Spying, 1.D.3, 500 words

Down the arcade room TWO is boarded over. Light weeping from around the curtain of room ONE comingles and is lost in the waves from the office window. In front of the shadow rendered on the wall above the night manager’s counter the milky serge form of a man stands. Halted in its emergence at the solidity of a wretched gray cobweb dappled over the shadow Twill hazards to approach the glass. He avoids focus on the form lest it bloom into itself fully. What is vaguely the night manager is bisected and minced by shadows cast by the blinds. The afterimage bears a continuous ineffectual watch. Twill creeps down the arcade. He kneels at his room and presses to the window at the vent between curtain and sash. The beige wall is distant through sick atmosphere. A blend of amorphous shadows on the wall wave in syrupy pseudopods. Their overlapping edges grow slightly darker as if the occulting body is translucent and should not be casting a shadow at all. A chance undulation catches the hem of the curtain up and the erect man stands before a lamp with a thin blanket over him and hanging from his arms billowing. A heap of blankets and cushions trembles on the floor at his feet. The man places his boot upon the heap and kneels into its yielding flesh. The curtain drops and flits up again flickering like this. His hands hook from behind the cape and draw it up his back into a twisted strap that he subdues the increasing convulsions of the heap beneath. Each end he ties to a chair leg. The shadow grotesque on the wall is constantly visible but illegible. The main figure of the man moves about the room growing larger or smaller and more diffused. The air conditioner breathes. Whining twirls through the whir like an animal exhaling from empty lungs. The mercury lamps in the court flutter out. Twill runs back to a low growth of piñon pines above the office. Breeze wags the black needles. Some old radiated fluorescence traces across the surface of the black wax on the bark and disappears. The whining softens to measured whispering with syllables. Twill sponges the ledge of his upper gums with the tip of his tongue to taste the wind. The desert is silent. The whisper, air conditioner, wind and distant groan of the dunes yield to the tumble and click of the door to room ONE. The silhouette of the erect man walks in the arcade. Warm milk filaments cast onto the chalk from the open door shimmer through the piñon. Twill scans for daylight wisps stringing through from beyond the mountains lest he be outed to the man. The needles click. Veiled crackling slips from the cones. Silver remains silver. The man walks the other direction down the arcade. The stars dim in a long swoon as a brief livid hush just nods from the mountains washing the men separately into morning.

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