped brown hair and rich, brown eyes, a beautiful tan, and a deep cleft in his rock solid chin. Clare took notice of all this, and blushed inwardly, because she was on assignment and it was unprofessional of her to ogle a subject.

His name was Ted Stapleton. He had a beaten up camper full of equipment parked by the side of the road outside the city. Across the side was painted a misquotation from a Bob Dylan song: You always need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows.

He was amenable to an interview.

"Trying to radiate the cloud," he said into Clare's recorder. "Take some measurements, see what it's made off."

"And?"

"The radiation won't penetrate. Neither will satellite readings."

"Why not?"

He fluttered his long eye lashes at her. "Million dollar question. I could write a paper on that alone. If I had the answer."

"Well, good luck," Clare said. "I'm sure you'll figure it out."

"Come back anytime," Ted called as she walked away. "My camper is loaded with food and beer."

Clare turned back and saw him scratching at one of his armpits. "Yeah… okay. If I need any more quotes I will."

As she left she could feel his sexy eyes following her every move. It made her feel… uncomfortable. 'Typical guy,' she thought. 'Watching my butt walk away.'

The next day the cloud moved. But there was no wind. It circled Las Vegas, seemingly trapped there as if by some force of atmospherics, and then returned that night to its usual place atop Sin City.

By the end of the first month of the cloud's appearance people were getting nervous. Clare understood why. Humans don't like the unknown; it makes them queasy in the stomach and sends their imaginations soaring.



Clare noted: Sep 4: The joy of having a rain cloud over Las Vegas has turned to fear and loathing.

Clare's dissertation was practically writing itself. Tourists evacuated in droves, cheated of the Vegas sun by the brooding cloud. The roads were jammed, the airport mobbed. The locals who were forced to stay wandered the streets with bloodless faces, navigating the perpetual dimness clumsily, bumping into things and forgetting where they were going. Rumors spread like a virus: seven children had died in a pre-school just by breathing the air; if you stared at it long enough you went blind; coyotes howled at it until they went hoarse.

A different breed of visitor flooded into town. Religious people who thought the cloud was a sign from God, and UFO nuts wearing their Spock-ears and carrying homemade phazers.

Unfortunately these people didn't gamble. The casinos dribbled away customers. Workers were told to take vacation if they had it, and were warned that if things continued like this, lay-offs might follow.

Clare interviewed more people.

A young man with a pierced tongue said, "I'm fweakin' out, man. I just wan' it to go away. I mean, c'mon, wha's it doin' here anyway?"

"What do you think it's doing here?" she asked an elderly man on his way into a packed church.

"It's God. Or the devil. I dunno. One or the other."

He opened the door to the church and hymns of salvation poured forth.

More days passed and the cloud grew larger and more ominous. Jags of lightning festered deep within it.

Clare took pictures.

Clare's thumbs wrote a text message to Prof. Devane:



Sep 8: I think some of these people were hysterical before they got here. Hard to find someone who isn't already crazy.

He wrote back: Perfect. You're on the right track.

One evening she stumbled upon Ted in a bar. He seemed morose.

"Chance of a lifetime," he said as he swished ice cubes around in his Scotch rocks. "Never been anything like it. And we can't even get a reading. Don't even know if it's hot or cold."

Clare sipped a beer. "Why's that important?"

Ted lifted his chin away from his drink. "Cuz' if it's cold it could drop hail stones the size of golf balls. Imagine that."

Clare grinned. "And if it's hot? What then? Molten lava?"

Ted instantly cast his eyes down at his drink again. "You think I'm a weather geek, don't you?"

"I think you have your heart set on this being a weather phenomenon. But what if it's not?"

"What else could it be?"

"Lots of religious folks pouring into town are convinced it's a sign from God."

Ted shook his head and downed his drink with finality. "I'm betting on science and logic. It's all I know."

Clare left him with his sorrow and went looking for more subjects to interview.

She wandered through the mostly empty casinos talking to the hangers on, the people who refused to stop gambling despite the mass exodus and the dearth of incoming tourists.

"Why would you continue to gamble at a time like this?" she asked a skinny woman hunched over a slot machine.

"I'm not," the woman said without looking at Clare. She seemed hypnotized by the spinning tumblers.

"How can you say you're not gambling? You're sitting at a slot machine shoving in quarters."

The woman's red-rimmed eyes reluctantly swung toward Clare. "This ain't gamblin'," she said. "See, I put in quarters, once in a while the machine spits out quarters. It's all very predictable. Not like outside. That's where the real gamblin' is goin' on."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean just walkin' down the street is a gamble ain't it? Cuz' you don't know what that cloud's gonna do. Might open up and wash you down the sewer. I'm stayin' here, doin' my thing, where it's safe."

"Mind if I take your picture?" Clare asked.

"Yes, I do," said the woman as she rolled her eyes back onto the machine.

Sep 12: Preface done. Outline taking shape. Need first chapter.

The next day the National Guard deployed in the city -- just in case. Just in case of what nobody knew. But it was Standard Operating Procedure to call out the Guard when there was potential for civil unrest. Vegas drew lots of kooks with way too much time on their hands. A devil's brew of humanity gathered anxiously under a dark cloud.

It was a good gig for the Guardsmen though, because instead of being bivouacked in tents outside town, they got to stay in the half-empty hotels and sleep in soft beds. But they were forbidden to gamble, so they were no help at all to the laid-off dealers and croupiers.

The casinos began transferring their cash out of town -- just in case. Armored trucks lumbered fatly across the desert. Jack rabbits eyed them greedily.

Clare continued her research and went to a strip club. She watched a desperate woman trying to get a few lecherous guys to stuff bills into her thong. Only one did. A thin dollar bill scratched at her tattooed thigh.

Clare was forbidden to take photos of the stripper, so decided to hire her for a lap dance instead.

While the near-naked woman gyrated on top of her, Clare asked, "Why are you still doing this? What if it really is from God? Aren't you afraid he'll damn you?"

"I got a kid ta' feed," the woman said as she sensuously shook her breasts in Clare's face. "Do you like them?"

"Not really, I have two of my own," Clare said, pulling her face away. "Are you willing to risk damnation just to feed your child?"

"What mother wouldn't?" said the dancer as she checked her watch, saw that the minute was up, and hopped off.

Clare went and changed her clothes.

One afternoon she drove outside the city again looking for Ted. She wasn't sure why. There were plenty of meteorologists to interview. But none of them were as good looking as he… And besides, she might get an entire chapter out of the guy.

The desert surrounding Vegas was littered with vehicles, campers and tents. Clare had to park a long way from Ted. As she walked along she saw that some of the vehicles were high-tech, pulsing with sonar and radar and ultra-red: Scientists trying to trick the cloud into revealing itself.

But many of the campers were religious folks, convinced the cloud was the beginning of the rapture. They thought it was a portal that would suck them all into heaven. They sat under it praying, chanting, singing, waiting for the moment. Many of them carried personal items that they wanted to take with them: pictures of loved ones, favorite pieces of jewelry, beloved pets, pieces of furniture, knick knacks. One guy sat atop his motorcycle and prayed that God would let him ride through the pearly gates.

Clare imagined a yard sale in heaven if all the stuff was rejected.

The UFO believers were also out in force, rigging up makeshift satellite dishes and blaring the soundtrack from    Close Encounters of the Third Kind over loudspeakers.

Clare found Ted sitting atop his camper shooting flares into the sky. His white t-shirt clung damply against his firm abs. Clare got a little hitch in her throat and forced herself to look away. She watched a flare arc toward the cloud. It fizzled before it got there.

"That's not normal," Ted grumbled.

Clare gestured to the people cajoling the cloud to take them away.

"None of this is normal."

Ted hopped down. "I really do have cold beer in the van," he said. "Wanna pop one?" "Make it two and you've got yourself a deal," said Clare. The little lump had returned to her throat.

She enjoyed talking to Ted. He was nonchalantly intelligent, playfully insightful, and full of curiosity. She liked him.

"How's your paper coming?" he asked while they drank with their legs dangling off the back of the camper. Clare was enthusiastic. "Everything an anthropologist- sociologist could want is right here. It's a living Petri dish."

Ted unstuck his t-shirt from his chest. How'd you get into this field anyway?"

Clare opened another beer. "Ever met someone who completely changed your life?"

"My dad. He was easy to meet. He was a weatherman in Boston for thirty years. I watched him on TV every night."

"Mine was a professor at the University of Denver. I don't know what he saw in me. But he grabbed hold of me in my sophomore year and steered me toward sociology. Wouldn't let me quit. Got me into a doctoral program. He saw my potential before I did. I feel like I owe him this." She waved again toward the people scattered across the desert. "I owe him something meaningful."

"I hope you can find it in all this craziness."

Clare smiled. "This craziness is it."

They polished off a couple of beers each. Clare found herself wishing that Ted would tear off the sweaty t-shirt and splash himself with cold water. But he didn't.

Instead he made her a sandwich to take back. He placed it neatly in a Tupperware.

"In case you get hungry later on," he said. "I make a mean salami and cheese."

His hand brushed against hers when he passed the sandwich, and Clare was certain he did it on purpose. But she didn't mind. In fact, it gave her a little bit of a jolt.

By mid-September, despite the influx of cloud people, the hotel vacancy signs were wearing themselves out with their incessant blinking. Room rates plummeted. Clare got a great deal on a suite with a Jacuzzi tub. She soaked luxuriously while she tapped away at her lap top.



Sep 20: Factors leading to mass hysteria: fear, uncertainty, exhilaration, panic. A lost group of people waiting for some direction. Mob mentality. Where there are no answers, someone supplies them, however irrational.

"Hmmmm," thought Clare. "So all we need now is a catalyst…"

"It's the wrath of God!" shouted a burly, bearded man in the middle of the street. He held a Bible like a discus and spun in a circle as though he was going to fling it. "Don't you see? It's the end of the world!"
Clare filmed him with her phone.

"Repent!" his baritone voice bellowed. He was so loud it sounded as if he carried some kind of amplification in his chest.

"Repent, you sinners! The end is near! You must be prepared!"

A prostitute walked up to the man, and in a deep, husky voice said, "If it's the end of the world, dude, you should get laid."

"Blasphemy! Blasphemy!"

She jiggled her hips. "C'mon, take a roll with me. If you're gonna go, go with a smile on your face."

The man ran down the street screaming about demons. The prostitute looked over at Clare and batted her false eye lashes.

"How 'bout you? You want an end-of-the-world tumble?"

"Ummmm… What if he's right?" she asked.

"What if he's wrong?" said the hooker.

"In either case, I think I'd prefer a guy."

The prostitute lifted her skirt. "Surprise!"

Clare turned off the camera.

Clare got a message from Phil:    Problem with your pages. Too many historical analogies. You're bogging down. Take a fresh approach. Let loose of the past.

Clare's thumbs asked: How are you feeling? But got no response.

Sep 29: People on TV talk about the cloud constantly, even though they don't know what they're talking about. Every expert in the world has been interviewed and given an opinion. The hysteria isn't limited to Vegas. It is world-wide.

The Federal government announced it would make an appearance. People wanted answers. They wanted to know what the cloud was and what it was likely to do. They became unnerved when it occasionally circled the city, always returning to the same spot. They clamored for government action. So the government obliged.

The Secret Service wouldn't let the President come. But the Vice President was deemed expendable, so he came instead. He gazed up at the cloud and visibly quivered in his polished shoes. But he pulled himself together and made a stirring speech about the "resolve of the American people… the best scientists the world has ever known… our resilient economy… and the only thing we have to fear is… well… maybe a bolt of lightning."

The mayor of Las Vegas also spoke. He told everyone that "Usually, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but not this cloud. It'll be gone soon. Trust me. The City of Lights will shine again."

Just then the cloud lowered. The city darkened as though an eclipse had occurred. The electricity shuddered and shut off. People screamed and ran indoors. The Vice President ducked quickly into a limousine. It left rubber as it headed for Barstow.

Clare walked up to the stunned mayor. "The Chamber of Commerce isn't gonna like this, are they?" she asked.

"They've all left town," he said as he hurried up the steps of City Hall and disappeared inside.

Oct 5: Cloud still low. Vegas clearing out. Only freaks remain. My paper is becoming desultory.

The mobs in Vegas were going in different directions. The religious people were one group, the fatalistic gamblers were another, and the UFO nuts a third. And, as Clare thought about it, the scientists seemed a bit hysterical too. Was there a precedent for multiple-mass hysteria in one location?

Not only was her dissertation in trouble, but she began to worry about herself. What if it really was the end of the world? Was she ready? This frightened her. The rapture would be a terrible thing to miss. It's not like you get a second chance.

Then she shook it off. "No! I'm here to study mass hysteria. Not succumb to it. I can't get swept up in this."

She also thought about what that goofy prostitute had said. If the end came, wouldn't it be nice to be in someone's arms? Human contact - intimate contact - would be welcome right about now. Clare had given up her last boyfriend to pursue her PhD. That was… well, she didn't want to think about how long ago that was.

She felt isolated and lonely. Partly because she was convinced that she was the only sane person left in Las Vegas. Partly because she was a 28-year old woman with only herself for company in the Jacuzzi. Was that hysteria? Or just normal feelings?

Clare got a message from Phil:    Contemplating my mortality. Getting weaker. Can't quite follow your pages. Soft in head I guess. Keep going.

Clare's thumbs trembled as they wrote: Forget my pages. Take care of yourself.

The days became a blur for her. She captured some decent material: Scuffles broke out here and there between different groups; some prostitutes snuck into a hotel housing National Guardsman and improved their morale; some gamblers hired a shaman to dance the cloud away. But none of this cheered Clare up. She was getting weary - and irritable.

She tried to interview the baritone pastor but he called her a devil and shooed her away.

"I'm no angel, but screw you, Pal," she told him.

The cloud drifted beyond the city twice in one day, but came back and seemed more ominous than ever. Ted had a theory.

"I think that cloud is feeding off the negative energy down here on the ground."

The two of them sat on the roof of his camper grilling hot dogs. Clare bit into one.

"Huh?"

"Well, think about it. The weirder people have gotten down here, the bigger and darker the cloud has become. Maybe it's sucking up the bad vibes."

"That's not exactly scientific," Clare said as she reached for another hot dog. Her eyes stalled on Ted's perfect face. While staring at him she burned a finger on the grill.

"Ouch!"

"You all right?" Ted asked. Clare refused to look at him.

"Yeah, I'm okay."

Ted gently took her hand and looked at the finger. Clare's pulse raced - but she took her hand back. Ted was a little embarrassed.

"Ahhhh, what day is this?"

Clare went along with the non-sequitur.

"Ummmm… October sixteenth. Why?"

He absently shook a hot dog at the cloud.

"That thing's been here for two months and we're no closer to figuring out what it is."

He dropped the wiener on the grill. It sizzled. "Did I tell you some scientists are thinking of seeding it?"

"It's already pregnant enough," Clare said. "Why fertilize it even more?"

"The thinking is that if they seed it, it will finally open up and drop its moisture."

"Or its archangels. Or its little green men with bug eyes."

Ted turned his dog over. "Crazy what people think, isn't it?"

Clare thought about poor Professor Devane. Another Dylan song came to mind: Knockin' on Heaven's Door.

"Who's to say what's crazy and what isn't?" she said sadly. "Maybe a portal to heaven would be a good thing."

Ted shook his head. "Don't go there, Clare. You're gonna get yourself all twisted up inside. Stay objective."

Clare finished her hot dog. "Okay. Sure. And on that note, I think I'll go back to my hotel and do some work."

"Want me to walk you to your car?" Ted asked.

Clare scrambled down. "No. I can make it. You stay here and think positive thoughts. Maybe the cloud will go away."

But it didn't. Weeks went by. Clare wasn't the kind of person who usually got depressed during the holidays, but as the end of December approached she found herself slipping fast. She received this message from Phil: In case I forget, let me tell you how I feel. You're the daughter I always wished I had. You're the capstone of my career. Be well. Be happy. Make me proud.

Clare broke down and wept. She could find no relief. Vegas was not a happy place. The lights kept shorting out. The strip was populated by zombie-like people stumbling around looking for answers. The city was festering, not festive. Funereal, not fun.

The religious people held rallies and marches, celebrating Christmas and the end of the world all at the same time. They decided that New Year's Eve, at the very stroke of midnight, was the moment when the cloud would make its move. Either it would rapture them up to heaven, or incinerate them all on the ground. They weren't sure which.

The desperadoes who clung to the casinos did their best to celebrate New Year's. They held pathetic parties and forced themselves to act joyful. But they couldn't disguise the fact that their confidence was shaken. Living under a dark cloud for months had drained away all of their spirit.

Clare's too. She met Ted for dinner and they ordered burgers, fries, and a pitcher of beer. Clare decided what the hell, if the world was going to end at midnight, she might as well stare at Ted all she wanted. It made her stomach feel tight.

"Looks like New Year's Eve in Vegas is a bust this year," Ted said as he nibbled a fry. Clare watched the slow movements of his mouth.

"I always thought New Year's Eve celebrations were a form of mass hysteria anyway," she said.

"Yeah, I know. That whole thing about needing someone to kiss at midnight. What a joke."

Now Clare studied his moist lips. "Well… that part I'm okay with…" Ted didn't seem to hear. He casually dumped condiments on his burger and tossed away the pickle.

"Ted, aren't you affected by this at all?" Clare asked. "Doesn't it bother you?"

He gave her a perfect smile. The cleft in his chin deepened. I'm sitting here with you. What's to feel bad about?"

"I dunno. I just feel so depressed." Ted reached across and squeezed her hand. "You have a friend, Clare. You're not alone. We can ride this thing out together."

"Really?" Clare said hopefully. "You mean that? Together?"

Ted nodded with his mouth full of meat. Clare let out a frustrated sigh.

"I never thought it would go on so long. I should be back in Denver by now. I'm writing the paper from hell. It has no end."

She sat back in her chair and gazed at Ted. Her throat constricted. Ted swallowed his food and gazed back. Clare sucked in her breath nervously.

"Okay, the hell with it. Here goes. Ted… I can't help it… I mean I shouldn't… But I feel so lost… and I'm worried sick… I need… Would you… Would you come up to my room with me?" His brown eyes flashed. "Are you sure?"

"No… but come up anyway."

Ted signaled for the check.

She poured them both a flute of champagne when they got to her suite. Ted sat on the bed, resting against the headboard. Clare paced.

"Are you all right?" he asked.

She shook her head. "Look, don't get the wrong idea, okay? This is not my style. I mean, we hardly know each other. I don't even know where you went to college."

"MIT. Why're you so nervous?"

"It just seems so alien to me."

"I don't think it's alien at all. Feels natural."

"That's cuz' you're a guy. You'll sleep with anyone."

Ted grinned. "Oh yeah. Good point." Then his face softened and his eyes melted. "Clare, I was struck by you the moment I saw you. You're so beautiful, and so serious about that paper. You fascinate me."

Clare stopped pacing. "So I'm not just an end-of-the-world hook-up for you?"

"I don't believe the world is ending, so that would be a no."

Clare sat down next to him. "But it could be ending."

Ted stroked her cheek. "If you insist."

Clare took his hand away from her face and held it. "So these are my choices: rapture or ecstasy. For some reason I'm leaning toward ecstasy."

"Good choice." Ted leaned forward and kissed her warmly.

When he broke off, Clare smiled at him. "Now that was a catalyst. My whole sprinkler system just went off."

Ted scooted over on the bed and made room. "Clare, whatever that thing is, I'm certain there's a scientific explanation for it. So don't worry."

Clare straddled him. "Well, truth is, I have no idea if the cloud means the end of the world."

She took off her blouse and sensuously drizzled champagne on her breasts.

"But it certainly has brought the end of common sense."


***


Doug Moore is a resident of Los Angeles. He lives with his wife and two sets of twin boys. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California Professional Writing Program and has had several short stories published. He also wrote an original screenplay called "Baby On Board" which was made into a movie.

Additional Information

Author TheNextBigWriter Online Writing Community
Word length 44,551
eBook Formats .epub (Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod), .mobi (Kindle), .lit
Publish Date Oct 5, 2010
Print ISBN 9780982827307
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