Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Mechanics of an Ending

penumbra . 29

How does a man of principal learn to hold his tongue?
Should he perhaps learn firstly that his principals are not necessarily those of the next man?
Perhaps it is a skill, this holding of the tongue, which can only be acquired by the slow grinding of time, the gradual perception of those shades of grey that are not worth fighting for?
John starts as the night sky flashes – a flare hovers above the Great Station Hall, painting bright red highlights on the building and trailing smoke against the firmament.
John hears, or imagines he hears a shout; a cry for help.
He turns from the window to find Anna-Marie at his shoulder, her face painted red by the flare.
“Something has happened” she says with breath both sweet and sour, and with, John suspects, more than a little anticipatory excitement.
They move as one toward the stairwell that echoes their hurried feet in descent to the street.

DeSandro Bien throws the hot, discharged flare launcher away from him. Propped up on the elbow of the non-throwing arm he moans with the pain this posture has caused him. Gingerly, he lowers himself until he is flat out on his back. He watches the flare spiral pale red smoke against the night sky.
“Heeeeell-p!”

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2 comments:

Harlequin said...

great stuff, this.

i have to say, i was half expecting to see the slow grinding of teeth, not time... but, of course, time makes more sense.
love the escher touch.

Garth said...

Harlequin: teeth! if I'd thought of it I would've used it - it goes with the holding of the tongue!