by Dale E. Lehman

“Here we are, Tom.” Jason led the old man from the elevator onto the Skydeck.


“Top of the world.”

“That high, huh?”

“One hundred third floor of Willis Tower.”

“Sears Tower.”

“They renamed it.”

Tom Five Dogs tottered along on his young guide’s arm, one hundred three years old today, as high in time as the Skydeck in space.

“Look out there. All of Lake Michigan. On a clear day, you can see the opposite shore.”

“It’s night.”

“Come over here.”  They tottered to the adjacent wall. “Look north. The Hancock building! Lake Shore Drive! Up the shore, Evanston and Northwestern University. Then Wilmette, the Baha’i Temple. The whole city and all the suburbs at your feet! What a spectacle! Such light!”

Tom pointed a shaking finger upward. What’s that?

“That’s the sky, Tom.”

“What, that splash of orange?”

“Not like the prairie sky, I guess. Big cities light up the universe.”

The old medicine man pondered that. “Now I’ll show you something.”

He stretched out his hand. In an instant, darkness swallowed the city: not a street light, not a headlamp, not a candle flickered in the dark. Chicago, consumed whole by an unseen monster.

Above, the universe glowed.

Jason gaped, the breath stolen from his lungs. “What . . .”

He pointed.

“What’s that!”

“That?” Tom said. “Top of the world.”


© September 2016 By Dale E. Lehman.  All rights reserved.  You may share links to this web page, but otherwise copying and redistribution of page content by any method for any purpose without written consent of the author is prohibited.