“Get in the car,” he says, but she doesn’t.
Instead she stands where the cold double cone of the headlights cuts into the glittering rain, and gazes up at the tall buildings surrounding the car. In the glow from a hundred office suite windows she catches with her eye the virtual fall of a single raindrop, and matches its velocity as it tracks down all the storeys, dimples the surface of the gutter water, swirls and joins a billion other raindrops, and pushes and drops into the gaping chasm of the storm drain. In her mind’s eye the water gathers power from unseen inlets, challenges the brink and falls in force over parapets of black crowning rock, slithers in silence down dark watercourses, pools in unlit caverns where sightless salamanders and silverfish imperatrix reside in abiding silence, joins again and gathers and plummets in steam into the once brightly-burning ember at the core of the world…extinguishing it.
“Get in the car!” he screams, but she won’t.
Category Archives: Glenn Blakeslee
In Elko the old Kawasaki threw a rod, and Poe watched as the man counted out two hundred dollars in wrinkled twenties while wheezing around an unlit slobber-soaked cigarette. With the money Poe bought a ticket and watched through the dirty window as the bus rolled a straight-line rift of red tarmac through sere hills dammed with rust-colored out-tailings topped with the sagging latticework frames of mining derricks. Later, as the bus wound the green barricade of the Sierra Nevada, he slept soundly for the first time in months.
In Vacaville Poe bought a soggy sandwich from a bus station machine, choked it down while sitting on a gum-spattered bench amongst people going nowhere, saying nothing. After thinking about nothing in particular while smoking his last cigarette, he bought a ticket to no place in particular.
In Eureka he stepped off the bus, hungry and in full crave, but instead of anything else he followed the highway over the inlet, seabirds coasting in a bitter wind over an incoming tide. He walked the road to where it ended and through dunes scattered with saltgrass and juniper down to the sea.
Poe sat in the sand leaning against the trunk of a redwood scoured clean of life, and he tied off for the last time. The sea rolled in long waves over coarse sand, the sky obscured by a nimbus of fog and particulate water, everything grainy and rough just the way he liked it, until the sun came out.