In our latest excerpt, from Mike Barretta's dystopian near-future tale "The Physics of Faith", Dave and Jesús are looking for corpses to cart away from an abandoned church turned drug den.
Dave stepped over an emaciated gray skeleton. The man’s eyes fluttered. His brain was deep in a supercharged dream state, consuming every available bodily nutrient at many times the natural metabolic rate. His eyes opened into mean slits and he hissed and went back to his dream, pulling a collection of rags and soggy E-print with him as he rolled over. The E-print flashed faded old news and went dead.
Jesús stopped and looked down at a girl. Her clothes were sodden rags, her mouth twisted into a skull grin. Her breath was ragged. “Didja ever?
“Want to try. I mean, really look at them. What do they see? What do they know?”
“They don’t know shit.” Dave looked around the church in disgust. “These people walked in here and surrendered.”
“These people got faith. Faith in the dream. No different than the ones that used to be here. I mean look, they even hold hands. I heard it makes the dreams better. Maybe they know something you don’t. It has got to be some good dreaming. Just wondering, that’s all.”
“Well, stop wondering.”
“I hear they live a whole life . . . a beautiful life in their heads and then when they are done . . . they are done.”