Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Tricks

He looked down in astonishment at the coil of steam that rose from his hand. Extending his wrist to examine it, he blinked twice at the wisps of smoke rising from the place where his trigger finger used to be. The round had spun shrieking through the calm morning and neatly removed it at the first knuckle, the heat of ignition blazing still hot enough to cauterize the wound as neatly as a surgeon trained in the civil confines of an urban teaching hospital could.

Instead of looking down to where the separated digit might lie, perhaps flexing in the ochre dust, his minded folded in on itself like a decorative napkin, hiding the silver-plated thoughts he should have been thinking. He caught a glimpse of an ancient man, legs crooked by years of the saddle, hunched into his stool on a shady porch. By the old man’s side a glass glinted, droplets of condensation chasing each other down the sides to the hand-shaped oak boards beneath. The old man was squinting at a piece of wood, methodically shaping it with a pearl-handled blade. His eyes were rheumy and seemed to shed permanent tears; weeping for a life gone, or a limited future. Who knows.

And as he stared inward at this old vision-man, he felt… nothing. Not fear, not calm- but maybe the absence of calm. The absence of everything.

Even as time regained its usual haste around him, he knew the old man was himself, an ancient container holding the brittle memory-remnants of a life and lifestyle now as forgotten as the stars which slipped in to an orange pocket each day at sunrise. Stranger still, the old man would never exist, for as he looked at the space where his pointing finger, his beckoning finger, his gouger and router used to be, a second round cored his scalp behind his ear, whipping around the inside of his skull like a deranged baker riling cream, until it had thoroughly erased all thought, memory and future from him, and burst out of his eye-socket, to lodge in a sign across the road. The sign read WE WELCOME ALL VISITORS (AND THEIR CASH).

1 comment:

  1. Holy crapsticks dude- how do you come up with this stuff!?


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