[Instructions: Begin writing with the words “It begins…” When you get stuck, or come to the end, start over again with “It begins.” Lather, rinse, repeat.]
It begins with a subtle shift – so subtle that it’s barely perceptible. A glance, or lack thereof; a sigh, an averted gaze. Then it widens. Silence where there’s usually noise, or noise that’s simply there for the sake of filling the room with something other than what’s actually happening.
It begins with everything being washed away – literally. Something that is bigger than history, bigger than hatred, bigger than even the world itself. The planet around them swells and howls and for a while, swallows everything whole. And when it recedes, a blank canvas is left behind. Some people call it destruction. Other people call it opportunity.
It begins with a disagreement. Raised voices behind a closed door, at first confined, secretive. But as the anger swells, the voices break free of their confinement and suddenly they’re everywhere, all the time. Voices lead to movement – hands on tables, slamming into walls, bodies joining in the fight. And then it explodes, or worse, it implodes. It ends quietly, with the click of a gun, with a startled expression, with a confirmation. The decision has been made before the gun is pointed and made ready; it ends with a validation, a yes or a no, a right or wrong, and you better hope – you better fucking hope – that you don’t change your mind.