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Alexander's Refuge

Alexander's Refuge

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Alexander's Refuge

66 Seiten
1 Stunde
May 1, 2011


Connectivity and communication reign supreme in this very near future. 100% network coverage is coming for the worlds personal communication devices, where can we hide from ourselves? 'Alexander's Refuge' offers a place for some people to hide from all the human noise. The cities largest communication black hole where like minded citizens camp and look at each other in the eye, not down at a screen. Cal doesn't like the impersonal world that is being created without question, he feels as though there should be change. How far would you go for some peace and quiet?

May 1, 2011

Über den Autor

Nicholas Galt has written since he could form words with a pen. His fiction is an eclectic collection of short stories and longer works with a distinct flavour to them. He has published numerous short stories in various anthologies and literary magazines. And he also wrote non-fiction articles for a magazine for a few years but was drawn back to fiction. Nicholas Galt has an unmistakeable style that reaches underhandedly into the readers mind and offers a distinctive view of the world.


Alexander's Refuge - Nicholas Galt

Alexander’s Refuge


Nicholas Galt

* * * * *

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2011 Nicholas Galt

Thank you for downloading this free ebook. Although this is a free book, it remains the property of the author, and may not be reproduced, copied and distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

The moon hangs like a sad and forgotten billboard in need of some affection. Ineffective and overwhelmed. Was there advertising on that dull night light? If there was would anyone bother to look away from the shop fronts and up at humanities old muse? Even if there was, no one would be surprised, especially the ‘campers’ that surround the thoughtful police officer, Cal, on his mundane beat. Every other part of the globe had been manufactured to catch the attention of passers by. Signs. Buildings. Communication towers, etc, etc. There wasn’t much space on Earth that actually belonged to the Earth anymore. Only a couple of national parks and a string of reserves in the near impervious landscape. But there was a smattering of spaces to be found, holes between that were there to catch a person if they went looking for them.

A little girl looks up at Cal with a smile of serene innocence,

‘No cell phones work here officer.’

‘I know little girl, it is nice.’ And it was.

Cal waves the smoke from his face as he passes the third fire in this camp. And there were numerous camps in this city alone. The biggest, not so far from here. Freedom of speech was the only thing that allowed the ‘campers’ to remain in these makeshift grounds. But that wasn’t going to last, ‘100% Coverage was Nigh.’ As the commercials announced too often..

People laugh and talk about the old times, yesterday and tomorrow. Hopes, dreams, the moment that exists. Children’s laughter falls to the ground in a sweet cacophony of imagination and faultless intentions. Cal looks up into the night sky. The stars strain through the mega cities glow of street lamps and ambient light. Here, amongst the warming smiles and mock isolation life was real. The people in the camps had a core that longed for the old times, simple times. A period of austerity and simple beauty. It wasn’t so long ago. Cal remembered it too, the memories were affectionate. It instilled a nostalgia that Cal wished he could find again. A silence. An escape from the ritual overload of shallow talk and unsolicited communication. Progress had been the mantra for the last fifty years. Spread wide and colonize through communication! Except for a patchwork of transmission black holes that existed around the world, like the peaceful acre that Cal walked through, silence was almost extinct.

‘Welcome Mr. Cal, I hope your day was pleasant?’ The lady on the door of Cal’s building always said ‘Day.’ It didn’t matter where the earth was on its axis, it was always daytime. Even if her eyes were closed, and they always were at the end of each sentence.

‘Thanks Mary. No trouble, a good night.’ Cal closes his eyes mockingly with a smile and quickly makes his way to the narrow end of the foyer where the mailboxes are stacked impersonally. Cal turns the silver key in box 1978 and overhears Mary greet another resident, ‘……day…’ A quick glance confirms she closed her eyes for everyone. Cal wonders if she is an automaton.

The flap of his mailbox drops open and the advertising literature flutters to the cold tiled floor. He was almost home, an elevator ride, fifteen paces and then he was in his refuge.

‘Welcome Mrs. Kelly, I hope your day was pleasant?’ Cal reaches down to his letters with a groan, filing the paper trash into his tired hand. A buzz rumbles in Cal’s jacket pocket, followed by an ascending ringtone.

‘Who the fuck…’Cal mutters under his breath.

He awkwardly reaches into his pocket and removes the sleek cool phone.


‘Hi hon, its me.’

‘Hey, what are you doing up?’

‘Couldn’t sleep, hey..?’

‘I’m am just downstairs, will see you in a min…’

Cal is interrupted.

‘Hey, are you near the shops?’ Cal sighs, there were shops everywhere. Always open, waiting for a customer. ‘Can you get a light globe, the one in the bathroom has blown?’ Cal sighs again.

‘Can’t it wait until tomorrow? I just finished, I’m just down…’

‘Cal, we need light!’


‘I hope you have a pleasant day Mr. Cal.’ Cal steps back out into the street offering the door lady only a polite nod for her duties,

The apartment is empty. Cal’s girlfriend has already gone to work. His police shift didn’t start for another four hours.

He reaches for his phone and checks the time. 10. 07 Am. He pushes the menu key on the dial and it opens to the inbox of his text messages. There are seven new messages.

‘Fuck it!’ Cal exclaims to the empty bedroom, he decides to have the morning off. He wouldn’t check the textual interruptions. No! He wouldn’t even answer the beggar in his pocket if it rang. Cal sighs after his moment of clarity. Epiphanies were always spoiled by the dawn of lapsed logic. The new generation of phones couldn’t be disabled. They were always on. As the commercials professed, For Peace of Mind. No phone was without power as batteries had been replaced with a technology that ensured all could be contacted. Charged by the air. A double edged

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