Monday, April 30, 2012

Intercouse Part 2

penumbra . 21

Twain in Tesla's lab ~ via
Mirror Mask and Camera

The flowers of DeSandro’s youth were brighter, their colours deeper, they lasted longer than these limp and insipid reminders delivered by the Leviptrons to the goods siding of The Great Station Hall. In his mind’s eye he can see those Carpathian rows spreading primary colours to the horizon. The Carpathian belief in purity was, until recently, scoffed at by MantRanian society. DeSandro wonders if it is prudent to feel that one’s beliefs has been verified by circumstance even while the purist inside reminds him that - given the circumstances - this verification of belief carries a dubious honour.
He pulls the lever that initiates the loading procedure. Metal arms with shovel hands scoop the petals onto the conveyor, sending them into the huge vats where their essence will to be extracted.
DeSandro looks out into the nexus where MantraRay’s main streets finger out into the yellow day.
Approaching in black, a silhouette stick figure wearing a small hat with a large floppy brim raises a forearm to wave in greeting:
“Good-day pilgrim, how goes the machine?”
DeSandro, starved as he is of human contact, nevertheless finds no pleasure in these encounters.
“Good-day Padre, how’s business?”
“Ah, you know,” the zealot tilts his head to one side, “They come; they go – business is brisk.”
DeSandro lifts a wide broom from beside the conveyor and makes to sweep into piles those petals scattered off the edges of the automatic shovels.
“The desert has gained the southern suburb, or so I hear on the radio.”
“The desert knows exactly what it is doing” The zealot lights a cigarette rolled tight and thin; he exhales smoke that is at once dense and opaque – concentrated, impure, “How much longer do you think we have?”
“That’s what I always loved about you Carpathians: your inability to dress things up.”
“When you’re surrounded by beauty, it is difficult to express anything less that the truth” DeSandro looks up through his brow, exchanging the broom for a spade, “Why would I want to dress anything up?” he says as he scoops the petals into the machine.
“In order to spare my feelings perhaps?” The zealot picks at a speck of tobacco on his lower lip.
“I am in no position to consider anybody’s feelings”
“Neither am I”
DeSandro feels no obligation to continue their intercourse and makes to leave the loading area; lifting his facemask from the peg by the door.
“I’m told that John Smith has been seen in the park, scavenging for women?”
“I have no time for gossip Padre, I have work to do”
“Of course you do Mr. Bien, don’t let me detain you any longer”
DeSandro enters The Great Station Hall through the door on which is pasted the legend:
No Admittance
Staff Only
The zealot lifts the cigarette to his lips and draws a coal brighter than the yellow day behind him.

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Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful presentation and even more beautiful of a story. Thank you all and keep up the amazing work :-)

Courtney said...

I am certainly not anonymous ;-)

Garth said...

Thank you Anonymous

and Thank you Courtney (the Unanonymous) :D

Harlequin said...

the images that shimmered for me were the shoveling petals and the cigarette burning brighter than the yellow day. quite striking. wow.
and of course, the terse prose and the deep immediacy of the story line... your usual marvelous work.

Confessions of a Temporal Lobe said...

"where their essence will to be extracted"

Holy shit. I can so relate to those words.