In the Shards of Night

Character: A Distillation

Characters are projected into one or more dimensions; they are flat or round. Through them speaks their history, their nature and disposition. They are protean and changeable and change they do. They can be trusted insofar as they are trustworthy. Their acts and clothes speak as loud as their words and their words sometimes agree, sometimes disagree with one another; sometimes a whole horde conspires against a rebel in the ranks. They have friends and associations, families and affiliations. They are ranked and reputed, commended and slandered. They were raised within a culture with aspirations and thus aspire to belong and escape. They find themselves within conflicts; wittingly or unwittingly, they prod forward the skein of thread as it unwinds towards the end.

A Wretched Old Dear

You’ve got to understand. She’s very accident-prone. I wouldn’t wanna be her, facing a mishap every day. Like, this time, she was looking for her kid. It was nowhere to be found. Then she was hanging the laundry to dry and this washed little body rolls out of a wet towel, pale like the morning. A freak of an accident.

Hmm…

No, I mean – and that was some years back – she was doing the spring clean-up or something. And, you know, shifting this and that, she caught her kid between the kitchen table and a radiator.

What, the same kid?

No! This was little Tom. Dead. Insane.

Hmm…

Then again, she was ironing when the landline rang. She skipped off to pick it up, and her kid stayed behind. It tripped on a cord or something and the searing hot iron knocked it out. It blacked out, the iron flat on its chest, burning a hole through its tummy. It breathed its last with the steaming-hot iron burning through it.

Prone to accident, true say.

No, no, no… Listen. This time, her kid–

What, another one?

Yeah.

Jesus. She’s like a rabbit.

Yeah. Listen, this time, her kid, Jimmy, that is, was capering in the bedroom wardrobe. You know what they say, Don’t hang around the hangers, or something. Anyways, she looked for him everywhere. Like, literally everywhere. Well, all she found was this luckless corpse; a plastic hanger – snapped in halves – sticking out of his eye. And then, her kid – the one before this one – was pottering about while she was making some salad or other – you know, cucumbers, radishes and all that. Anyways, the knife slipped out of her hand and the kid happened to be there; caught it in its nape – a clean cut. Dead on the spot like a pisce.

Shit.

Yeah.

Sounds like coming out of that vagina is a kiss of death.

That’s what I’m saying. She’s been through such a lot, a pitiful lot.