Note: This isn't written about anyone in particular. It was a short that
came to me a couple days after a very long road trip to Lost Angeles where
part of my goal was achieved, but I was left with a hole inside me the
likes of which I'd never felt. I guess it goes to show inspiration really
can crop up out of nowhere.
* * * *
The sky darkened to the booming of distant thunder.
Abreast a storm layered sky rose the shadowed hillside of a young
mountain range as it made a slow creep toward the valley bellow. Rain from
its predecessor pounded the pavement in small icy darts, pattering windows
and pinging on tin roofs and car tops in a orchestra of ghostly rhythm.
The streets were void of life. Darkness and gloom were its walkers--its
midnight travelers. Windows were shut, doors were locked, streetlights
continued to glow and cast an eerie river of rain spotted light onto the
street. There was hardly any traffic in this desolate forest of steel and
cement, save for the rare lost motorist using the headlight beems to cut a
path through the night hopefully back to their safe home.
A lone figure hunched beneath a thick brown trench coat laden with
water. A mere shadow, oblivious to the unforgiving rain or rolling of
thunder blanketing the sky from east to west. The night seemed to be for
him--the lone boulevard traveler. His pace was dispondant, his hands that
clenched in the pockets of his faded Levi's were rough and scratched, and
his head hung low shaded only by wet strands of hair that hung limp over a
once young and eager face. He watched silver droplets splatter on the aged
cement of the sidewalk by his black sneakers with empty eyes, disturbing
the resting place of a can tossed at some point during the day by an
Litter, rain, and thunder were his only companions as he made his way
through the gloom that fell around him in an orb of enclosing defeat,
sucking at him, tearing at the bit of spark--the bit of soul left harbored
in his body. The frail lamplight did nothing to pierce the gloom. It
shattered at first touch, recoiled, and seemed to hide altogether to avoid
being tainted by the pain of the lone wanderer.
This city, so alive in daylight with its skyscrapers, its hotels and
busy streets, its famous walk, had been the womb of his hopes and dreams.
He thought he would be free here, as many before him had perceived. The
City of Dreams, they'd called it. The city of everlasting light and
holiday had beckoned to him from his safe home far away to walk her without
care. At one time she had fulfilled her promise, let him taste the
pleasing riches of fulfilled desires, let me revel in the love of the
puplic eye, roll in mounds of parchment, and proudly proclaim himself the
king of this world. It was perfect, yet she was always concealing the
beast that stalked the routes and boulevards one step behind him. It
nipped at his heals. For years she had been his friend, his home, his
mother. He did not know of her vicious plans of betrayal. Like a fly
trap, she had her prey.
Too fast she struck, stealing the day and leaving the gray skies to
smother those dreams and crush those hopes, releasing the beast to feed on
their sweet flavor. He was foolish to think the beast could not harm him,
that the night stalkers of the city would forever vanish from his presence.
No, the pain was too real to deny anymore. Like the rain, it bore upon
him to soak through the coat and his faded black shirt, ragged from a once
glorious day, and burned his skin--an ever reminder of the reality of the
beast. Now he no longer dwelled in the day, but in the cold shadow of
despair where dreams flickered, faded, and died.
The abandoned son turned a corner, leaving the apathetic light of the
boulevard street lamps behind for the abyssal grim that awaited to darken