Monday, 29 December 2008
The devil's hand
The silver coin weighed him down, played on his conscience. Neil’s grey hair, was parted and greasy and flopping into his face as he stared down at the mugshot of capitalism. It eyed him coolly in return as a magic mirror, almost smirking remembering the spinning lies and the possible future it had once shown him.
He tossed the coin away then, as the thunder rumbled in the hills behind the city. There would be a flood, soon, but not that day. The rains never reached the city until late summer, but the devil walked freely there.
So Neil saw it: the evil twists of his life’s story. He guessed at a sinister edge of dark magic being accountable for his wretched decline in wealth and status. Perhaps men like Neil refuse to see the truth in such situations, for to see the truth would be to accept blame, to understand one’s own fallibility and take blame for one’s own actions and the outcome of their risks.
So Neil kicked on through the black heart of a city that seemed dead, now that trading hours had ceased. And there, he found himself; his head repeatedly pressing itself up against the tastefully lit windows of designer stores.
He saw the devil, there. Somewhere between Buddha and baby it laughed at him in its perverse infant nudity, all red and burning. Behind it lay the stuff of temptation and greed and pride.
And, from its nascent sulphurous palm, Neil struggled to climb free.