Jamie, if you read this, PM me when you post your next thingymajig.

Tales of Tall Shadows: How He Ceased To Be {A Prologue}

The man from Dijon is in fact from Bologna. But no one believed him when he said so. No one believes a foreigner. Now he rushes along pavements across the city desperately trying to convince the populace of his true origins, but they take no heed. He says a name is but a name and holds no truth. He runs to Barbara and he exclaims that she is no foreigner, but he just scares her off, and she runs away from him. He tries to call out in vain but it’s no use, she’s not listening now. Well, she never was.

He sits on a bench in a park, writing down his musings. He writes in a foreign language, not because he is foreign, but because his musings are private, for now. He may one day translate them for the world to know what goes on in the head of a troubled man, but right now, he is content to keep them all to himself. He’s not selfish, he just has low self-esteem.

So, day after day, he’ll sit on the same bench and write, about anything. Whatever comes into his head, he’ll write on paper. It could be philosophical thoughts about why he exists, and why anyone exists; they could be thoughts of his past; they could be erotic thoughts, stuff of wild fantasy, taboos. He’s written it all and more already.

He was walking to his bench in the morning when he noticed something peculiar. The street to the left, which ran past the entrance to the park, was cordoned off. There were many police cars and ticker-tape flayed in the breeze as it stretched across the road. There was an ambulance, and beside that, there was a makeshift tent, or what looked like one from where he was standing. He went to ask a policeman what was happening but he was spat in the face. There was a small crowd to his right, so he joined them, asking what was happening. No one knew, or no one wanted to tell him. In his frustration, he ducked under the tape and began to walk towards the entrance to the park. The policeman who spat on him grinned malevolently and began to follow him. The man from Dijon/Bologna turned his head to where he was going and quickened his pace, until he felt the blow to the back of his head. He hit the ground hard, and just before he lost consciousness, he could see the tent. It was actually a divider which blocked the view from the public. It was blocking a body, lying in a twisted heap on the tarmac. He knew right away who it was. The profundity struck him so hard it would’ve knocked him off his feet if he were not already on the ground. Three tall shadows were standing over his dead body. They seemed to turn to view his immaterial self by the side of the road.

He gingerly rose to his feet and turned around to see the policeman who struck him and spat on his face have an incredulous look about him. È scomparso! he was saying, È scomparso!

He turned towards his real inanimate body once more and the shadows were drifting towards an alleyway. They slowed, stopped, and turned towards him. They seemed to be calling him forward, to follow them into the alley. Hesitantly, he obliged. And still he could hear the insane ramblings of the policeman, the wailing…the screaming.