Lurking in the underbrush

The hush of steaming eyes grown cold and still in the growling darkness; retiring out of all sight into the dim and drear alcoves and interstices of voluminous artistry. To wit: when the curtain draws itself apart and all the mechanics and industrial gears are exposed in all their shrieking, clanking, everyone hides their ears for shame and clutches them so carefully still to keep the hard sound from entering. A small child hides among the clacking, spinning gears. Why isn?t she crunched and mawled by those biting teeth? Why doesn?t she bleed and break from being bit and torn by metal? Why doesn?t rust coat her back and head? She is silent; she is still. All the metal teeth just pass her by. I lack the words to describe the shade of calm which shines out of her pale gray eyes; to pin down the smooth caution with which she leaps from giant metal tooth to gleaming spinning geartop. Mighty as they are, they cannot touch her. They do not fill her with dread or deep despair. She does not fear them for they are unaware, crunching out their timefilled metres.

But what do these others think as they stare out from the darkest dark? With their pinhole eyes shining from the projected-then-reflected light? Is that a tear strolling down a wide expanse of cheek and chin? In the darkness, there are coughs and chuckles, groans and creaks from ancient chairs. Eyeglasses further refract and focus the light. Where might anyone stop these days when all the phantom hands reach up to push these spectacles up the slippy noses? They must be sad; a deep sigh breathes forth and all are caught among the tines of it. What makes them sigh so? What makes the woman with the feathered hat weep in the stillness of the night? What dark neurochemicals wash over her brain or explode in dire unseen brilliance to keep her staring, waiting? What makes the man with shaven head scratch out his name a thousand times into the waiting bark of all the parkways elms? What timeless loss does he fear when all his names are dust in ash in the unforeseeable future? In spite of these brief glimpses, no one seems to make any sense at all, just whirling around in their prefigured roles. What cold comfort does this bring to us, as we sit in darkness watching light?

And still this girl, this elfin spritely figure, leaps from gear to cog. Her teeth glash in the metallic, artificial light. She?s got the works mapped out from car to ear and down to the depths of all the ropes and pulleys lurching deep earthstuff from the bowels of it. Her feet are barefoot too, covered with deep red rust. Her red prints pattern her past journeys. What will they watch when she vanishes? When a tearful gasp tears me away from my pondering, staring solemn at back of chair, I look to see her swinging from chain to chain. Her thin arms and fingers seem too thin to keep her from spiralling into destruction. A dark ululation arises from her mouth and I can feel them tensing all around me, even as the chairarms press hard beneath my fingers. What could she possibly gain from such folly? Her cry reminds me of a falcon?s cry when it spots its running prey. I imagine its cold dark eyes seeing violently and cringe.

Time turns upside down. All the clocks are running down. All the clocks in the world are pouring their lifesblood into this test of folly.

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