Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A murderous planet

"He cried in a whisper at some image - he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath" Joesph Conrad Heart of Darkness.

My cigarette was almost burned through. I took one last inhale, drawing in the nicotine and smoke. The cancer stick was one of my many vices. My vices were beginning to add up I thought as I threw the butt on the ground. It smoldered on the tarmac in the alley behind the restaraunt. I looked up into the sky. The moon was out and full, basking Berkeley in a luminous glow. Even with the moon high hanging in the sky the alleway was still dark. I could make out the rough images of a few parked cars near oxford street, and an apartment light above the building next to the restaraunt. I watched my butt slowly fade out and then walked back into the upper terrace of the patio.

The restaraunt was originally a horse stable and was composed of a two floored main building, a small patio, and two subsidary buildings that served as kitchens. One of the auxillary kitchens hosted a pannini shop during the day, at night and when it was busy management would open up the kitchen and fire up the oven for the main businesses customers. At this time of night there was no need for the secondary kitchen, nor for the first. There were still a few stragglers in the main building. Their conversation drifted out into the patio.

I let my eyes adjust from the dark of the alleyway and to the row of lights hanging in the patio. As my pupils shifted from the dark I noticed movement to my left. A figure emerged from the keg room area. The keg room was attached to the sandwhich shop kitchen, but had its own entrance. The figure wobbled out drunkenly. Instinctively I manuevered to intercept the shadow. With each step it was becoming more clear. The frame filled out showing a mid sized stocky man with light blonde hair. He was clunching his side. He wore a thin white shirt and black pants. The white shirt looked dirty, especially below his rib cage. He tightly held his side as he staggered forward. My feet became lighter as I stopped him from moving anymore.

"Its okay Mike," I said recognizing my coworker Mike Kanbergs.

He choked softly, then looked at me. His eyes opened wide. His pupils dilated and he vomited a small amount of blood upwards. Accompany the clogged sound from his throat came a cry. His eyes narrowed. I held him hard. He pushed at me with a dying weakness. His eyes lost their focus but remained open as his body went limp. I let him slide to the ground. The brown of his shirt spread. I noticed that his hands were covered in a dark red blood.

"Shit," I said. I stared for a while at his corpse then drew in three deep breaths. I thought of a forest, a row of pine trees perfectly planted. The trees reached towards the heavens. The ground was covered in pine needles. My nose was filled with the raw earthy scent of the underbrush and dirt. I walked inside.

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