Flyover Country

You know, I never get used to flying over that damned red thing.

It's the way it shimmers, I think. It don't look natural. The waves are always there, and always the same. It'd actually look a little bit cozy, I think, if it weren't for the whole blood-red bit. That's always the big turn-off over, to me. But, pools not what scares me about this place.

You're surprised, right? I mean, the red pool is supposed to be one of the scariest places you can be posted. Which it definitely is, but not for the reasons you think. The pool? Small potatos. Beyond when it's opening it's big maw for y'all to go down in, it's not doin' much of anything.

The real thing that scares me about this place is the people. The pool is just a blank slate, an empty little kiddie splash zone you can fill up with your own insecurities. The people here are what scare me, because those are constant. When I have to come in, I'll know a pooloy from anyone else in a heartbeat They're the ones with the lights out behind their eyes. They're the ones who look like they want open your mouth and just scream but they can't. They just do their duty.

I know one kid… well, a guy, but he was still a kid here… name was Murphy. Real nice guy, we jabbered about army stuff and guns and all that jazz. Hoped he'd do well here.

A few weeks ago, I flew in to pick up what was left of him.

It's like that for all of them. You either die young, or you live long enough to become worse than the pool. Sorry if I'm starting to jabber, it's not often that kids ask me what's really bad here.

Those poor fuckers. They have so much light, y'know? And they're always scared of the wrong things. Always asking about the pool, whether it's as bad as they say. I'll tell 'em, "hey, once yer there, pool'll be the last of yer worries. Most of the time, that calms 'em. But some, keep pressing.

Like you did.

Annnd… here we are. Catch you later, kid.

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