How You Sleep at Night

by Patrick Roesle

Patrick Roesle is a part-time writer living outside of Philadelphia, but originally hails from Jersey. He maintains a blog called Beyond Easy (beyondeasy.blogspot.com) and a comics page called Comics Over Easy (comicsovereasy.net). In his spare time he enjoys calculus, astronomy, and noise.

The regularity and assuredness of the nine-to-five workweek was never something to which you had to resign yourself. On the contrary, you found it agreeable from the beginning. While your buddies approached their mid-thirties with recalcitrance, bucking back against the quiet uniformity that is the lot of the white-collar homeowner, you relished the cozy security of it. The last ten years have been, overall, as smooth and altogether pleasant a ride as the NJ Transit train you ride from Summit to Penn Station, from Penn Station to Summit, five days a week.

One Tuesday evening, you ride the train home beside another man in another grey suit with his own iPad in his own lap. He’s playing Fruit Ninja, flawlessly slicing and dicing with a rapid precision belied by his disinterested expression. You’re reading a news report about the persistence of worker suicides at the Chinese manufacturing complex where the devices in your laps were likely assembled.

You read half of it and move on to another story about a frenzied mob in some Middle Eastern country setting fire to their own buildings and killing each other while blaming America for inciting them to it. After skimming the first two paragraphs, you lose interest.

You close out of the news feed and browse your apps for a game to play. You’re already bored with most of them, and suppose it’s time you finally downloaded Angry Birds and saw for yourself if it’s as good as they say.

The network signal could be better; you grumble privately about the download taking so long. By the time the game is ready to play, the train is pulling into Summit Station.

You disembark, find your cherry red Honda S2000 in the daytime parking lot, and drive five minutes to the elegant one-storey house you share with your wife.

As you settled into the salaryman’s life, you eased into the role of husband and provider with few jaunts and bumps. The honeymoon has been over for a while now—that was to be expected—but you and your wife now share a comfortable, well-lubricated working relationship. You keep the roof over your heads; she keeps the things beneath that roof well ordered. You keep gas in both cars’ tanks; she runs the errands. You pay for milk and bread; she prepares the meals. You bought the king-size memory foam mattress you share at night; she makes the bed in the morning.

You’ve been talking lately about having a child. Neither of you sees any reason not to, but it’s an objective you haven’t pursued with much vigour thus far. It will happen when it happens.

You arrive home, change your clothes, and sit down with your wife to a meal of flank steaks, cooked apples, and mashed potatoes. She talks about supermarket coupons, tells you all about the sale at The Gap, and mentions that the new round of seasonal beverages has arrived at Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks; your attention drifts. She finally asks you how your day was, and you grumble about a rebranding campaign mandated by some boneheaded executives, and tell her your big meeting with the Aetna people is tomorrow afternoon. She assures you it’ll go fine—even though she really knows nothing about the particulars or what’s at stake—and cheerily spoons more apples onto your plate.

You help her with the dishes, brew a pot of decaf, and then the two of you sit in the living room and watch TV. The usual cadre of well-lit MSNBC pundits argue about Guantanamo Bay. On Animal Planet, a documentary about biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest enters the inevitable denouement focused on endangerment, habitat destruction, loggers, cattle farmers, and implicit finger-pointing. The Discovery Channel airs a program about telegenic collectors buying valuable curios from packrats.

It’s a marathon. You and your wife sit through three episodes, yawning.

She gets ready for bed while you catch up on your afterhours business e-mail, finalizing some final preparatory minutiae for the big meeting. Afterwards, you brush your teeth, strip down to your briefs, and get into bed.

The TV mounted on the wall opposite the bed is tuned to CNN, which airs a report about the latest civilian casualties of a drone attack in Afghanistan. The controllers were aiming for militants, but they hit a school instead.

You sidle up to your wife and kiss the back of her neck. She tells you she’s having her period.

Another night, then.

Now the silver-scalped anchorman introduces a related story about PTSD and suicide rates in veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. After a few minutes, you lose interest and tell your wife goodnight. She’s already asleep. You switch off the TV and set the remote on the nightstand.

But for your wife’s slow respiration, all is silent. Your tinnitus—a high-pitched ring, nearly imperceptible during the day—rises to an irritating prominence.

One too many rock concerts without ear plugs back in your college days. Only a problem during the rare sleepless night.

Tonight you can’t sleep.

You’re certainly tired enough, too tired to get out of bed and do something else. But you can’t sleep. You can’t quite relax.

You have no reason to be anxious about tomorrow. You’ve done this plenty of times. You’re not anxious, not at all. Truly.

But you can’t sleep.

Your ears are ringing.

You roll over on your side. You flip onto your stomach.

You switch to your other side, and then lie on your back.

It’s not that you’re uncomfortable. A mattress costing as much as yours doesn’t permit discomfort.

Your ears are ringing.

The silence is so absolute, and you’ve been lying and listening to your ears ring for so long that you imagine a slight change in the pitch.

You squeeze your eyes shut and pull the covers over your head.

Ten minutes later, you sit back up.

Your ears are still ringing.

Even though the dullest ambient noise would muffle it altogether, the ringing seems so loud—and you’re nearly certain it’s increasing in volume.

The red digits on the alarm clock blink 12:00.

You’re too tired to reset it. It’s not a problem, anyway; your wife reliably wakes up between 5:45 and 5:59 on her own.

You lie back down and take deep, deliberate breaths, trying to empty your mind and ignore the noise in your ears. You can only manage it for five minutes before sitting back up.

The tone is definitely louder than before.

And there’s something else. You detect a peculiar vibration in the room. The air buzzes. The bed, the sheets, the pillow all seem to tingle against your skin.

You lie back down and try to ignore it.

The last few days have been difficult, more demanding than usual, what with this big presentation to such an important prospective partner. Maybe they’ve put more of a strain on you than you thought. Maybe you’ve been concealing your anxiety from yourself. Maybe you’re just overtired. Maybe it’s an incipient migraine. Maybe you’re coming down with something.

A low hiss accompanies the tone in your ears. Something pricks your eyelids. The TV is on, but there’s static on the screen—an unfamiliar sight since you had the digital cable installed.

The remote control is on the nightstand where you left it.

It could be your imagination—as much as the rest of it—but you think you feel your body sinking deeper into the mattress. Your muscles seem unusually heavy and unresponsive.

It’s all in your head. It must be.

But the TV is on, the bed buzzes against your sides, and now a distinct third noise hits your ears: a crackling, popping whistle, too loud to be your imagination, yet still so faint that you can hear your wife breathing on the other side of the bed.

You nudge her. She doesn’t respond.

The digital clock reads 88:88. The numbers seem unusually dim. Squinting, you perceive the digits flickering, cycling randomly through each possible value almost faster than your eye can detect.

Your muscles tense. Your head feels heavy. The whistle grows louder. You can see your wife’s chest rise and sink through the sheets, but you can no longer hear her breathing.

The bedroom door opens and it walks in.

The thing must stand a full nine feet tall—it has to stoop to pass through the doorway without bumping its head. It is humanoid, but definitely not human. The body is too large, too abominably malformed. Its limbs reach too long in proportion to its body; its digits extend too far in proportion to its hands and feet. Most appalling is the elongated neck and the giant, asymmetrical skull bobbing atop it.

From the centre of the ghastly face stare two bulbous eyes, lidless and large as softballs. No nasal ridge divides them; the creature has no nose to speak of. A pair of thin, leathery lips are fixed in what might either be a smile or a scowl.

It stands wholly naked, white as antiseptic, totally hairless, skin smooth enough to answer the flickering television static with an anguilliform sheen. You notice a pair of sagging, nippleless breasts—but below a protuberant belly hangs a penis and scrotum, necrotic, shriveled to every appearance of vestigiality.

You whisper your wife’s name.

The visitor crosses over the straw flower-toned frieze carpet with an ungainly, slumping gait. Its arms hang motionless at its sides, while its neck and head undulate rapidly, inconsonant with its stride. The sight might appear comically ridiculous were the visitor’s unexpected arrival in your home, in your bedroom, not so stupefyingly awful.

Something scrapes against the ceiling. For the first time you notice the mechanical third arm emerging from the thing’s left shoulder blade: three kinematic rods composed of a lusterless black alloy, connected by spherical pivot joints, reaching over and beyond the bobbing head and terminating in an articulate, two-thumbed claw.

The visitor has not come alone. Hundreds of spiders flood in from the hallway in rapid waves, spreading out over the walls and ceiling. As the first droves cross the wall above the headboard, you see that they aren’t arachnids—at least not of any terrestrial variety. They are about the size of fingernails, armored in iridescent beetle-like carapaces, skittering about on eight spindly metallic legs three or four inches long. They possess no discernible heads or faces, though circumferences and undersides bristle with tiny spines. You cannot guess whether they are living organisms, mechanical impostures, something between the two, or something wholly other.

As the swarm fills the room, the vibrations intensify, penetrating your body to the muscles, bones, and marrow. The crackling whistle whines louder, becomes intolerable, pushes harder into your brain.

The visitor arrives at the foot of the bed, and (apparently unable to rotate its neck) pivots to face you and your wife.

It stands and stares. The eyes are uniformly black; it’s impossible to tell what they might be looking at.

All you can do is stare back.

For a millisecond all the spiders stop where they are, and a spasm thrills through their whole mass. The light in the room changes. 88:88 flickers on the alarm clock in cobalt blue digits. The static commotion on the TV screen takes on a cerulean tint; the green light on the induction charger sitting on your writing desk goes purple. The visitor’s skin remains a stark white.

At the same instant, you feel a sharp twitch from your wife’s body. She had been lying on her back—and she still is, but her form now lies straight and unflinchingly, almost unnaturally rigid.

Wait. Where did that come from?

You never saw it enter the room, but there it is at the visitor’s side: a five-foot metal console resembling a dialysis machine, all dials, gauges, and compartments.

The visitor reaches across the bed—its gaunt arms are long enough to reach the headboard from where it stands—and takes the sheet’s hem in its fingers and draws it back to itself. You and your wife lie exposed on the mattress.

A few spiders drop down from the ceiling and crawl over her limbs. She doesn’t stir.

The visitor’s mechanical claw produces a small device that whistles like a dentist’s drill, and lowers it toward your wife’s neck.

You shout, “Hey!” and feel like an idiot—a terrified, ineffectual idiot.

The visitor ignores you. You hear the tool cutting through something. The claw drags it along with an unerring steadiness, and shortly arrives at the bottom of your wife’s nightgown. The visitor spreads apart the shorn garment and lays the folds creaselessly at your wife’s sides. She now lies naked.

You feel your face flush. The least you could do is sit up. But you’re still on your back. You’re still only watching. But your limbs and head feel so heavy, and the noise

You shut your eyes. This is a dream. Nothing like this ever happens to anyone. Not in this world. It’s impossible. It must be a dream.

But the buzzing ring and sickening vibrations persist. You open your eyes again. The visitor is still there, and you watch it push needles into your wife’s flesh.

Two in her wrists. Two in the temples. One at the base of her neck. Two behind the knees. One particularly long needle is delicately pressed into her forehead with a bone-piercing pop. To each needle is attached a transparent, flexible tube running back to the machine at the visitor’s side.

The visitor steps around the machine and extended tubes, and stops beside your wife. One hand slides under the small of her back. The other moves under her thighs. Her rigid body is lifted some inches above the mattress while the mechanical limb reaches around and down to insert a hose into her anus. After setting her back on the bed, the visitor pushes another hose between her thighs and into her vulva.

You bark in outrage. You threaten the intruder with punishment and violence, demand that it leave your wife alone and get out of your house immediately. Your protests go unacknowledged.

The machine standing at the visitor’s side grinds and purrs. A radium-green solution pushes through the tubes in discrete drips and into your wife’s body.

Gradually, you’ve managed to rise to a seated position, pressing your shoulders against the headboard. You know you should be doing something—anything—but what can you do?

You put your pillow over your face, push it against your ears to drown out the horrible buzzing. It’s no good. You can still feel the air vibrating against your body, your skeleton quaking against your muscles. The awful ringing pierces the pillow, unhindered, and tunnels into you.

You remove the pillows and a fresh shock leaves you gasping for air. The visitor holds another tool in its hands, appalling for its mundane familiarity in the grip of something so unutterably alien.

The tool is an ordinary pair of pliers with black rubber handles, like any sold at Home Depot or Wal Mart.

Nothing you can do, you tell yourself. You tell yourself because you’re afraid. You know you can’t fight this. You’d lose, and you’d probably just make things worse.

So far the naked monster and its spiders have been focused exclusively on your wife. If you attempted to fend them off, that would almost certainly change.

Four arthritic fingers pry your wife’s jaws apart. Her mouth hangs stiffly open. The visitor situates the pliers’ nose around one of her front teeth, adjusts its grip, and gives a fierce jerk.

One by one, your wife’s teeth are torn out.

Her limbs occasionally twitch, but she does not awaken. Each tooth is discarded with an unexpected carelessness and carried off by the spiders.

The blood bubbles from your wife’s mouth, dribbles down her chin. Arriving at the upper molars, the visitor leans in closer, exerts the pliers with more rigor, but its face remains an impassive mask. It is so close you can smell it—stingingly acrid, but strangely familiar. But you can’t place the scent.

You wife’s chest heaves. She coughs, chokes on her own blood. The visitor places a broad hand on her abdomen and pushes sharply upwards. The blood in her throat is forced out, splattering the visitor’s belly, its arms, and the mattress sheet.

The procedure is momentarily stalled while the visitor places an air hose in your wife’s mouth to suck up the blood.

After removing the last of your wife’s bottom molars, the visitor sets the pliers aside. From a compartment in the humming machine, it withdraws a small metal cube and places it on the nightstand.

You can’t look. You don’t want to know. You avert your gaze, turning your head to the side, and see that the door to the hallway remains wide open. Several minutes have passed since the last wave of spiders arrived. If you ran for it, would your visitors stop you?

You swing your legs around over the bedside and nearly set them on the floor—but you glance down and see the floor churning with spiders. What would happen if you stepped on them? You might well invite the vengeance of the whole toxic swarm. And what if there are more, hundreds and thousands more in the hallway, waiting and primed to punish an escape attempt?

Placing your feet back on the mattress, you decide to wait a little longer before committing yourself to any dangerous courses of action.

You look back toward your wife. The cube on the nightstand is actually a hinged box, and the lid has been opened. The visitor reaches its fingers inside and removes a tooth, indistinguishable from an ordinary human cuspid, except for its bottom, which tapers down into a serrated screw.

One by one, the thing twists your wife’s new teeth into her lacerated gums.

“What are you doing?” you shout. You demand an explanation of your intruder; what gives it the right and why did it choose you of all people, you and your undeserving wife?

The thing pauses and turns toward you. It speaks to you in a voice that sounds like jet engines and rent metal. You can’t understand a word.

Now having screwed in the last of your wife’s replacement molars, the thing withdraws its bloody fingers, pushes her jaw shut, and stands erect. It slams the box shut, and you hear something click. A violet effulgence flares inside your wife’s mouth, visible through her cheeks, spilling out from between her pressed lips. It dims and fades almost immediately. Smoke rises from her mouth and nostrils; the scent of ozone and cauterized gum tissue fills the room.

You seize the TV remote from the nightstand and hurl it at the intruder.

You miss. It sails over its shoulder and clatters harmlessly against a bare spot on the wall where the spiders opened their ranks to dodge the incoming missile.

You glance about for a more effective weapon that might be within reach, but freeze when you see the blade appear in the manipulator’s grip. The visitor places its hands on either side of your wife’s ribcage. The claw lowers the blade toward her abdomen.

Three incisions in the belly. One horizontal line below the navel. One horizontal line just above the crotch. A vertical line joining the two.

The flaps are pulled apart—skin, fat, muscle and all—exposing the greasy contents of your wife’s abdominal cavity.

For a severed instant you think back to high school biology, to the day your class dissected fetal pigs. And you remember the smell you couldn’t place earlier.

Formaldehyde.

Six spiders position themselves at equidistant points along the edge of each flap. All at once, all twelve bring their legs together and stand upright, pinning the splayed flesh tautly in place.

A new scent strikes your nostrils, hot, wet, and pungent. Not for the first time, a wave of nausea rips through your body.

No husband should ever know how awful his wife smells on the inside.

And despite yourself, you’re relieved that it’s not happening to you.

You’re not without sympathy, grief, anguish—but your frenzied thoughts continually bend toward the natural considerations of life, limb, and culpability. What’s worse? Being dissected or being left alive to explain your wife’s evisceration to the police, the media, your in-laws? What sort of dating life awaits a widower with a disemboweled spouse?

Now the visitor employs a heavy-looking cone-shaped tool with a pair of handles on either side and a nozzle or barrel at its posterior apex, holding it over your wife’s incision by both handles while the claw operates a control panel situated on the top. Multiple laser beams, blue as the digits on the clockface, flash and scatter from the device’s barrel in an elaborate dance. Smoke rises from your wife’s viscera. You smell burning meat.

After some moments, the visitor stoops to set its tool on the floor. It reaches into your wife’s belly and begins the process of removing her intestines, unraveling the spotted coils and winding them around the mechanical claw like a garden hose being hung on a peg.

Your wife’s eyes are open, pupils rolled back and out of sight. A slow trickle of drool drips from the side of her mouth. She makes a noise—a tranquilized, palsied “uuunghh.” Her body must have some idea of what’s happening to it. She must be in shock. What has that machine been pumping into her?

You must have blacked out. Suddenly your wife’s bowels are gone, and the visitor wields the laser cutter again, aiming it lower than before.

After finishing and setting down its tool, the visitor’s dripping hands disappear into your wife’s incised belly and gingerly extract a tumid, pear-shaped lump with flapping ligaments on either side. What most strikes you is the sight of two puckered globules, glistening white. It isn’t until the organ disappears into a drawer-like compartment in the standing machine, dropped like a chewed apple into a garbage can, that you realize it had been your wife’s uterus.

Intolerable. You swim away from yourself again in a delirium of terror and wrenching nausea. You lose awareness of all sensation except for the stink of human viscera and the infernal, aneurysmic buzzing.

You’re wondering what to tell the 911 operator. And how the hell will you explain this to your boss when you call out of work?

Christ, no—you can’t call out. You’ve got the meeting with the Aetna people, and you have to be there, only you can talk them through it, you’ll blow the whole thing if they have to be told they came out to New York for nothing.

You’ve removed yourself so effectively from the scene that it is several moments before you realize the visitor has begun placing something into the hollow left by the extracted uterus: a vaguely pear-shaped pouch composed of a black, fibrous material, firm but evidently pliable. The underside funnels into a rubbery valve; over the visitor’s fingers droop two lateral fins in which are embedded a pair of faintly luminous blue polyps.

Once the device is satisfactorily in place, the thing withdraws and the spiders spread over it, thick as maggots on old meat. Some move across the implant’s surface, coating it with a viscous, colorless secretion. Others weave paths over, around, and under the implant. From what you can tell—it’s difficult to see from where you’re lying—they seem to be using their legs and prehensile bristles to weave the adjacent membranes and vessels into the device’s fibres.

It is a prolonged operation. The minutes screech sickeningly along like hours. The vibrations are worse than ever. It costs a fair effort to keep your stomach from heaving up dinner, your lower sphincters from loosening, your voice from screaming and pleading.

The visitor stands motionlessly at the foot of the bed and stares.

Finally the spiders disperse. From another compartment in the console, the visitor pulls a long, segmented hose, coiled, varying in width from end to end, composed of the same material as the first implant.

The claw holds the spool aloft while the visitor’s hands stuff the coils into the steaming cavity. The process of replacing your wife’s intestines is much lengthier than their removal.

At the very moment the visitor finishes and removes its hands, the spiders rush in, coating the implant with ooze and using their appendages to weave the severed tissues, vessels, and valves into the woven mesh of the implant.

The spiders disperse once more, joined by the twelve that have been employed in keeping the outspread strips of your wife’s flesh pinned down. With a delicacy that verges on daintiness, the visitor takes each flap in its fingers and folds them back over your wife’s abdomen, leaving a bloody, cockled fissure in the shape of an I. A blanket of spiders sweeps over it.

You can’t even begin to guess how it’s done—evidently the bonding occurs on a cellular scale—but the spiders mend the wound with such devilish precision that no evidence of a cut remains. You note, not with a little dismay, that some of the spiders entrenched in the fissure to repair the shorn muscles were sewn in and left inside by the rest of the brood.

All the needles and tubes are removed from your wife’s body in the reverse order in which they were inserted, snapping back into the console like retracting extension cords. The site of each injection is attended by a spider, which plugs and mends the puncture with the same demonic subtlety. They leave neither scabs nor splotches.

At last the visitor sets your wife’s torn nightgown back in place and steps back as the spiders stitch it whole. You’re not the least surprised when the restored cloth shows no indication of ever having been ripped.

Now the spiders spread out over the gore-stained sheets. A hot, caustic steam rises from their midst, stinging your eyes and nostrils.

They scatter. Every last stain has been cleansed from every smallest fibre at the operation site.

The visitor stands some distance from the bed and stares.

What happens now?

You squeeze your eyes shut and pray.

The seconds pass into minutes.

It might be your imagination, but the noise and vibrations seem somewhat more bearable than before, hammering your body and brains less violently.

You open your eyes. The spiders exit the room in droves. As more and more depart, the noise dampens and the vibrations soften.

The visitor stands and watches them go. The console that stood at its side is nowhere to be seen, nor are any of its tools. Imponderables upon hideous imponderables.

Underlying your bewildered horror is a mollifying certainty—and a beautiful, billowing relief.

It’s over. You were spared.

The spiders have all gone; their infernal whistling drone has diminished to a faraway hum. Without giving you or your wife a second glance, the visitor slouches toward the hall. The last you see of it is a great, grotesque hand taking the knob and shutting the door behind it.

All you can hear now is the faint drone of tinnitus and your wife’s soft and steady breathing.

The red digits on the clock read 4:02.

Sleeping is out of the question.

At 5:58, your wife stirs and stretches. She notices you sitting up.

“You’re awake?” she asks.

You tell her you woke up a couple of hours ago and couldn’t fall back asleep. She yawns sympathetically.

You’ve had plenty of time to think about what you’ll say.

“How did you sleep?” you ask.

“Good,” she replies, getting out of bed. “I’m starving, actually. French toast okay with you?”

Food is the last thing on your mind. Whatever she wants, you tell her.

She splashes some water in her face at the bathroom sink and heads downstairs. The clock hits 6:00. The alarm activates, switching on the radio.

The reporter bids you good morning and begins a story about an explosion at an oil refinery on the west coast killing twenty workers and spilling 140,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific.

You switch it off and take a shower.

The cleansing heat and steam are a comfort, but you’re exhausted. You look and feel awful. Dark purplish bags droop under your eyes; you have the jaundiced complexion of a man afflicted. You know you didn’t sleep, not even for a minute—but you’ve got that meeting with the Aetna people, and you don’t have any excuse for missing it. You’ll just have to power through.

You dry off, brush your teeth, and get dressed. On your way out, you notice a black mark on the ceiling, and you recall the visitor’s prosthetic claw scraping against it during its entrance.

The TV in the kitchen is tuned to NJ News 12, which airs another weeping human interest story about a cancer patient getting dropped by her insurance provider after she failed to read the fine print.

Your wife switches it to Good Morning America. They’re all smiles, hosting the long-awaited reunion of the cast members of a popular soap opera from the 1990s. You eat your wife’s French toast, even though you don’t have much of an appetite. She’s also fried some sausage. Not wishing to be rude, you choke it down.

She talks about her itinerary for the day. She plans to get the car washed, go grocery shopping, buy some light bulbs and a new Dust Buster.

You study her mouth as she talks, but it looks more or less the same as it ever did. Her eyes, though. There’s something different about her eyes.

It’s probably just your imagination.

Sounds good, you tell her.

Time to go. You kiss your wife on the lips—with a momentary hesitation you don’t think she notices—and head out the door.

On the way to the train station, the sombre voices on the radio are still talking about the refinery explosion. A respected economist speaking over the phone predicts a nationwide price spike at the pump.

You’re starting to wish you’d had the sense to buy a car that didn’t take premium.

Moments after you board the train, your phone vibrates. It’s your wife. Your blood freezes.

She never calls during the day. Something must be wrong.

She tells you she’s probably going to meet Kathy for coffee at Panera, which is right by Marshalls, and they’re having a sale. She asks if you if you need any new socks.

That’d be great, you say. Then you blurt out, “Are you feeling okay?”

“Sure,” she answers. “Why?”

You quickly fib that she looked a little pale to you at breakfast, and change the subject in the same breath.

“If you get a chance, would you mind taking my suit to the dry cleaner’s?”

“Sure. I’ll drop it off when I head to Target later.”

You thank her, tell her you love her, and hang up.

You take the iPad from your satchel and check the news feed. The Times reports that the slain targets of a recent drone strike in Yemen were actually unarmed civilians, mostly women.

You close out of it and open up Angry Birds. You launch cartoon birds out of a slingshot until the train arrives at Penn Station.


Patrick Roesle is a part-time writer living outside of Philadelphia, but originally hails from Jersey. He maintains a blog called Beyond Easy (beyondeasy.blogspot.com) and a comics page called Comics Over Easy (comicsovereasy.net). In his spare time he enjoys calculus, astronomy, and noise.

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