Project 52: Toppling Atlas

1 short story a week. 52 weeks a year.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week Eighteen: July 5th - July 11th

I wasn't feeling very creative this week, so I went through and edited an old story of mine.

Whispered Wings of Soft-Spoken Words

It was a curious winter night, in the quiet suburbs of Illyana Falls. The silhouette of a man appears from down the road, untouched by my eye until recently. The soft click of his shoes would make any normal person think he was just a man on a brisk walk. I myself thought the same thing, until something caught my attention. As he walked under the glow of the streetlight, he froze. Not the kind of frozen you get from a sudden burst of cold wind or from being caught in the headlights, but a kind of frozen that made me think that this man knew he was going to stop there, he just hadn't realized there was here yet.
Pulling his coat lapels up against the chilly mid-winter wind, he looks around and slowly reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet. His fingers appear to be wrapped around the edges of a folded piece of paper, yet peculiarly, his stern face quickly laments. As he unfolds it, I could now clearly see that it's a picture of a woman. The strange man lowers the picture to his side – slowly – so that he may steal one last glance at the falling memory and pulls out a cigarette.
As he quickly turns the end into a glowing ember I think to myself how ironic it is that the only warmth the man had against the cold would one day kill him. Taking short draws from the cigarette, the man closes his eyes and pulls the picture back up into my view. The cigarette falls into the snow and quickly dies. As I sit and ponder what the man is doing, he turns his head to the right and starts to rip the picture into halves.
Slowly, but surely a million pieces of the picture appear in his palm. It looked so human the way he slowly turned his head back and opened one eye before the other. A single tear beads down his face in a rapid pace, almost as if racing the realization of itself to the man. Suddenly, the man throws up his arms and lets the picture blow off into the gentle breeze. Softly spoken words flow out in the form of "Goodnight, my angel" and are carried by the wind, to forever be carried on in the form of a whisper, hoping one day someone will stop what their doing in their busy life and listen to his story.

After staring blankly towards the direction of the recently lost picture, the man's face contorts into that of a fallen man; bitter, yet sad. Walking away from the streetlight, a single tear runs down the man's face, almost as if racing the realization of itself to the man. "Time to shut up and carry on" he said quietly " Life goes on, things get better or you die". With a fake smile plastered to his face, the man proceeds back into the shadows, and never looks back. This mans name is I, for he is me, was me, and forever shall be me. I've been watching myself, and know what it is I am thinking, I am myself, no one, and someone all at one time. I am no where and everywhere. You can hear me, but can't understand me, although I speak perfect English. I am immortal, but there is a way to kill me. I am everyone of you, and I am no one of importance. I am change, and you must not resist me.

1 comment:

  1. I went into your database of stories on FB and looked up this one, I like the rewording you did.
    I'm going to have to go back and read the ending, I'm trying to figure out who this man is metaphorically, if he is someone or something specifically.