five of seventy two.

jack pennington marched with a purpose down oak street, a brown breif case clutched so tightly in one hand that his knuckles had turned white. in his other hand he held a black top hat which he had wipped off his head to keep it from blowing away, though having a hat blow away- at this point- was the least of his worries, in fact, jack pennington threw down the hat to make his hand available for rumaging throuh the breif case as he half walked half jogged down oak. eventually he produced from his case a small laminated badge, which he flashed at a security gaurd as he passed a large gate marked private property. it began to rain, pennington checked his watch and cursed under his breath. 2:11 he had three minutes. in front of him loomed a large manor, its ebony roof sleek with rain, gutters dripping large tears of murkey water. his jog picked up into a run, and soon into a dash as he, now scrambeling for time, hurried for the door. it was black, though the paint was peeling to reveal the redish cedar underneith. jack banged on it and more paint flecked off. he checked his watch again. damn! the door swung open to reveal a tall, squinting man clad in a green bathrobe and holding a newspaper. "jack?" the squinting man's eyes opened with suprise.

"yes yes no time, let me in rufus!" penington pushed past rufus and slamed his breif case down on the tabel, knocking sevral things to the floor.

"jack, whats this about?!" rufus bent down to try to salvage a knocked over glass lamb.

"no time for lambs rufus! its the generator! it's going to go off!!"

"the E.M.P. generator?"

"yes yes, the same! were is it!" jack shifted his weight from foot to foot, his eyes wide with panic.

"i sold it" the room was silent except for the clatter of rain outside. "to a bloke at an auction. it didnt work, the generator. never did, glad to be rid of it" jack's knees gave out and he collapsed on the floor. 

"you sold it." he murmered as he slowly raised his head to stare at the ceiling. "it was charging. that whole time, it was charging."

"that's imossible, i must have had that contraption for years and it never did a bloody thing!"

"charging." jack stared wide eyed at his watch. "3..2....1..."

the rain outside stopped. the two men looked around the room waiting for something to happen. a low thump hit the roof, and another, another. five in all. jack stood up. together they went to the large black framed window at the end of rufas's exceptionally large entrance hall and peered out. the street before them was litteres with something lumpy and darkly colored, or rather, many lumpy darkly colored things. the thought hit both jack and rufus at the same time. the birds.

penington turned to rufas and opened his mouth to speak, but closed it again. fianally he re opened it and spoke. "how many babies ar born each second rufas?"

the answer to that question changes constantly but at the exact moment jack asked, the answere was five.

The End

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