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Old 09-15-2009, 05:17 AM
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Tau (Offline)
Solemn Simulacrum
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Well I woke up this morning with some inspiration, and now more hours later then I would like I have finished this little short story, I just hope I am in time and that it is not utter rubbish.

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The Silent Watcher

People pass by every day and never notice, on their way from somewhere to somewhere, from nowhere to everywhere, always hurrying by. Regardless of the season people never stopped, never even paused to look. Only children, in their way cared and noticed, usually it was no more than a “Bye-bye Stone man”, as their parents dragged them along.

The Stone man; he had always been there. Just like the backer at the corner and the streetlight that never worked. He was just another thing in a place worthy of no thought. His face as forgettable as yesterday’s weather or tomorrow’s dream; ancient eyes gazing across the road at the slowly dying park. Left arm hanging loosely by his side. Hand clasped as if to hold something that disappeared longer ago. Right hand holding a long thin staff, the end slightly sharpened, pointing towards the heavens. A cape of moss grew on his back and side, a coat of green on a body of stone.

A cold north wind was blowing throw the street, whirling discarded rubbish across a deserted land. Grey clouds hanging heavily in the sky banishing daylight before its time. As the gloom descends and streetlight flickers faintly all is eerily silent. Far of a car can be heard rushing along a motorway. A dog barks at a passer-by a street away. The night passes slowly, a church bell struck each hour, echoing across the empty road. The Stone man stood, gazing at the shadow drenched park. A swing was slowly moving, bushed by the wind, each time the rusted chain creaked as if in pain. The bell rings out again; twelve times, its echo bathed the night.

A drunken shout, followed by several more disrupt the nightly peace. At the southern end of the street about a dozen figures staggered into view. A cloud of alcoholic stench billowed out from them. Only three were still sober enough to shepherd the others around parked cars, lampposts, a post box and a public bin by the park gate. One who was not as far gone as the rest stopped and stared across the street and held up an empty bottle, and bellowed in a drunken rage.

“You there bugger off this is my beer.”

The silent stranger just continued looking at the park and did not answer. With great effort and needing a swig from the empty bottle, the drunk made it across.

“I don’t like you, whad you staring at?”

Again he received no answer. Taking careful aim at the head, he threw a punch, hitting nought but empty air, just about level with the silent figure’s knee. The others where watching with growing amusement. Gathering his coordination for another punch he aimed for the stomach this time, the head had proven too difficult.

By a miracle, he actually made contact with the Stone man’s abdomen; for a moment he just stood there. Then the stupor laced brain realised what was going on. Taking a wobbly step back and howling with pain, he dropped his precious bottle to clutch his throbbing hand with the other. Splinters of glass scattered form where the bottle had found the ground.

Taking another step back to charge the offender, the drunk found an uneven object below his left foot. Before he could find a better place to stand, he found himself gazing at the stars, a sudden pain in both head and back. Another howl trickled out as the brain fell through the last stages of shutting down. Across the road the group had stumbled on in a direction they thought was home.

Silence had but a short time to itself before a shadow stumbled into the flickering street light. Her red dress stained with dirt, her right foot bare, its shoe and sock left behind. Stumbling across the road she knelt by the oblivious body. A quick rummage trough the pockets produced a mobile. In the flickering light she could not find the right buttons. Behind her another figure stumbled from the dark.

“Hey girl, don’t run we haven’t had any fun yet”

He called out while walking in an almost straight line, ready to cross the road, only swaying once or twice. The glow from the phone faded as the battery gave up its life; it should have been recharged long ago.

In Desperation the girl tried again, to no susses proceeding to then throw the phone at her pursue. Scrambling up to flee her foot tread on the remains of the Bootle. The sharp intake of breath from the pain got cut short as an arm grabbed her from behind.

“Hey girl lets play a game”

The other hand covered her mouth as he spun her around. Struggling to free herself her foot brushed across more shards. In desperation and pain she bit down. He let go instantly and she fell backwards towards the ground. The taste of blood was almost the last thing she noticed as darkness closed in, but just before it claimed her there was a thud, following which her attacker collapsed in on himself.

Some time later light flickered above, predawn mist had gathered. Getting up slowly she glanced around; just left of here lay her attacker, apparently lifeless. After finding her feet she could not bear to linger and hurried away. Glancing back from the corner she saw the other drunk had gone; his useless phone still lay where it had landed. Her gaze swept over the Stone man and hesitated for the briefest moment. The Stone man’s right arm was still holding his spear while his right hand was clenched into a fist.

Thus stands the Stone man, worn by age and weather, gazing across the eons, unnoticed and forgotten, just the occasional child that would say “Bye-bye”.

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