Saturday, June 12, 2010


Off on a Tangent
By Ron Koppelberger

He layed his hands on the wax edged emblem; he was an experimenter, a dabbler in the embrace of desires unbidden. A unique taboo in beguiling splendor, the image on the emblem, the seal, the divine construction of lines and wax lions in crimson exclamation, cried tears of wont, wont for the confession. He fingered the wax seal on the envelope, embossed with the crowned image of a lion, the envelope promised a secret.
“ Sepulchers and crypts of knowledge, by thrones of sage passage, I need the secret, I need the secret, “ he whispered in quiet, ponderous conclusion.
The sky reposed in great spears of frayed orange twilight and the flames of a distant vista called the dream forward to moments in decision, in indecision.
“ Shall I break the seal, shall I crumble the wax to bits of surrendered compulsion? “ he spoke aloud; and what? what lay within the embrace of locked doors and designed secret? He thought in curious abandon.
The sly whine of the man’s German Sheppard disturbed his moment of resolve. “ What boy? “ he said to the nuzzling dog. The Sheppard wagged and rolled his eyes excitedly. “You hungry boy?” he teased enthusiastically.
Moments later, the letter forgotten, the man followed the bouncing dog into the kitchen. The plastic food dish sat near the corner of the sink waiting to be filled with dry kernels of nourishment. The man paused for a moment, whispering, sibilant and ethereal, the air hummed and the sound of bones being ground to dust, grating, crunching, abrasive, filled the air and the space between the kitchen and the living room where the letter, the seal waited.
The man shook and in mortal confusion and moaned reflexively. “WHAT,” he shouted through the noise, “WHAT?” expelling a breath in fearful gasping gulps he covered his eyes and shivered. The dog barked at the empty space between the arched entrance to the kitchen and the living room. The air filled by rapid measure of shadow, silhouettes in ashen gray and a great enormous shape yawning in maw and hungry wont; the man screamed and the need, the starving darkness of the seal called in degrees of clandestined shadow.
“NOOOOOOOOOO!” he screamed against the din. Unlimited, concealed and besieging the character of life, by the abortion in suffering boundary, the dark silhouette desired, desired the frayed gift of human existence and lives won in Eden, the paradise sure, by the hand of human spirit. It desired in blood drenching cascades of famine and pale horse gallop, it desired.
The man stumbled into the living room and grabbed the envelope, stuffing it back into the gilded teak box it had been delivered in. The lid closed with a clap of silent consent and the clamor ceased. The dog continued to bark at the empty space where the shadow had been.
All it would take is a tangent, a curious tangent explored by the dark edges of consigned fate, he thought. The dog yapped and growled. “I know your hungry boy and by god so am I.” he said matter-of-factly.

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I have been writing fiction and poetry since I was nine years old. I love to see my writing in print and nothing makes me happier than giving the gift of a long forgotton moment or a shiver to the reader.


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