Flight, 1.D.4, 300 words

In that flesh and sky, rose and blue intersection, the palpable flood of color in the valley, Twill sees only the man’s back. The soft light around it illuminates footprints in the chalk leading away from the arcade, stopping at the building pad, and continuing out to the road. He remains visible far out where the road bends down to buttonhook the tail of the mountain range on a route to where the glow swelled that night. Twill emerges from the trees to retrieve his belongings and follow the man before the night manager materializes to detain the both of them. The door to room ONE is ajar from the other man’s flight. Shameful acts happen quickly, thoughtlessly. Darkness falls from the jamb onto the thin chalk breezed over the arcade. It is sweltering and eerie in silence. The room might say something. He activates the air conditioner and the walls immediately are damp. After collecting his things out of the order of the room the discrepancy of a man laying there startles him. By sight he cannot say the shape is a man. Tail twisted sheet, to softened belt, to a shirt of Twill’s from the closet niche, returning to sheet from shadows emerging to complete the lashing of the ankles. Similarly cinched hoops section off the body into four billows that each lap against the sheet as from a distinctly different man. It doesn’t have a face within the contours of its outcropping from the mattress, yet the sheet is tucked below its erstwhile chin. If not a man, it once was, recently. The inverted power of the effigy is that it needs no action or emotion, simply its form, to haunt. Now discovered, on that fleeing man the transit of guilt from this malignant shadow must fall.

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