A salary man dreams of escape (British spelling)
The smell of morning darkness, harsh and black like miner's lung, alarms before the alarm. Kevlar shrouds embrace, many thousands in count - now peeled away, layer by layer, exposing a pale frame. Another cold April Monday, of fifty-two Mondays, of fifty-two years.
Toes, at bed's edge, grip the floor for fear of spinning away. Uncertainty looks up from the bed and pleads - please, just try, just once more.
Don the garb of imprisonment, constrictive and intrusive. It grips like an angry python, discovering no life to extract from her prey.
A mirror, full of length, reflects the medieval gallows, a slipknot on a silk tie, blood brakes to halt at the neck. The King's head is numb but symbolic. Freewill is subdued.
A sentence with no parole, the executioner rubs her thumb along the dull, rusted blade. A blunt instrument offers no release, tired eyes must face another day.
Dead-weight shuffles to the car. Sweeping dials of orange illuminate the funeral mask - shards of cracked plaster litter the floor mats and crunch underfoot.
A soul constrained, it envies the homeless, the strays, the dusty leather gloves in a cardboard box at the neighbourhood lost and found.
The compass points east, horizon impaled by a heartless sun, unchanged since Columbus, questioning the brave and taunting the foolhardy. Tame the edges she screams, or die with honour and valour, torn to pieces in the maw of the Kraken.
Traffic lights wield absolute power, benevolent yet impatient. The machine will decide who stays or goes - it has always been that way. Metal meets flesh - the horses will reign in the riders.
His forty-story Bastille passes quickly on the right - a grimy monument to thirty years of vacuous rowing. Today it goes unseen, ignored, the endless sea beckons - she waits with open arms and liberating depths of mercy.
The last pier before open water is all but invisible in the grey. Deserted, damp and bleak - faux Captains save their entrance for the weekend. Workweek bar-rooms offer vacancy and silence, save for a few dead men.
Stool chosen, the fugitive eyes the landscape, energy all but spent, oxygen low. Cigarette smoke churns, mating with Martian dust. It settles on the red benches, carved and shaped over eons. Closing time is now open. Calls go unanswered on the shiny black phone.
Drizzle strokes the filthy panes of leaded glass, congregating on cracked paint, flooding the sill of the last window to the soul. Grimy water crawls through the cracks and streams down the inside walls, peeling paper from a distant memory.
The cocktails are complete - cold as ice but wrapped with flare.
Debts are paid, courage fortified - car keys pushed across the oak. An overcoat left for charity, black leather shoes sit untied by the stool for a homeless spirit, driven inside by the Hellish storms of desperation and need.
Warped and broken boards corral the rain, no friction to slow the runner. Skate free and barefoot - a giddy child along the blackened corpse of a once-loved carnival pier.
Lands' end. He looks skyward from the broken beams that jut to catch the windswept breakers.
Jettison what might be, as if it never was.
Clearance granted from a tower on high, the horizon beckons - a route to ending or forever.
Toes grip the dock at life's edge. A lone pelican bears silent witness to the grand entrance of entropy - the birth of disintegration, writhing on the beach and ransacking the castles. Order to chaos, particles will melt into waves. No need for Mass, it yields to pure energy from a simple change of mind.
Cold water is forgiving, rinsing the drizzle from the windowpanes and softening the view. Engulfing and consuming - filling each lung with the weightlessness of angels, resting the soul in a cradle of sand.
Choices echo like voices through a coal mine. Go to bed, back to sleep, immersed in deep green comfort and dreams of absolution.