the static hissed and crackled, a fading breath, the dying gasp of the ancient radio as it desperately grabbed for the last legs of life. feeling merciful, emily snapped it off, gazing at it for a moment, considering it. plastic dials watched her mournfully, bent antenna seeming to reach toward her, aching for human contact. it was old, older than by at least a decade. she'd found it on the side of the road three years ago, about a minute after stepping into town. bus fumes and body odor surrounded her once more, the sun slicing through her cheap sunglasses, detonating the impending migraine pounding behind her eyes. and there was that damn radio, lying in a pile of trash, cracked and condemned to the garbage. it looked so pitiful, so vacant. she'd scooped it up, hoping no one saw her act of kindness towards an inanimate object.
emily took another drag on her cigarette, flicking the ashes into the gutter. she tried to make rings, but it all came out in one big huff. the smoke gathered around her ears like a halo, dissipating into the sky, another axe in the door of the atmosphere. one last drag, and with careful precision, emily tossed the butt into a neat little hole under the rhododendrons. she tugged on a dangling piece of kudzu, wondering if she pulled hard enough, whether or not she could climb to the roof. squinting up towards the vine covered roof, she decided to leave that for another day.
bare feet padding across the floor, emily slipped into her shoes, silently surveying the room around her. quiet. peaceful. contemplative. beautiful. dust danced through the sunbeams, glittering through the windows. with a smile, emily gathered up her book and radio, stepping out the door as noiselessly as she arrived. birds chirruped gently, seeming to chide her for the bounce in her step. pulling another cigarette from her pocket, she absentmindedly smiled at the man in the car pulling in the drive from the sidewalk and went about her way, sunlight dappling her hair as she lit another cigarette.