Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Falling Sky

Sylvester stood at the side of the square, amongst the throngs of people. He watched a man carrying a briefcase, hurrying along. Sylvester quickened his pace and caught up with the man, and whilst marching side by side asked him if he could just stop him a moment and explain something to him. The man, continuing to rush along explained that he was “most busy” and had no time to spare.

“No time to spare” pondered Sylvester. How strange that a man so efficient as to rush everywhere had no time to spare? He decided it was best to change tact and he noticed a young woman sitting peacefully on a bench, as though she had all the time in the world. He walked over and took a seat next to her, and she looked up with a furrowed brow, suggesting she was uncomfortable in the presence of her new found companion.

“Excuse me, may I just speak with you for a second” enquired Sylvester in his polite tone. The woman reached down for her bag, picked it up and then left, condemning Sylvester with a withering glance as he walked away. He watched as she took up a seat on an unoccupied bench across the square and continued to glare at Sylvester as though he had wronged her somehow.
Sylvester regrouped and turned around to see a jovial man casually strolling along and laughing. He called out to the man.

“Excuse me, have you got a minute?”

The man shook his head and gestured that he was speaking on his mobile telephone. Sylvester slumped back into the bench, saddened by the fact that nobody had been able to allow him the time to warn them. He looked up at the dark sky, and noted that the eyes of all the masses of people scurrying through the square were pointed directly in front of them, watching where they were going, and navigating through the bodies.

He looked out across the landscape in front of him. The birds were no longer singing in the branches, though the flower beds by the monument were vibrant and alive, perhaps more so than ever. The trees swayed in their constant vigil, watching over those who marched below them.

A few feet away he noticed an old man, a wrinkled and bald artist, stood behind his easel, also looking up at the sky. He was taking great care to match the colours on his canvas to those he was seeing above him. A sudden calm fell over Sylvester as he watched, the patience and attentiveness of the old man soothed him.

The painter mopped his brow and smiled at Sylvester, then came to sit next to him on the bench.

“You know, I tried to warn them that the sky was falling, that the clouds had burst into flames but...” Sylvester started with despair.

The old man nodded and smiled.

“But they have more important things to attend to?” he grinned.

- A first draft of a short story I am currently working on.

©2009 Copyright Daniel J. Fiasco