ATTENTION PASSENGERS

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We regret to announce that you will arrive as scheduled. We have detected no threats on your persons or possessions, which are now ready for retrieval. It will doubtless be hard to ignore the insignificance comprising what you call a life, stowed in satchels and digital prisms nevertheless hoarded to your shivering skin. We apologize for the inconvenience. Despite the most advanced technology available, known and unknown, there is nothing to prevent you from meeting intended parties at your final destination. Disaster will not shade the contours of the ordinary in vivid relief; you will play none other than yourself as you descend the steps to collect baggage and the rote greeting of those who wait. You are doomed to describe a journey the only novelty of which is its uncanny resemblance to all that preceded it, and all that will follow. Enjoy while you can your status in transit, the lingering wand, the magnifying lens, the gated space enumerating promise in haloed capitals: PROVIDENCE TAMPA FARGO CHAMPAIGN. Please take your seat for an on-time departure, the measure of substance yielding to lift.

—-

[Ed. Note: We had a contest for short-fictions defaming the TSA. This piece was the runner up. ]

The Author

Pedro Ponce is the authors of Superstitions of Apartment Life (Burnside Review Press) and the novella Homeland: A Panorama in 50 States (Seven Kitchens Press). His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Copper Nickel, A cappella Zoo, Arroyo Literary Review, Sudden Fiction Latino, and DIAGRAM: The Second Print Anthology.

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