Featuring the triumphant return of Wavelength…!
And the return of the archive…!
And the return of the cross-post…!
She stood anxiously before him as he sat on the step, her head bowed, warm almost strawberry hair hiding her expression. Around her neck a red winter scarf trailed despite the summer heat and over her shoulders she wore a nondiscript grey hoody, almost Jack Wills but not quite.
Her feet were awkward in trainers, box pleat skirt moving gently with her movements as she shifted her feet and diamond patterened Tabio tights unwillingly drawing his eyes down.
About his ears, the curl of his dirty blond hair, he felt a burning sensation of pain, a quiet fire of a truth that could not be denied.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, “I just can’t.”
Reaching out, she took his hand and placed within it the sole token of his misguided affection and then rushed past him, the imposing white front door of her house slamming behind her.
He sat quietly for a moment, token in hand and skateboard at the bottom of the steps and then, his limbs like dead weights, lifted himself up.
Turning he saw an older man at the window of the neighbouring house, reaching with spider leg fingers to push open the window, his blue eyes full of embarrassment and cruelty.
Their eyes met and the boy offered only the gaze of someone caught up in events beyond his understanding, the victim of a natural tragedy.
In the other’s face was a sense of cruel tragedy, a rejoicing in the failure of youth’s tender affection, the reminder of an old scar opened once again and the keen desire to see his own suffering reflected on the world around him.
He turned away and the boy, with nowhere else to go, placed one foot upon his skateboard, pulled his hood up closer around his ears and allowed forward motion, the same sensation that had not carried him forward into the absent girl’s heart, to carry him away with the cracks in the pavements and the setting sun.
The white door of her house remained silent and imposing.
THE EVENING TEA SOCIETY
“A Caucus of Martyrs”
by H.H. NEVILLE
The Year 19xx,
Heavy clouds stagnated like swamp water across the sky; a scummy grey skin settling over the surface. The traveler had watched the skies curiously since he exited the steam engine. Secretly he plotted for rain. Were he much for the folly of his religious youth, he might pray to god. Instead, he left it the hands of science – meteorology to be precise – and diagnosed the symptoms; surely it would rain. When he was proven correct and gaps were punctured through the thin jelly overcast, spilling a gentle tide of dihydrogen monoxide, he craned his neck upward; his lips splitting, satisfied.
The air in his lab was always a suffocating blanket of thick, stifling steam and swarthy, metallic blow off from the messy graveyard of machinery he was known to birth and then frankenstein later; left operating in some crippled existence. It stunk of fried metal and boiled electrical components, no doubt cooked too long.
The world after a virginal rain was a most sweet perfume, something he cherished more than the fragrance of any flower. To say rain had a unique smell all it’s own wouldn’t be true. Instead, it smelled as if all everything had been soaked in a soapy bath with a concentrated extract of Mother Nature; everything fresh, more pure.
He had never been this far north nor this far west, but it reminded him of his compound in Colorado. How he wished to lament his grandiose notions, his damnable tower, which invariably forced him to scuttle the compound and sent him back to New York, for good. Nevertheless, the city and society, sadly, had its conveniences for a man like him. Irregardless, he was determined to enjoy his sojourn completely and spare any moment he might to just take a deep breath.