Rick on Pseudopod
FRONT ROW SEATS by Scott William Carter
Daniel lingered in his cramped office at the University of Minnesota long after the other professors in the Math department called it a day. He was still there when all the lights under all the doors winked out and the parking lot outside his window was a bleak, snow-draped emptiness. He was at his desk when old Cal Thomas from Geography shuffled past, taking his incessant coughing with him. He stayed until the equations on shifted lattices turned to squirrelly nonsense, lines and squiggles on ruled pages, until finally he felt the thing creep into his thoughts, that black starfish wrapping its prickly limbs around whatever memories he chose to dwell upon, making his ears ring and his eyes water.