Sunday, June 25, 2006
There is a man...
There is a man at the docks beneath me. Tall and gaunt, he stalks along the planks towards me like a shade, shrouded in dark robes of the finest quality. I realize with a start what he is carrying; he bears upon his shoulder a child’s casket of polished, dusky polymer, not three feet from end to end.
In the distance I hear the wails of those mourning the loss of this poor unfortunate, but I see no-one. The pallbearer’s sharp, sallow face remains expressionless as the casket begins to shake, its lid slowly parting opposite the hinges. A tiny crystalline hand emerges, coruscating in the sun’s dying light as the child pushes its casket completely open and sits up. It is a tiny young boy, little more than an infant. And he is made of glass.
As he opens his mouth to cry I hear not the sound of a baby, but the slow, haunting cry of a sandcat at dusk. And then the lips move, fluidly forming words as if they are no longer crystalline, but made of flesh. And yet I hear no words – only the cries of some tortured animal.