Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Prodigal

Electra is in the park, in the golden nude evening, under the flush Midas light of late Autumn. Tomorrow is tempting, but this evening is still unmapped, potentially empty, reluctant as any landscape to succumb to perspective. The air just now is radiant, exalted with fire. If she closes her eyes she can see the wall, stripes of lemon across the uneven surface. Faint vicious words scratched into its surface, frustration texts: TWAT; Please kill me; my heart has never been this open; DIE; Think of this as a window.

The sun slipping out of the cloud, like shook foil, alerts her, snaps her out of a displace, and time suddenly speeds up so that it is soon much later. A boy is standing by the lake, lifting his arms to the sky, a pale halo of light about his head. Pale-eyed fractious seagulls circle above him, a solitary goose rises from the lake and beats its wings.

Rafael, Rafael, she calls to the boy, Rafael, I found it! You can come home! And it was so easy in the end, standing in the wreck. It wasn't as hard as we thought it would be. Rafael, look! It's me.

Her pleading voice sounds tiny in her ears, disproportionately small. But it, or the sudden wind looting the trees' gold, startles the deer. A stag. Havoc leaps in all their hearts, the stag runs straight at the boy who, like someone in a dream himself, looks up, and of course it isn't Rafael. There are no recesses in those walls. Boy falls. Water slates close in all the colours of shark over his thrashing arms, as the memorable dissolves into the irretrievable and Electra rushes forward into the ghastly present tense.

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