Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dynamite. Mine.

The man left as dusk settled. It was the fifth evening of the juvenile Petro's vigil and he was satisfied that the time had come. He hopped over the railing and, hanging by one arm, edged the kitchen window open. Two days earlier the man had opened it to release some smoke from a burnt pie and Petro had taken the opportunity to lay a pencil along the base so that when it was closed again a gap remained.

Inside he stopped and listened though he knew the place to be desserted. In the distance he could make out the sound of traffic and somewhere in the house a fan struggled. The kitchen became a dining room and through french windows at the back he could see the silhouette of a treeline. The stairs made no sound to mark his ascent. At the top was a bathroom. He turned on the light and took a seat on the toilet. He pelleted into the bowl causing plops to bounce around the room and out into the darkness. By his side was a pile of computer magazines, the topmost being the very issue to that he'd picked up in the cornershop.

In a study he found a locked wardrobe which he forced open, the wordwork around the keyhole tearing apart. He recognised some of the uniforms on the rail, all military, all nineteenth and twentieth century and apparently without idological bias: fascists, stalinists, marxist revolutionaries, colonialists, neo-colonialists. All the prime movers from a narrative that confused Petro profoundly. He pulled on a balaclava, a red-starred beret and a brown shirt which sat surprisingly tight on his skinny frame. The figure staring back at him from the mirror suggested aggression. Of Petro only hands and anarchic eyes remained. He took on a karate stance, threw a few punches.

On the the writing desk was an illegible diary. The scrawls were like no letters he'd seen, all curves and angles in tight units. He took up a pen and fashioned his own after the slash at the end of a line. He swiped downwards into a little circle and then a horizontal dash. After a moment's thought he added a little dash at the end. Satisfied he swivelled on the chair and took in the rest of the room. There was only one picture: A black and white photograph showing soldiers picking through rubble. The scene was, silent, lost, dead, as was this house until the sound of breaking glass downstairs snatched him from his revery.

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