Though the bed in the penthouse suite of the supertall skyscraper is the comfiest She has ever laid in, She cannot sleep. Silence, heavier than the silk comforter, is one layer she cannot be at peace beneath. No action she makes pushes it far enough away; her sighs, kicking of feet, the rustling of sheets – none of it lasts.
She rises and moves toward the closest wall of glass. Up this high, the clouds resemble the ground; their green color matches the grass exactly. At least, the grass She remembers.
For now when it rains, no life remains.
The pipes, plagued by the same pollution as the sky, produce a foul smelling sludge, and every sink in the suite is full of the guck. She runs from the ever encroaching corpse smell to the kitchen, to the half gone bottle of vodka she’s brought with her.
She prefers alcohol to water anyways, though given a choice she’d be guzzling something more expensive than bottom shelf swill. The scavengers that’d been there before her drank the place dry, and to add insult to injury, picked it clean of food as well. In spite of that, She has been in the apartment for hours, and has no intention of leaving.
It isn’t that She has nowhere else to go, in fact, it’s elsewhere that She has left. Outside the city there are no skyscrapers to collect the clouds. Strong winds push the toxic formations from metropolitan destination to destination, where only then they coalesce, become too dense, and dispense their death.
But why would she stay there when everything she wanted was here? She finishes the bottle and stretches out on the luxuriously fibered carpet, explicitly noting how She wouldn’t be able to do this outside for fear of bugs, staining her clothes, and a number of other hellish things…
Thunder shocks her from sleep, and she sits up just as an unseen bolt, illuminating the sky, strikes the supertall’s lightning rod.
The lights come on, and she turns from the storm to the coffee table she’d read about in that magazine. Fearing the power will switch back off, she lunges for, and hits a switch; inside, a mechanism shifts, and the tabletop rises to reveal a fully stacked bar.
Now sipping righteously from a skull shaped glass bottle, she presses more buttons, switching the table’s glass top to its computer display. There is no Internet, but after clicking around She finds the single entertainment app on the factory reset machine: chess.
She doesn’t know how to play, but is familiar with how the pieces move. Two turns later she loses to the computer.
She takes another sip, then starts a game for two players. After moving the pieces around for a bit, taking whatever she pleases, she ends the game.
“Checkmate.” She says to herself smiling, and completely content, she falls with the supertall beneath the acid rain.