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Those Who Speak

Posted by BKS | No comments
Prelude – The Awakening, October 16, 1637 The morning of their final day arrived biting and redolent of the smoke from the night’s nearly-dead fires. ...

Those Who Speak

Posted by BKS | 1 comment
I. My grandmother once said to me, “There are those who speak about what happened, and there are those who do not.” And when prompted to elaborate, ...

Payback

Trevor Halprin sat alone and silent in his car in front of the building. A light mist coated the windshield and the only sound was the faint ticking of the cooling engine. He’d lived in Brooklyn his entire life, but he had never before been in this area of the city. It was a complex of unremarkable single story buildings near the Fort Hamilton Promenade, just east of the Verrazano Bridge. There were a few other cars parked up and down the long street, but no one walking around, a mildly unsettling thing anyplace in New York City. Trevor had been given an appointment time of 4:00 p.m. and instructed not to be too early or too late. But he was nearly half an hour early, since he’d been uncertain of directions. So he sat and he ...

Bedtime

With a brush of my hand I turn the light to darkness. And in that moment, as all the images fade to black, what remains are the bits and pieces my mind has saved up all day for just this moment. Pictures and stories that stumble about, keeping me awake. A panoply of visions and dreams that shun the light of day, but now dance about like newly wakened vampires, only to melt away with the first hint of ...

As I Fade Away

I was there for a time, until I was not. But in that moment between the there and the not there, something arose, almost like a feeling. Or at least I thought that was what it was. Only now, in hindsight, I cannot but wonder if perhaps what I mistook for feeling was not instead something instinctual, beyond my control. Like certain organisms drawn toward light or warmth. That would explain a lot. The ease of it all. The painlessness of slipping ...

The Antique Shop

A couple of blocks east of Jackson Square, in New Orleans’ French Quarter, wedged into a narrow alley abutting St. Louis Cathedral, stood a small single-story antique emporium called The Alcove. The building, viewed head-on, appeared a bit twisted and of dubious structural integrity, in the same manner as certain ancient pubs in remote English townships. You had to push hard on the front door to get it to open. On the rare occasions when someone did so, a small bell affixed to the top of the door would tinkle brightly, conveying positivity that a subsequent look about the place would promptly cast doubt upon. Mere words could not do justice to the interior of The Alcove, but if they could, they would include words like hodgepodge, ...

The Fletcher Legacy

Monday, January 12, 1903, 8:45 p.m. Conrad Fletcher lay dead, or seemingly so, on the floor of his capacious upstairs library. A crystal highball glass lay unbroken beside him, its contents spilt out and soaked into the carpet on which Fletcher lay. Oddly, none of the assembled guests leapt to the aid of the stricken man. Instead they simply stood about the library, a few looking at Fletcher, but most making a point of not looking at him, as though either seeking some measure of plausible deniability or perhaps expecting others to do whatever was appropriate to the situation. At last, however, Giles Prescott knelt beside Fletcher’s prostrate form and leaned in closely, his hand, then his ear to the fallen man’s mouth. After a moment so ...

Rendezvous

Mirabelle weeps with the coming of dawn. She does not know why. Nor does the dawn. She knows only that she smiles upon the rising sun each morning, and it smiles back, but with a glow reserved and pleasing, saving its harsh glare for later, for those unfortunates crossing open desert or bearing life’s great burdens.   For now the morning is only Mirabelle and her sun. Each morning they meet this way, not because she has anywhere to be so early, but because there is no one else in her life who lifts her up like this, who makes her face glow and imbues her with warmth. And yes, Mirabelle weeps, but it is not the weep of sadness. No, she sheds her tears for the emerging day, and for the joy of a love once only dreamt of, but now made ...

Arrival

It is months, brother. Months we’ve been at this. Nigh on a year even. And are we any closer? We have searched every nook, every dark corner, only there’s no way out.   Indeed, brother, the search is long, arduous, and yet even now there appears in the distance a pure white light that may be our salvation. Lead on, brother and I shall be fast behind. For have I ever left your side throughout our long travail?   Push on. We shall yet be free. Only, Jesus, the light it blinds. And the hands that draw us from the darkness, while oh so cold, seem also to welcome and nurture, as though searching, brother, searching for us all ...

Free-fall

It was none of my doing. After all, what did I know? Only that it was my turn, my place and time. A chance to blaze a trail, carve my mark on the face of it. But no one told me how or what or even why. No manuals were provided. I was simply flung from the precipice, out into space with all the rest. And now, as I fall, I do what I can to make a difference, change a life, create something where there was nothing. All the while glancing down at the fast-approaching bottom, redoubling my effort to finish what I started, so that later, when another passes by, they will know I was ...