Monday, September 21, 2009

Darkness All Around

Dark, dark night of dewy grass and forgotten lots. A car is parked alongside a misty road, a white four door Sedan with rounded edges. Three doors are open and the overhead light is on, illuminating the interior of tan upholstery and carpet. Moored in a little bay of black asphalt, it glows warmly like a candle in a dark room. Around it the mist roll and curl and obscure dark stretches of road beyond the small empty parking lot and vaster blankets of green grass. It eclipses the yellowed bodies of naked trees whose leaves have blown far away, leaving only a few little golden tokens spread about the bed of grass.
The sky is void of the twinkle of stars huddled behind the invisible cover of clouds. Without street lamps or the light of civilization, the sky above is unfathomable and inky. The headlights of the parked white car shine out a few feet from its nose, casting their beam over the grassy floor and sea of sparse trees being swallowed by the voracious fog.
A tall young man stands in the parking lot embracing a young woman. He is clad in a bright red cape donned over crisp blue jeans and a new polo shirt of a dark navy hue accented by a band of lightly colored stripes that encircle his chest. The red satin horns of a devil are pinned on his head. His face is clean shaven, his short cropped hair is dark, his eyes are gentle and deer-like. He is engaged in pressing the girl enthusiastically to his breast, his cape rippling in the breeze that moves the white fog around them in sheets of mobile moisture.
The woman holds a video camera in one hand and presses her blonde head receptively into his heart. Her clothes are shabby and oversized, faded wide-leg denim coupled with a baggy long sleeved T-shirt.
A milk chocolate skinned black girl with silky rings of curled hair falling around her Egyptian looking face stands apart from the couple, hovering near the car. Her arms are crossed in front of her body and she stands with her weight resting more heavily on one leg than the other, like a crane poised in the banks of the Nile. Her brows are expertly shaped, her lips are glossy. She wears big slim hoop earrings and a white shearling jacket with slim jeans that accent her diminutive physique.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dirt Parking Lot

There is a narrow street that comes from a bustling downtown far in the distance. As the road curves, two large white grocery stores are all that is left of motion and commerce. The buildings have no distinguishing features other than being extremely large and brick-like and off-white in color. From the curve in the road, just past the stores, the road descends at a very slight angle and opens up into a large rectangular parking lot. It stretches for a quarter of a mile, then turns once again into a narrow road that leads to suburban neighborhoods far in the distance.
The boundary of the parking lot is defined by tall green-topped pine trees that stand parallel to each other for the length of the lot. There are aging brown needles on the ground right below the trees. The surface of the parking lot is a light brown compact dust. There are a few small gray rocks strewn about the lot and a few large boulders beneath the surface of earth that create slightly raised bumps, but otherwise, the parking lot is a level surface. Just a couple of feet from the base of the pine trunks are parked cars lined up side by side. Just a single row on each side of the parking lot…. red, blue, tan, black and white cars sit silently beneath the trees. The center of the parking lot is a large open space that is free from any metal or rock or bump.
The sun is shining and the needles of the trees shuffle slightly as drops of light-coated raindrops fall from the sky. A young white man with short disheveled hair and white pants is in the center of the lot. His hands are raised and his palms face the sky. He is twirling and spinning, turning around and around. A couple of steps from him is a young, plump woman with a long, flowing skirt and a white spaghetti-strapped tank top. She is balancing one young baby on each of her hips. She is spinning and twirling, gripping the children tightly as she moves. A couple of steps from them is another young, slender woman with brown hair and olive skin, she is spinning and twirling and turning, her hands are raised up, her palms open to the raindrops as they cover her in glistening drops of blue and white light. The three of them form a loose triangle. Beneath the rain and surrounded by empty cars and imposing pine trees, they spin. The rain moves down upon them, soaking them in drops of glistening liquid. The sun is somewhere close, unhidden behind a cloud.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The King's Tent

There is a barren valley of soft dry earth. Surrounding the flat land are short jagged hillsides covered in dry yellow grass. The sun is out, undisturbed by a single cloud. The light is extremely bright, reflecting off the hillsides with tremendous force and sending up wavering transparent waves from the hot ground. The hillsides are undisturbed by man, not a house or a planted tree rest on its surface. In the valley, a narrow blue river tumbles by, finding its way over small rocks and large boulders.
The singular structure on the flat valley floor is a simple rectangular tent. The temporary structure is 200 feet long and twenty feet wide. The walls, made from a mixture of pale linen and canvas are twenty feet high and meet at a point in the center of the tent, creating a long peak that stretches the length of the tent. The smaller sides of the tent have two open spaces in the shape of an over-sized door. A cool breeze runs between the two ends.
Inside the tent is the warm yellow light of the diffused sun, it is calm and quiet within. Cut from the fabric on the long sides are square holes for windows, there are fifteen on each side of the long structure. The windows are wide open to the elements outside. Along both long walls is a single row of wooden chairs that face each other. The arrangement leaves plenty of room in the center, creating a wide aisle of fine dirt that has been covered in maroon rugs with intricate patterns of blue and yellow.
In the chairs are women and men, most of them under thirty, their skin taut and pale. The women are wearing dresses made of silk and satin. Their skirts are fluffy and their necklines dip deep, revealing cleavage and bare soft necks that are caressed in fallen curls. The men among them wear tailored pants in pale patterns and small form-fitting vests and flowing white shirts with ruffled collars and cuffs.
One third of the way down from the front entrance, a king of the people sits in the simple wooden chair. He is built like a large bear. He is wide and tall and is formidable in his thick dark cloak made of fur and velvet. He sits looking forward and stoic, his left hand is on his knee, the other hand is on the armrest. A young woman to his left repeatedly nudges her long Semitic nose into his chest.
In the distance, by the river, the sound of townspeople creates a murmur. There are the sounds of excited women and men and screeching young children. Only their voices reveal their location. They shout their jeers and insults at no one in particular.