The Dying Light
I often lie awake at night, wondering if the
uncommon events which I am about to relate actually
happened. Rendered insomniac by their recollection,
I feel as though troubled by the remnants of an
unsettling dream, rather than by the memory of an
all too real misfortune. For who could fathom such
terrible tidings arriving on the wings of
The image of the sunset that day seared into my
memory, never to be forgotten. I had never had
cause to call a sunset evil before, but that
day taught me the meaning of "the dying of the
light." Shredded clouds caught the blood-red glow
of the sun's last rays, oozing like ragged wounds
in the heavens. I snapped away with my SLR,
thinking I might have some saleable sunset photos
here, never imagining what the celluloid would
reveal. A flock of pigeons flew across my field of
view, silhouetted black against the dramatic light
show. The shutter whirred as I composed shot after
shot, using the birds as contrast against the
bright subject of my photography.
As suddenly as the pigeons had appeared, they
were gone. In their place, a cold wind picked up,
seeming to blow the very light out of the sky. In
no time, all color had bled away, leaving nothing
but dusky clouds between the day's last gasp and
true darkness. I quickly put my camera away, turned
my collar up and moved for my car.
"Hope you enjoyed it."
I stumbled, the sudden voice startling me. From
behind a dumpster, a bum stuck a curled tongue
through his toothless grin. The sickly sweet smell
of Mad Dog 20/20 wafted in my direction as the
grizzled man spoke again. "That was the last one,
you know. This is it."
I ignored the intrusion. As I got into my car, I
heard him cackling to himself. "This is it! This is
shit! Hee hee!" Driving away, I caught a last
glimpse of him in the rear view mirror as he thrust
his hands skyward like a marathon runner crossing
the finish line. Writing him off as yet another
crazy homeless person, I thought no more of
himuntil I developed my photos.
To be continued?
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