Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Sitting on a bench nestled in the wooded courtyard outside the towering glass building, he stares through the green-leafed tree branches. A peaceful refuge amid the busy city, he relaxes as a butterfly flutters by.

The greenery is lush and verdant, crowding around the shimmering, reflective windows of the building; a stark contrast to the courtyard's natural surroundings.

From his bench he can see his own reflection in the amber tinted glass that covers the building's surface as it rises out of the tree cover into the blue sky.

His reflection is dressed like him, sits like him, and looks to be his exact double in every way; yet, his reflection was not looking back at him, but writing in his notebook.

He frowned with concern at his reflected self, whom did not look up from his writing. After a moment he stood up from the bench and slowly started to walk toward the building's mirrored wall.

His reflection did not move, he just continued to scribble happily in his notebook.

Dread filled the pit of his stomach as he moved closer to the building, a feeling that spread along his spine as he neared to where his reflection should have been staring back at him.

Up close to the building's windowed wall, he could see all the surrounding scenery reflected like a true to life mural, save of course his own image, who sat quietly writing on the bench he himself had just left.

Apprehensively, he reached out and touched the smooth surface of the building. It was solid and unyielding, though slightly hot from the sun's light. He knocked on the window, half testing its realness, half trying to somehow get the attention of his reflection. Neither seem to take any notice.

He bang a bit harder with his clenched fist and the window shook with vibration slightly, yet his reflected other continued to write unperturbed.

A wind picked up and shifted the trees as clouds shaded the sun light, darkening the sky above. A shiver traveled up his spine into his skull as he looked behind his seated reflection into the thick shade of the trees, and saw that the shadows started to gather together from all the nooks and crannies of the woods.

Moving like living smoke, the shadows grew together to form a mass that loomed behind both himself and his reflection in the amber hue of the window's surface.

Massive tendrils grew out into arms that stretched out and up to add to the shadow creature's height, while two burning red eyes opened near the beast's apex; eyes that stared directly at him.

The thing began to move toward the bench where his other sat unconcerned with anything that was happening. Banging on the window he tried to warn his reflection of the approach of the shadow creature, but he did not hear.

When the creature moved around the bench and continued toward him and the building, taking no notice of his writing other self, he began to pound and scream louder to try and get his reflection to do something. But still he merely sat and wrote feverishly in his notebook, a small smile upon his lips.

Panic filled his mind as the creature neared, its smokey body growing larger, reaching out for him, clawing with its long snaky arms as it shook the ground with a booming roar.

He screamed as he banged both fists against the building, and then stopped suddenly as an idea came to him. His eyes squinted in thought and then widened as realization came to him.

Slowly, he looked up at the creature as it bore down upon him, closed his eyes, and turned to face it.

He felt the darkness enveloped him but he opened his eyes. He was back on the bench, a soft breeze blew through the trees and birds chirped in the blue sky above.

He looked around and saw no sign of the shadow creature and realized he had a pen in his hand. On his lap was his notebook with his almost illegible handwriting scrolled all over it.

Across the courtyard, in the reflection of the big building's windowed surface, his double sat on his bench as well; looking surprised to find he had no notebook on his lap or pen in his hand.

He smirked at the confused image and began to scribble in his notebook.

Behind the bench his reflection sits on, the trees begin to move back and forth in the growing wind. The shadows begins collecting together as his reflection looks at him in the amber windows. His reflection's eyes grow wide as he watches the shadow creature gain shape.

As he writes in his notebook, a mischievous grin slides across his face, and his reflection gets up and shouts to get his attention.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Salt Silver Oxygen

Storm clouds crowd the sky, as they always had. Ever since she was a young girl, all she had known was the dark gray cloud cover. For as long as anyone could remember, the clouds had leer on high, menacing great storms, but never a drop came.

They stumble across the arid plain; he had struck out from their village all those months ago, pulled, he had said, pulled by a feeling that he needed to follow, and she had followed him.

Their water pouches had run dry and they had not found a cache of hidden moisture for days. The constant humidity in the air sucking the energy from her very being, but on she followed him; as long as he kept on, so would she.

Traveling so long and far from their home, in search of something he would only say was a feeling just out of his reach of understanding, a feeling he had to find a way to bring the long rumbling storm.

So many trials and dangers they had come through, over harsh lands that threatened to destroy them if they were to but falter. But they had been strong and endured.

Until now, in this vast, cracked earth plain that seemed to go on forever, never nearing the mountains that darkened the horizon between the gray sky and washed out land, now they stumble.

She trips on her own feet and falls to her hands and knees as he looks back to her. She wants to cry, but is too exhausted and her body is too dry now to bring tears anyway. He turns and staggers over to her, reaching out his hand to help her up.

A hoarse scream cracks from her throat. Why? She asks. Why does he go on?

He stops and lets his hand drop to his side as he looks at her with sad eyes; tired, but not yet defeated.

Because he must. He answers and turns to begin walking towards the mountains on the far horizon again.

Thunder cracks in the clouds above as he steps and he looks up at the rolling mass above. Each day the same, the clouds rumbling with the promise of a storm, and each day, nothing. Just rumblings and no more. Life had gone from the land and the sky would not give it back.

Yet, as another rumble comes, louder than the first, shaking the ground she holds onto as she kneels watching with burred eyes, he stops and looks up at the sky.

She watches as he cocks his head and seems to smell the air. Her shaking stops as she watches and he turns slowly, smiling with a goofy grin across his lips. He looks down from the sky toward her and passed her, to something behind her.

She lifts herself off her hands and cranes her head around to see a crowd of weary travelers stumble toward them. As they come closer she can see that it is their entire village. They had followed as well. Some carry the young and support the elderly, but they too had made it across the harsh land. Followed him.

She looks to her sides and can see more groups coming up, more villages all stumbling with exhaustion to where the the rest stood and stared at he whom they had all been pulled to follow.

And he smiles at all in a serene grin that has somehow wiped away all the tiredness from him.

when all had gathered behind where she knelt, she looked back to him and he gave her a broad smile which filled her with a desperate confusion.

Thunder booms in the sky above as the dark clouds are illuminated by a flashing light within. She had seen lightning a few times in her life, when the clouds looked as if they where going to burst but those times were few and far between.

Now the clouds are full with flashes of lightning that dance inside the billowing blackness above.

I know now. He says as he smiles at her and turns toward the horizon with his arms lifting up to the sky. Quietly, his sandaled feet lift off the ground and he floats up into the air.

She cries out to him and staggers to her feet to chase after, but he turns and shakes his head with the knowing smile still across his face.

His image waivers as a bolt of lightning streaks down from the biggest of the darkening clouds and he raises higher, lifting his head skyward, closing his eyes as a drop of rain falls upon his cheek, rolling down his face like a tear of joy.

Lighting cracks again and as the thunder booms in unison, more rain drops fall from the full clouds above, a shower at first that soon begins to pour down upon the land and the crowds that laugh and cry and dance around her.

She feels the rain's moisture wet her parched skin but she can only watch as he raises higher into the sky, finally disappearing into the storm.

Dropping her head she looks down at the ground that becomes muddy around her feet with the rain at long last. Her tears fall at long last as well and mix with the rain drops to add to the life-giving moisture the land has longed for.

She watches the drops plop as they hit the ground before her feet and then she sees a glint of light glimmering off the water droplets.

Startled, she looks up and sees a crack in the cloud cover, and a beam of golden light shining down from somewhere beyond the darkness that had always been complete in the skies above.

The crowds behind her stop their celebrations and stand silent as they all look up to the light that breaks through. One beam, and then another, and another; pushing through the darkness and opening the cracks larger and larger.

The rain still falls but the clouds begin to break up from each other and let more of the golden light through, until there is enough open space to see a bright blue behind.

A blue unseen for a thousand years.

And as she looks up into the sky for the first time, she smiles and laughs at his goofy grin and knows why as well.