With a sky like creamed fire hewn by low smoky clouds the man appeared at the corner and I marched toward him with my head down, his body an approaching shadow against the brick façade in that electric dusk. My eyes stuck at my hip rather than in my head, the perspective askew in a diagonal upward awareness dreamlike and dizzied as we merged, the man and me, I could feel the energy of his menace and see the faded red and white checked pattern of his shirt, cotton, dank, ragged. In that sallow crepuscule of summer, the air was warm and dry and charged with anonymous violence wrought from the gods solely to entertain themselves with the malleable human experience.
The sounds of our shoes clapping concrete swift and strident like the echo of my heart in the luminous hum and from his left hand a flash of light born of an odd fluid motion and the blade whistling past and then dissolving back into his pocket as quickly as it had emerged. He walked past and turned the corner and was gone to the cool trickle of blood on my arm and in his wake the scent of atrocity and other like bouquets. With each remaining step toward the waning light waxen and pure I plodded a course of total loneliness with the laughter of the mad and a broadening crimson trail behind me, and I had never felt more alone nor further from home.
Waking breathless from the dream in the twilight of the unknown I felt the wound on my arm closed up to that strange indirect realm and I confused the sweat on my body with the sweet tackiness of blood. Shapes of a more familiar world materialized from the shadows.