Saturday, March 24, 2012

Onwards and upwards

The cart rattled slightly. It was overloaded. The man pushing it slumped over the wooden handles, barely noticing the splinters which arched through the identifying whorls of his fingerprints.

Dead. They really were. They’d fought for months, calling on every quack they knew, until finally, there was no one left, and they’d watched the tides of their lives slip away, leaving fresh, glistening sands.

Now they were lined up on the cart, their mouths gaping at a sun made amber with the smoke from the fires, the trash fires which corrupted the night air and never went out.

The man pushing the cart stopped. It was caught in a slight rut. Knowing he could explain his slight delay, he leaned over to his left, and vomited. It wasn’t the robust stream of a healthy man, but the weakened dribble of someone whose diet had suffered under the weight, or lightness, of an empty grocery cupboard.

As he approached the top of the hill, he faltered. The handles trembled in his hands as if the collective memory of the corpses inside would wrench it out of his hands.

Something felt… unreal.

With a painful twist, possibly around his ankles, he fell. The cart juddered and bounced down the hill, coming to a listing stop against the cemetery fence.

The light shone into his eyes. Two years of gloom and squinting through a chemical fog had made it hard to focus.

As he rose to his knees, the cart, the pushing, the endless nights of drudgery seemed to make sense

“Bring out your dead?”, he laughed to himself. “No, no, bring out your living…”

*Dead= unemployed

*Cart-pusher= freelancing

*Beyond= Who knows!