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A Chance Encounter – Part 1

If anger could generate heat, the snow drift in which he now stood would be flooding into the sewage drains enroute to the Iron Bay. How could this city be so insensitive as to leave half buried a  monument commemorating such a seminal moment in its history? The Great fire had changed so much – the very character of this neighbourhood, now referred to as The Gut, had never recovered. What this city needs is not a fire but a flood to wash the foul stench of moral decay into the briny sea.

Moments earlier he had stood upon the hill behind the memorial regarding the long orange and pink shadows cast across the still frozen Bay by the rising sun at his back. His majestic home had once graced these hills. It had been another lifetime belonging to another man.  At times he missed his wife and wondered about the young son she had bore. But then anger would return – the anger of betrayal! How could she not comprehend that nothing was more important than his work? She and that smooth talking charlatan from the west! They had been the instruments of all his travails.

Joseph shut his eyes and took a long deep breath to calm his rising ire. He could smell the scent of spring in the air. When he opened his eyes once more, to let them rest upon the half buried monument, he saw that he was no longer alone. Beside him was a vile vagrant dressed in a motley of patchwork, stained and crumpled top hat askew. The man’s tangled grey beard appeared to be speckled with cookie crumbs.

Joseph was about to sneer when the the disheveled old clown brushed the snow from the front of the monument, took a step back then removed his hat. The man shut his eyes and appeared to teeter unsteadily. When he opened them again he stared directly at Joseph. Why is that buffoon looking at me like that? Before Joseph could question him and without ever uttering  a word the dishevelled individual turned and made his way east along the Parkway leaving Joseph with an uneasy sense of deja vu.

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One Comment

  1. Mr Underby Mr Underby March 4, 2013

    Thank heavens for that fire!  My dear Gut would not be here without it.

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