A segment

Either depression, or a Buffy re-watch marathon, has kept me from posting anything in a while, so I thought I should. Here’s a segment of a scene of a collaboration I’m working on.

Poseur and the Gent peer into the darkness and slowly unclasp their hands. The air is heavy and low with despair. A distant foghorn echoes through the cavernous alleyways and explodes into the courtyard; its deep notes harmonize with the creaking of lumber, and is punctuated by the popping of moths drawn into a lamp’s mantle.

Amorphous shadows roll over pavement and shimmy up dilapidated buildings. With a hesitant well then, the Gent saunters towards the struggling beacon. It flares between his breath, ripping ragged patches out of the shadows.

A fuzzy shape streaks the periphery. Eldridge catches a breath, and with a grimace, shifts his eyes towards the disturbance. A rat arcs overhead, its arms flailing for a secure hold. The rat regards the gauzy cloud surrounding the lamp, and stretches into a slow spin. It unfurls its talons one at a time, and gently snatches individual months from the swarm. The rat smiles, revealing ragged and broken teeth, and brings a struggling moth to its maw.

It disappears in a halo of discordant light. The Gent centers his stance, relaxes his eyes, and counts two deep breaths. He senses a silhouette lowering its leg.

The ground between the two men grows and shrinks in seemingly predictable orbits. The Gent rolls into a crouch, stumbles through the shadows, and climbs over the light. A hand grips into muddy sod–new growth surrounded by flimsy brown, a foot shoves off a rock–chalky and white. Darkness and pressure. The feeling of advancing.

Poseur pulls himself to his feet on a ledge. He pauses to study the swarm as it expands and contracts with the flaring of the lamp—a dandelion exploding and reassembling. Shadows, discrete and defined, play against the ground—rolling and swaying, and obeying natural orbits. The shadows create impromptu flowers that end in sharply pointed petals, the flowers rotate and reform seeking structure.

The pair are bucketed and thrown. They weave and stumble. They slip on greasy puddles, and stall on rough concrete. The skinny one leaps for the cast iron lamp post, the Gent grunts in approval and allows himself to fall into the post.

The sun rose with icy wind, and sat with thunder. The men clinched the post to keep from being swept into the darkness. Days passed in minutes, and then in seconds. The Gent, either through malice or exhaustion, pries Poseur’s unwilling hands from the post.

The pair tumble and flail through icy fog. Through darkness. Through pressures quick and keen. Howling cicadas accompany them through thunderous moans and fiery lightening. Sudden impact. Cracking ribs. And the moans they hear are now their own. Filtered light. Soft moss. Rough bark.

“It is for precisely this, my dear mentor, that I despise you so,” Poseur grumbles running a hand over bruised ribs, and pulls out a cigarette. He taps the cigarette against the tree Gent is still laying against. Cracked purple lips smile.

The Gent lies in the calm. He counts the number of shadowy leaves on his face and hands. Content and reassured he springs up, “nonsense, my reluctant protégé, it is only now getting interesting.”

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