“Remain Alert and Have a Safe Day”

This story originally appeared in the October 17, 2016 issue of Word Riot.

 

Remain Alert and Have a Safe Day

By Kate Sheeran Swed

 

Descend. Choose a spot on the baking sheet to await the hot breath of charging dragons. They will probably be your salvation, but have not ruled out the possibility of broiling you alive.

Breathe. Through your mouth.

Breathe. If sparks invade your vision, step back from the yellow line. Dip your head between your knees. A stranger may offer you a sip of her drink. Take one.

Do not, under any circumstances, question the nature of the liquid running down the walls. It is coffee.

When the dragon arrives late, as dragons are wont to do, follow the crowd of pit stains into the welcoming icebox of its belly.

If the dragon is suffering from gastrointestinal distress, you may find yourself riding in a sauna. Exchange agonized glances with fellow sufferers. It is too late to repent, or choose another car. Close your eyes. Clench your fists.

Do not, under any circumstances, question why your hand sticks to the pole. It is jam.

When you reach the station, become a raindrop. Allow the sea to wash you up the stairs and onto the street, where castles glint in the sun.

The ground may roar beneath your feet.

Keep walking, until you find a green patch to nestle your toes.