The Watcher, a Chicago Tale
Three weeks into the future:
Winston Logan gazed out the glass wall of his 60th floor suite, trying to make out the south lakeshore in the moonlight ten miles away. He was looking for the flash of a massive explosion and wondered how hard the concussion would shake his building. He flinched as a hand touched his shoulder.
In the present:
Lit by neon signs above, blue and yellow rain hits the sidewalk and flows along the curb before swirling down an iron grate. Apartments above the closed stores cast a warm sheltering light. Down the hill out to the horizon, towers of apartments flicker like fireplaces. On the corner, steam rises from under the illuminated red and yellow umbrella of a hot dog vendor.
The view gave Winston comfort, as he shifted the weight of his lanky frame from foot to foot. For him, the fogged apartment windows above, were like glimpses into a bank vault. His employer, Innovative Surveillance Inc. maximized corporate profits, but he maximized his time, making it stand still when he secretly entered these buildings. The company rewards were monetary, his were deeply emotional. His world came alive behind the doors of these warm apartments. He had a degree of control that overshadowed the powerlessness he normally felt. He took a deep draw on his vape pen, inhaling menthol nicotine steam, his dark eyes and scruffy hair giving him the look of a smoldering scarecrow.