Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Destination

From behind the desk she watched cars pass the bare tree on the street corner. They turned this way and that or drove straight by under a thick grey sky. It was the tinted windows that lent the appearance of density, as if at any moment thick white flakes might start drifting down like dust motes shaken from a musty blanket although it was only in the low 40’s outside. From inside the brightly lit office the world was colored and slightly distorted. The tree stood on the corner in sharp relief with its surroundings, its edges like cut glass.
Maybe it was the tree that made her decide to leave; or the weather, the oppressive ceiling under which she lived. Possibly it wasn’t a choice she made. She was sitting at someone else’s desk doing someone else’s job. She excelled at the efficient mediocrity required to slip in and out of other’s offices and leave the space unchanged, the routine unaltered. It was the only outstanding facet of her life.
She might have seen the road running flat and straight before her, narrowing to the horizon line and vanishing. She might have felt the instinctive tug to get off but would never have recognized it. The major flaw of her character was a lack of self-interest and imagination. Did she know that she hated temp work? Of course. Did she care? Did she ever dream of another life? A different life?
At the moment there was no emotion except for an odd affection for the bare tree on the corner being passed indifferently by the motorists of the city. It began to look softer, less substantial, as if you could run your fingertips over the branches and ruffle them like the fringe on a scarf. Standing sharply against this quiet blur was the last leaf clinging to a branch in the center of the mass, fiercely red against the tinted grey air.
Behind her reality, on the edges of her mind and almost out of sight was a dense forest. It was winter here as well, cold and damp. The air was heavy with a snap of green and the pungent scent of earth settled in the back of her throat. Light bolted through the canopy spotlighting the path in front of her, which was thick with ferns and roots like giants’ hands gripping the earth as flakes of snow spun lazily down.
She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t blink or she would shatter. How did the world tilt and change while you were sitting at a desk looking at a bare tree on a winter afternoon? Now reality was distilled to details as the vision vanished. The clock on the desk was ticking one second off from the clock in the conference room across the hall. The fingers on her right hand were colder than those on her left. There were tiny blue flecks in the corporate grey of the carpet. The tip of her nose itched.
At five o’clock she shut down the computer and phone system, gathered her purse and coat and made her way silently through the corridor. As she stepped outside she was shocked by the brightness of the afternoon, the crystalline air and crispness of the faded grass. Under the tree she stood and waited not noticing the few who noticed her as they made their way to cars, to houses. The red leaf, struck through with the fire of the setting sun was high above her head and completely out of reach. She did not think it would fall, did not imagine a scenario in which she would ever touch it. When the fire inside it faded she turned and made her way to her nondescript sedan.
All that was needed to complete her escape was the realization that she was not bound.

Everything was simple and clear in her mind.
Drive west and north.

Breathe.

5 comments:

The CEO said...

I liked it. But I know almost nothing about creative writing. Why not write to Hears and Open Grove Claudia and tell them about this site. They are fabulous writers and can give you the feed back you deserve!

EsLocura said...

very nice, good images. and HA! I will be back for more : )

WNG said...

Thanks guys. I've been lazy about posting here, but I'm on it! There will be more at least once a week as soon as I can nail down a schedule.

CEO- I'm not quite sure I'm ready to advertise...

Villager said...

I hope that you start your creative blogging again. In any case, I've added your blog to the Black Blog Rankings that I publish on the 1st of each month. Your blog, The Flipside, is currently BBR #1038...

peace, Villager

aoc gold said...

The Naughty Boy

There was a naughty boy,

And a naughty boy was he,

He ran away to Scotland

The people for to see

Then he found
That the ground

Was as hard,

That a yard

Was as long,

That a song

Was as merry,

That a cherry

Was as red,

That lead

Was as weighty,

That fourscore

Was as eighty,

That a door

Was as wooden

As in England
So he stood in his shoes

And he wonder'd;

He stood in his shoes

And he wonder'd.

-----by aoc gold