There was brokenness in the sky where the clouds faltered a rush of blood to one's head, a fissure along the brain stem of the central sun. Yellowing bones collided, revolting the black stardust that the white canyon held, as a fluffy and cirrus material dribbled down God's chin. The sun was a mother with a headless child, and the world was a marble on her toothless fingertip. It was not a collision of supremacy, but of mere wind and song. The stars no longer drew thunderous cries, but long and gentle breaths. It was the burning of a tinged and black eyed robe that draped itself about the sky's vast frame, peppering the horizon line like droplets of fire. Torrents of metal and light exploded from the streets below that lay half in darkness, where figures crawled busily, touching, seeing, exploring a new light.
He watched it intently, this seething scourge that conquered God's face, staring through quiet brown eyes. He was attentive enough to catch a brief glimpse of cheekbones like mountains, prior to the sickness of night's dusty air. He strained to see his own reflection in the hollowed face of moonlight, a mirrored face cut out in the sky. The stars lined the hole like glittering jewels round a king's throne, and a face shone darkly through hell's small window. With a rounded jaw and full lips, the man staggered back to discover himself in the faithful eyes of the stars. Did they ever stop watching? Did they retreat home to bed when the sun stammered out, shutting off their lights as their mothers tucked them in? Did they wake at the end of day to find an empty horizon, so garish and blood painted that it was impossible to look upon?
His lips now portrayed such beauty as the moon cast overhead, dripping with deep amber liquid and soft gaze. His cheeks lay flushed and he itched uncomfortably, begging the stars with silence sewn in his fists. But the stars turned towards the north, an unsettling and small gesture that suggested God was perhaps an artist. His paintbrush was severed and bleeding from one end, but the paint was thick and hairless. He held it tightly between forefinger and thumb like a plastic child's toy, and painted masks upon the stars naked chins. He painted the horizon deeply then, and crimson roosters on fences turned their faces away, for God had arisen from the sky and had come to paint their home until ashes took the facade of the sunrise.
The man had witnessed it all, but his eyelids dropped from such deep encumbrance. He slept shortly, while the night raged on, leaving birds and yellow bellied critters in grave shadow. He awoke to find his drink spilled across his lap, rebounding off of the tight leather that held his hips and thighs in a rubber bundle. He rubbed the bottle's silky neck with his forefinger, delicately, and probed its mindless glass with a suggestive glance.
He avoided the intensified stare of the child that perched on the spindled wooden rail, keeping himself hardly occupied with the bright and sloppily drawn city that lay far below his twitching toes.
Her presence was almost unknown, but went without hesitation. She was pleasant looking, but hairless as well, and had eyes that were windup clocks. Her fingers were handlebars of a trick bike, long forgotten with the spokes veined and bleeding. Her arms were tawny and pale, and she wore a red coat with her burning maidenhead pinned to her chest like a badge. She had lips of moth balls and saliva of stardust, and as she spoke, he listened, curling a black love knot round his finger.
"Do you remember me?"
He was afraid to answer. He had seen this child countless times before, but all were distant memories of childhood that still tasted sweet on his tongue. "Yes," his voice was barely an angelic whisper. "Yes, I remember."
The child was his memory, his friend and true but abhorred window to the great and twisted past. As she uttered, "One, two, buckle my shoe," he could scarce feel his fathers belt buckle rip across his flesh, over the casement of blood and leather that burnt like a hollow brand. "Three, four, shut the door," was his mother, with her deep skin shining in the glaze of iridescence, with a hurt and unjust mask wrapped round her face as she slammed their cottage door.
"Five, six, pick up sticks." The spokes of his trick bike had broken off, and they lay like twisted metal fingers in the prickly white gravel. The scarlet paint was rusting, like the burns on his wrists and thighs, which were thin and ugly like dead little snakes. He barely ate a thing, and his mother was never around, besides her pleasurable hours of writhing under a dead white man. Her hair was wrung with sweat, and her eyes were two orbs of essence and eccentricity. It was peculiar to think of such distant times, such brutal and unnerving feelings that had wracked his cunning mind, leaving his heart swollen deep in his chest.
"Seven, eight, lay them straight." The child's voice was raspy and painted with nicotine's ugly crown, and he listened as he watched himself lay the crooked spokes in straight little lines. They lay like soldiers on the naked pavement, with eyes like needles and thighs like distorted pistols. Their mouths were round rubber bands that stretched tight over their plastic masks, and the pavement was a chalky circus of colors.
Everything was dripping thickly with fraud, suddenly, and the world through his eyes wore costumes plumed of gold and silver, while the stars smiled through face paint and mascara that hid their eyes from sight. The city was a child's crayon drawing, and the people were dolls with clockwork sewn into their ribcages. But their arms were so loosely stitched to their poorly sketched bodies, that it made him wonder what held them together. What made their internal clocks tick? Was it pale father time, or an oversized and pallid hand that turned keys on their backs, winding them up? Did they fold their soft pink hands at the foot of their beds and pray fatefully when a monstrosity with yellowing sockets came clawing at their barred windows? What mended them when they were broken?
The cars were far below, now, as if he were watching from earth and hell was spun upon the ground. The highways were obscured with red doll blood, and figures crowded about a small and broken man who had fallen, shedding his blue liquid across his checkered shirt. The figures around him were interesting to watch, he thought. Almost fascinating, how they made simple and beautiful gestures with their hands, and yet their eyes told different stories. How cunning they were, these strange and obstructive creatures that lurked the highways. Their faces were like little stars, shining out unto the ceaseless blackness like lanterns in a thick fog. He wanted to touch them suddenly, to taste their wooden faces and cold eyes with his tongue. His breath was hot and feverish against his sleeve, and he blinked away the sweat that lined his eyelids in thick rain. He was heavy with desperation, for they did not know he was watching. Or did they notice? Did they peek from behind battered black windshields and from in-between slick naked thighs? Were there peepholes burned in his walls from newly lit cigarettes where they stared with playful and moaning glances?
His brow prickled upon fleeting and curious thoughts, while the stars lay estranged from his festering stare. They begged him to look, and pleaded with his supple cheekbones and brazen forehead, but he turned his other cheek, and the moon blanched coldly from inside Hell's window. The figures had stolen his attention like dirty fingered outlaws, and the stars curled in wild jealousy. His face had grown old in their ancient and shimmering mirrors, but they paid no heed, for they were in deep love with him.
He was like a lion upon the sunrise, his wild black mane reaching for the depths of the bright darkness. His palms were slippery on the wooden rail, and his teeth gritted a perpetual refrain that echoed from inside his empty beer bottle. He was a calculating fool, a sweet fleshed villain, and a lamb so pale with a thirst for blood.
The child sat propped on the rail, and her eyes ticked softly as she admired his blatancy. He hated her, the way she carried his memories on a gold platter, with ashen arms outstretched and palms unguided. Her elbows were burnt with tequila brands and her white knuckles dripped with black lighter fluid, yet her lids still burned with time's unfriendly pupils. She insisted on following him to the ends of the earth, from Hell's obscure window to the depths of the skies.
His bottom lip was supple with love, and it quivered as he uttered nothing but his truth. "I know I will die alone, but loved."
The child was pounding now, her lungs beat freshly like a dove's wings. "No, you will never love. Not as long as this city still stands with paper corners folded and buildings made from clay."
"I don't need you!" said the man, defiance scourging his breath until it fell into utter blackness. The child's face glowed with past shadows, a woman screaming, a man crying with his head in his sweet fallen hands. "Be still, my child," the woman moaned from the corner, as darkness took her face with such vigor that she whimpered. Her cheekbones caved now, and her face was a void and black socket, where electricity ran through fissured wires and thick piano strings. I still love you.
His fingered grew bold as if his nerves were thickly wired, and he stood with such terror and force that he felt a ligament rip in his leg. It twitched like a lie, and burnt his eyes like a brand when he looked upon it. The child was not a dream, for black yesterdays could not be forgotten in dreams such as this. These were for children, yet why did the clockwork girl haunt him so? Dreams were for circus children with bloody eyes, with curtains round their bed frames, and little girls with toothless fathers.
"I don't need you!" he found a shout buried deep, under memories that lay with magnificent dust crowns upon their heads. Her coat was fit to its priming, and her maidenhead glistened pearly white. Her handlebar fingers throbbed and glimmered like the stars themselves, and her face was shining like a light.
Was she deaf that she did not hear? This child would no longer be sitting upon his shoulder, whispering tales of tragedy that he knew all too well. It was the line of severance, a place where the horizon ended. A bloody pile of water, with dreams cascading into the breath of night. A catch was all he needed, a fist of stardust to flicker against the faceless moon, and a piece of rosy heart to sew the hellhole that obstructed his view of the stars.
His fingers were strands of lightning, blinding and godlike as he seized her by the throat. It pulsed uncontrollably through his blood ridden palm, filth pouring from her eyes like godforsaken rain. His arm flourished with undying strength, and his neck was thick with engorged red veins. He held her above the rising city by the nape, cursing her with his sharp tongue and scarred blue lips. She struggled against his fingers, but love knots bound her eyes to hold his gaze. The city was a canvas splattered by a frenzied artist; God, whose eyes crept upon bloodshot seas and whose hands scattered insolent hues across the thunderous horizon.
Her clocks' eyes were buzzing frantically, ticking with all their might. Their glossed glass faces broke open with a thousand screams, raining tiny shards of crystal onto the heads of the figures.
He was not forlorn as he hurled her bodily from the terrace, but insolent with rebellious elation and thick with breath in his veins. She fell, almost gracefully, struggling to her last breath. Her lungs burst wildly with liquid clockwork, and her mouth lay agape, but the sound fell silent and blind. Her maidenhead ruptured like a spark on her coat, melting her throat away, catching flame to his childhood as the horizon began to stir. She was a vermillion balloon, filled to her waking tips with black and yellow sin. She ripped into thick swollen flames that seemed to set the earthen fields on fire, a bright beacon in falling night air. She hesitated in the shadow of the dark as the stars whispered their last goodbyes, and then was lost into the haze of black, until nothing was left but the golden and blessed light of the morning.
He stood lightly, rocking back and forth on his naked heels. This day was sacred enough, and it seared through his manhood slightly. The sun was a great golden spider; spinning a silver web of morning dew over the building tops that sat blinking like diamond squares.
It was the figures that withheld their harsh and unruly blows, standing below his fractured legs and pointing upwards. He looked aghast, and for a moment the earth stopped breathing. The sun faltered its glow, and the moon peeked softly from underneath his blanket of rich black shadow. Did the figures see? Did they clutch their purses to their chests with worry for his sinful deeds? Why did they stare with such brilliance and iridescence? Or was it simply the morning light that fractured all their smiles…?
He cried out, shaking his wild curls about his face. A pain speared his thigh, leaving the flesh and bone tingling like an electric shock. It was death, he thought frantically. Death has come to claim me.
His Marlboro's were stiff and clean in their white cocked box, and he lit four with his lighter shaking. Each rolled and sat perfectly between his fingers, and he puffed with plumes of ash billowing from his nostrils, floating up like clouds of grey, singing the black tips of his hair.
But the figures seemed displaced and dysfunctional, for their jests were insane from below. His heart pounded from behind his mask of smoke; he could almost feel sin dripping from his eyes! The trigger was no longer in his tanned and ragged fist; it now toppled onto the heads of the figures. They blinked heavily and shouted angrily with wide eyes aflame, shaking their heads and scuffing their shoes. They screamed against the soft and motherly wind of the morning, protesting against what…him? His being, his belonging? Perhaps they did not understand, but death was coming soon. Death was coming on wings of a sparrow, a brown and black eyed sparrow with a curl upon his balding head.
The figures were careless now, and their eyes shone with unfeeling hate and loathing. His insides twisted and coiled, meshing with purpled fluids and fleshly pink innards without care or concern. His heart was fluttering now, like a light winged butterfly, as if he could see death riding the wind from the north light of the sun…
Death rode with no horse, but a rapier instead; and his cloak wove a tale of cigarette smoke. His lips were worms of glory, and his chest pulsed red with sin. His eyes were sullen, and were orange with plastic masks, and his teeth sat grey and rotted in their yellowing and fleshy domain. A smile curved his ferocious chin, like fire painted upon God's ugly crest, and he wore a crucifix of time, with black curls wound in its depths.
The man blinked once, and twice again! He stared in stark horror at the figures below; were they deaf that they did not hear? Was Death not riding on the wings of the sun, painted in godforsaken flesh and grey rain? Were their eyes blinded to the sky with God's sullen paintbrush? He watched Death crave his naked hide, and push skeletal fingers through the folds of his robe. The man's defiance was a fading flame, a candle gone dark and dank. His brow folded as he drew a deep breath, and seized his beer bottle by the neck. She cried out in pity, in pain, for her neck was a delicate attribute, but he paid her no heed. Once, he smashed the bottle to his head, sloshing the sin round and round. Twice, he crushed it to his scalp, and the sin crashed onto the ground. Three was a charm, and he gripped the neck steadily, and took a swing once more. A shatter came about, and from the ground came a shout, and he fell to his back on the floor.
The figures went wild, screaming and crying. His blood was splashed red onto white, and the Marlboro box lay askew by the rail. He lay with bruises painted on his naked flesh, lips mocking a jest or a kiss, and his eyes fluttered once, but no more.
There was sudden silence, littered about the figures. They dropped their fists and sniggering sighs, and gazed at the dying man. His eyes were hollows, and his hide smelled of death, but they stood, everlasting and still, with their hands at their sides. They stood bleeding with their hands at their sides, as he burned in the darkness there.