Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dead Reckoning: Upon a Midnight Clear

(Quick note: I intended to create a separate blog for fiction but for simplicity everything will be to this blog for now)

    It was an indigo clear night with with a fat belly of a full moon hanging low in the sky. Stars shimmered like too much glitter on a kid's art project as the North Star shone above like God's scornful eye. It was cold; made even colder by gloves with torn fingers, scavenged jackets, moth eaten socks, and no fires to burn.
    Couldn't light a fire, they would see it. The dead always did.
    Weeks past, as Autumn's iron month of November gasped into December, some poor bastards lit a rooftop fire. Half of Boston's dead stormed it like the Bastille. So no fires.
    It wasn't all bad. Across rooftops shadows moved, flashlights flickered in Morse code on the hour, and a community was born. Every week there were fewer flashlights; rooftop shadows lumbered instead of walked, and names learned were forgotten.
      Half a dozen shadows moved across the silver lit nightscape. Jokes flashed through Morse. Boots stomped, hands were flexed, and beneath the rooftop village a city of staggering death.
    A quick flash from Janice atop the Reilly Liquor store: midnight. Another series of flashes: happy Pearl Harbor Day.
   The community flashed in respect. Heads were bowed for those grandfathers and friends that died back then. The mind wandered to all the dead below, walking and non walking, the amalgam of a country and a people that was...and never will be.
    Lights stopped. Silver darkness and distant groans became the night. Then over the dead came a harmonic wail. Confused heads cocked. The deep screech of a saxophone wailed like a mourning widow. Then an answering note blared through the cold air as a trumpet joined. Trumpet and sax, brothers in melody, cried out to the night in a mournful dirge. Heads lowered as "Taps" played. The soulful wail warmed hearts, forced tears, and brought forth memories of those below once alive.
    The pair played on. No one saw the dead swarm like agitated ants. The band played on until the song ended. Tears froze. Hands wiped eyes and nose.
     Then the pair played, deep, mournful; they wailed through souls as  "Amazing Grace" haunted the night. Hearts swelled. Stars twinkled through tear blind eyes. Some noticed the dead below. Flashlights flickered in frantic warning. The pair played on.
     The music sailed across the night on the wings of angels, spreading throughout the silent Necropolis.  Distant shadows, deep in the city, moved on far away roofs. Clicks echoed as upper story windows were thrown open.
    A crash boomed as the door to the player's building smashed in. A distant gunshot rang out from a neighboring roof. Then another from a different building. The rooftop sentries tried, but the swarm flooded into the building. Moments in dread froze as all waited. But the band played on.
    Then the saxophone silenced mid note.
    There was no scream, no shout.
    Then the trumpet went mute. Dead shadows surged across the roof where once two had dared to live. Some watched. Others turned away. None who heard would ever forget.

     It was an indigo clear night with a fat belly of a full moon...

1 comment:

  1. Great descriptions...also, I really like the concept of the roof top community using flashlights and morse code to communicate. :)