The Widening Gyre

I am at the center of a cage of whirling rings of yellow-green light. It's a cage as small as the smallest night sky--a closet of a night sky. The horizon looms, cramped and claustrophobic, every way I turn.

The rings of sickly pale light are visibly slowing now as I match spin with my surroundings. The whirling rings become circling discs and I can begin to pick out some familiar constellations among them. As the discs continue to slow I can see them for what they are, holes, tunnels with no outside and an interior of pale yellow-green light. Fungal light. Deep-sea-fish light.


Before the spinning has stopped completely, I disengage the locks that hold my arms out to the sides. My right arm falls as it should, but my left doesn't budge. The wrist latch releases but the elbow and shoulder latches hold fast. I would kick my self but the suit isn't that flexible. I knew the dammed thing had been acting cranky and sluggish for a week or more. I thought that I would wait and put it in for a tune up at the end of my shift.

There's another problem. By this time I should have matched spin and locked on. I am still turning. I'm not turning fast--maybe one rotation every minute--but I shouldn't be turning at all. With one arm pointing to the horizon I must look like a weather vane in an undecided breeze.

I could--I should--head back in but I decide to stay... now that I'm out.

I'm not going to stay long.

Just killing a little time.


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Flightless Hummingbird:  A Pseudo-Periodical