Stuck - part 1

     They were stopping, kaput. Not dead, just stuck. Everywhere.
     No one knew why. It didn't matter what it looked like, or what anyone said - all the big ideas didn't change the fact that heaps of people had run out of whatever it was that had made them go. The only certainty was the mess it made for the rest of us.
   "Why Papa?"
     "I don't know. Maybe they ran out of Wednesdays."
     "Maybe they ran out  of this way's and that way's!"
    Broken people clotted the avenues in Midtown, shut down the tunnels and bridges, brought Chinatown to a heaping, shrieking standstill.
     Glassy eyed children, pink-toothed, bubble-lipped, some alone, others hands clasped loosely to vacant eyed parents, burbled mid-stride under traffic lights that had also become static.
     "Can I have his yoyo?"
     "Don't even think about it."
     "Why? He's not using it."
     It wasn't something that came simply with words. You didn't touch them, didn't dare interfere with  that, whatever that was. Not for fear of catching something.... Ok, maybe some of it, but you don't want to think about anyone touching your child, taking from them, disturbing them in such a vulnerable circumstance - horrors danced in the shadows of that notion - the most foul in the city couldn't swallow that terror. Losing. Losing control, but that wasn't it exactly. Further into the shadows. Even more precious than this or that, ours, theirs, yours. We don't have words for things that precious.
     "Let's hope he gets better and can use it soon."
     "Okay, Papa."
End of part one


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