"He would stand upon the corner of an intersection and peer down long moonlit avenues of sidewalk in four directions, deciding which way to go, but it really made no difference; he was alone in this world of A.D. 2053, or as good as alone, and with a final decision made, a path selected, he would stride off, sending patterns of frosty air before him like the smoke of a cigar."
Sudden gray phantoms seemed to manifest upon inner room walls where a curtain was still undrawn against the night, or there were whisperings and murmurs where a window in a tomb-like building was still open.
Your hands up! Or we'll Shoot!
He listened to the faint push of his soft shoes through autumn leaves with satisfaction, and whistled a cold quiet whistle between his teeth, occasionally picking up a leaf as he passed, examining its skeletal pattern in the infrequent lamplights as he went on, smelling its rusty smell.
One Last Drive
Was that a murmur of laughter from within a moon-white house? He hesitated, but went on when nothing more happened.
He turned back on a side street, circling around toward his home. He was within a block of his destination when the lone car turned a corner quite suddenly... "Your hands up! Or we'll Shoot!" The police, of course, but what a rare, incredible thing; in a city of three million, there was only one police car left, wasn't that correct?
"Where are you taking me?" The car hesitated, or rather gave a faint whirring click, as if information, somewhere, was dropping card by punch-slotted card under electric eyes. "To the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies." He got in. The door shut with a soft thud. The police car rolled through the night avenues, flashing its dim lights ahead.
To the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies.