Looking back over the whole ordeal, the months and days and never-ending minutes of every hour, Thol felt as if a whole lifetime had happened to him. A complete cycle from beginning to end, birth to death, with all its peaks and valleys of stress, adventure, paralyzing monotony, ecstatic happiness, hope, fear and ultimate exhaustion that saps the life right out of a person. He felt…no, he KNEW…that the person he had been at the start of it all and the person who was sitting here on the front steps of this burned-out, gutted apartment building now were so very different as to not even  be related by blood, by time, by space. He felt alien. And somehow vacuous.

burned_bldg_Istanbul 648He buried his head deeper into the space between his knees, long fingers gripping his scalp, nails digging, pulling on his matted and greasy hair intermittently. He was sucking in air in disjointed huge gulps, each one larger and more ragged than the last, trying to keep the tsunami of shock and emotion from engulfing him. The calm methodical exterior that he had subconsciously yet meticulously exuded during the past few months was cracking in a multitude of long running jagged tentacles like ice on a lake after one expertly thrown javelin hits with a deep *k-thunk!* in the most perfect spot. Or a windshield of safety-glass that crumbles into a heap of gem-like, ice-like bits left scattered across the asphalt after a crack-head jacks stereo from the parking lot of an unfamiliar girl you went home with from the bar one night.

Oh, he couldn’t let it happen. It was over. It was going to fine…or it was eventually. And he had others to think of, others that still needed his help. Yes, it was over. And yet there was so much left to do…

© 2011 D. Kessler

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