|Magpie Writing Prompt. Image by Sarolta Ban|
He was late for work. He knew it was going to be one of those days. The razor suddenly was nothing but dull blades slicing through cream covered skin, empty coffee can, overflowing toilet, and then just as things could not get worse, the trash bag fell apart on his freshly dry cleaned suit.
“Great. What next?” he wondered as he looked up at the ceiling.
He was now even more late for work, doubting he’d ever make it there alive.
With torn bits of tissue on his face, double bagged trash in hand and a fresh new change of clothes, he dared to step out the door wondering what great tragedy may be around the corner.
Around that corner is where he saw his bus go by. Looking at his watch, he knew that was the last express bus to town. Cussing his sleepy suburb and its limited bus schedule, he started the 2-mile walk to the nearest train station. At least the train always ran on time like clockwork.
If he ran, he knew he could clear the 2 miles in less than 15 minutes. Did he really need to add sweat to his list of miseries? Being already late, he decided a leisurely walk just may help turn his day around. He walked like a man on a Sunday stroll without worries. He forgot, or managed to put on hold, thoughts about the layoffs and last night’s arguments with his wife. He was, for now, just a man taking a walk.
He noticed the cracks in the sidewalk and wondered when the deterioration began. He stopped at the local coffee shop and for the first time agreed to trying the Flavor of the Day. He never tasted The Amazon Elixir. Sipping his coffee, he decided it just may become his favorite. With a sprinkle of cinnamon he could close his eyes and hear drums and chanting. The feeling warmed him.
He felt chills, a tingle making its way up his spine. “I should make an appointment for that annual physical I’ve been putting off…” He shook his head and slowed his pace.
As if in a trance he forgot about work. Schedules and obligations were a thing of the past. He walked and walked. He felt drawn. Compelled. Called upon. He heard his name. Like a whisper in the breeze. The chills increased. He shivered. Sweat soaked his clothes. The breeze now had a rhythm. His name being repeated. Over and over. But oh so slow. He was no longer sure of it. Sure if it was his name he heard. Again and again. He felt the need to shake his head once more.
The breeze calling his name – singing his air – was warm. It smelled like what he imagined the Amazon Elixir should smell like. Enticing. Promising. He followed its breath straight down the cracked sidewalk. The boulevard became a road, which became an alley, which ended at a brick wall. He looked up and saw her, face to face with his breeze and now he heard his name loud and clear.
The wall was covered in spray paint. The graffiti was not signed. He did not know the artist, but he knew the subject. He had been sleeping next to her for more than 15 years. Seeing her. Smelling her. Hearing her. Those eyes, that energy like a raw emotion could only mean one thing.
Who painted this and how could he regain that look which was once reserved exclusively for him? He now knew his mission. He knew all that mattered was to win that look back.