First stop was the bins by the pond. He parked the buggy and blew on his hands with little effect, except to bring on a coughing fit. He bent down to pick up a ketchup-stained PFC take away box, fumbling for a moment, edging the carton along the frosted path towards the pond railings. As he picked it up something caught his eye behind the railings; sunlight glinting off a shiny surface. For a minute his heart raced and he wondered if this was the knife from the attack outside the school last week. He instinctively looked around, but at 7:30am on a February morning Clissold Park was desolate. Lloyd was the only soul in there, with just wildlife for company.Continue reading “An Audience of One by Hugh Todd”
He often walked in the place where it ended. Thoughtlessly. Invariably without point or purpose. He felt like a ghost reflecting on a past life each time he retraced his steps, divorced from all sense of who he was.
He found her sitting in a tree. Her legs dangled over the edge, her dusty feet kicking back and forth. It had taken him a while to find her. It wasn’t as simple as it usually was. Each hourglass of life came with coordinates, of course. The tiny numbers ascribed on the bottom gave approximate locations. It wasn’t a perfect system. Humans weren’t as predictable as, say, ants. Things had gotten tricky when they domesticated the horse, for example. It had gotten worse with the engine. Obviously airplanes had kicked things into gear. But the hourglass makers, those bright-eyed creatures, were quick to adjust. They usually got it in the ballpark.
“Can you tell me what happened today?” Midlin Ambeau’s grandfather said, his eyes as clear as his interest.
“The moon loves you, Dad,” said Jeep, one of my grandsons who lived in Maine and who was practically born in the seat of an old ’56 Jeep relegated to the farm. You can imagine very easily that is how Jasper got his nickname. The Jeep was an old army surplus vehicle left over from the Korean War that I was in during all of 1951. From the first, Jeep was a mover, hardly slowing down, except for cows, goats, sheep, hens and ducks, sometimes a pig as big as a mountain, at least big as your house. He roamed the whole farm and knew all its secrets, including the secret visitors that came onto the farm in the night time when most animals and people were sound asleep.
The Mooney woman taught him how to do it. She was forbidden to be on the premises, but she called Alfie over one day when he was playing near the fence that bordered the lane. The call was a high fluttering whistle, dancing like a mountain stream. He had been building a den from old branches and bracken when he heard, and though he knew from whence came the sound, he was drawn there as though to a trove of sweets.
I prefer my Tel Aviv from the vintage days – before the upper crust skyscrapers disturbed the eyes and the hype the ears, and most of all, before the arrival of the glitzy marina. I berth my skiff wherever I find a bit of sand on the shore that hasn’t yet been taken for private development. Nobody disturbs the boat — it’s been around so long they know it’s mine — vintage, like me. I make it a point to fish with my back to the skyscrapers, facing the horizon.
“You should’ve just popped in, Mathis,” Mrs. Kelly says opening the door. “You know we’re waiting for you. Come, come.”
“I never like to presume, Mrs. Kelly,” Mathis says entering the small home. “It’s nice to see you again.”