Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mist Magic part 27

The story begins here. The previous week begins here.
As I listened to the droning of the assassin, a tremor shook me; the damp cold had seeped from the ground into my body. The faint sound of tires on a gravel road seeped through the fog and the odd story, which had temporarily engrossed me, fled to the background of my thoughts. I confess that I recall no more of it from this point. Intently I listened until my ears caught the resonant thunk of a car door closing ... and then another ... and was that the sound of distant voices?

As I concentrated on the sounds of rescue, the strange man ignored them; either engrossed in his own story or hard of hearing. I rather suspected that his hearing was not good, or he should have heard me call 911 from the top of the tower. Or was he really so unconcerned about the arrival of the police?

A chain rattled and a latch clicked. Somewhere, invisible in the fog, the interlopers were approaching. Were they here to rescue me from the crazy man or here to help the crazy man hide the body? For it suddenly occurred to me that the man could have been calling his friends while I was calling 911. And what if they were police? Would the man fight? I worried that he had a gun, and that as soon as he saw the police he would shoot me to keep his story a secret.

How can I describe the odd sensation of that moment? Not fear, really; I should call it focus. The cold ground had numbed my body. The fog obscured my vision as the spotlight dazzled it. Only sound existed, and not even all sounds. The droning of the story teller passed through my ears like a ghost, leaving no impression. All of my concentration focused on that small patch of ground between where I lay and where the gate stood, newly open.

I must have lay in that mode for a minute or two, but it seemed timeless. Suddenly I heard it --the crunch of shoes on gravel. The visitors had arrived.

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