Thursday, October 14, 2010

the Book of Sarah

I saw the Enemy take a victim. I witnessed the whole thing. It happened while I was making my way across the rooftops of an especially old district of the city. The streets are very narrow there. They were laid out threehundred years ago, when even coaches were a rarity. I stopped. I heard a noise. I looked down into a small, brick courtyard four stories below. It was not a well kept, gentrified space, like most of the others, but was neglected and trash strewn. I suppose the yuppies, or whatever they call themselves these days had not discovered it yet. There was a man. He was on his knees and he was pleading for his life. A person stepped out of the shadows to confront him. It was a girl. It was a little girl. She was dressed in  a plaid jumper, a grade school uniform. And she just stood there looking down at him. This went on for perhaps two or three minutes. He stopped to choke back some tears and catch his breath. The words he said are not important. What does anyone say when begging for existence? The peculiar child was having none of it. She waited for him to stop. He sniffed. He trembled. He even peed himself a bit. I could see the puddle spreading out around his knees. But his diminuative tormentor was quite unmoved. She snapped her fingers. It seemed odd to see a small child do that. Most of them are incapable of such a move. But she had no trouble and in an instant six menacing hounds silently came out of the shadows and arranged themselves around the still, silent victim. He whispered one more word - Please. But the young one ignored him. She snapped her fingers again and the dogs were on him. It all happened in a strange, dark silence. I could hear him whimper. I could hear the dogs expertly tearing off bits of his flesh. They were delft and neat, like canine surgeons. Their tiny mistress just stood there, never so much as moving a muscle. I could see the blood. I could smell the blood. I could taste the blood. But he was not my intended victim. No, he apparently belonged to other captors. But I stayed there. And I watched until it was done. Now this was late, very late. Most of the district was fast asleep. But the odd traffic noise still came through. I heard a jet, as it etched a line into the blackness high above. The victim must have heard these noises as well. To be so isolated and helpless, while all around the city still goes on. And then he was dead, a heap of bones and gore on a red stained patch of concrete in a not-yet-gentrified yard. The little girl picked up the remains and put them in a large, plastic trash bag. Then she turned on a hose and washed the rest away. Her hounds watched soundlessly, as they contimued to lick their chops. I am sure she saw or sensed that I was up there. One or two of the dogs seemed to sense me as well. But nothing happened. It just was not my turn. They left me alone. The little girl stepped back into the shadows and I went home. We all made it home safely . That night was all right. But there was a large, viscous puddle of dog piss spreading out on the sidewalk at the entrance to our building. And I seemed to recognise the scent......... Now please know that time does not unfold for me as it does for you. I view the passing of the 'great parade' rather differently. Perhaps it is because of my age. Sometimes I think that when I sublimate I stumble through to other realities, what learned individuals of your generation call a 'parallel universe'.  Thus I am not always sure if events are unfolding now, or on some other point in space and time. But it could be that this explanation  is just an attempt to lessen our fear. Things happen. They just happen. It could be that we will never know why.

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