The Northville Review
an online literary journal

Ajay Vishwanathan

Seth sits in Nevada. Something is wrong with the goddamn air-conditioning, he yells from his seat. His partner is out of earshot. He hears voices and sees brown images on his screen. They flicker and zoom in. He responds to the voices. Yes. Yes. I see. OK. The explosion is in an obscure city in Afghanistan. It is hot there. The land parched. It hasn’t rained in months. He doesn’t see too many people running this time. Well, he says. And gets up. His cell phone vibrates.

Somewhere in Afghanistan, Mom, he croaks into his phone. I don’t know. We think five. Six may be. No. No ladies. I don’t know. Maybe a few kids. Yes, Mom. It happens. I’ll be fine. I’m sweating. This shitty air-conditioning has stopped working.

The phone rings on his desk. He doesn’t pick up immediately. It stops.

I got to go, Mom, he says. And calls Rebecca.

You called? Yes, I was talking to Mom. She hates drones. Don’t worry. Seth grins. She’ll be fine. Oh, yeah? Tonight? Sure.

Seth and Rebecca will have sushi tonight.

About the author

Ajay draws so much energy from words he wishes they drove the world, not oil. Two-time Best of The Net Anthology nominee, Ajay has work published or forthcoming in over seventy literary journals, including elimae, The Potomac, Toasted Cheese, 34th Parallel, and Drunken Boat.