Friday, July 26, 2013

Day Five Hundred: In Foramine Mundi, Finale

Hundreds of miles away, where there is no rain, no blood, no carnage, no shadows, a man takes his dog for a walk. 

It is a gorgeous day. The sun is out, partially obscured by a light dusting of clouds across the sky. The grass is just warm enough and just dry enough that the man can justify taking off his shoes. He enjoys the tickle of grass between his toes, the scurrying of willow-ants around his ankles. They blow by him and away, carried on the wind to some other business.

His dog, a muddy old hound, strains on the end of its leash. The man is far too strong for it to get away, but he gives the pooch some slack nevertheless. He is the master, but it is still a proud, strong beast. The man would not want to break its spirit.

In time, as the sun comes out again and beats upon his uncovered head, the man seeks shelter under a tree. He's almost a mile from home, now, but he knows this area - and he knows that this spot, this tree, is the best place to sit outside his own bed. It's a gnarled oak, and its roots form a funny little divot that makes for a comfortable perch.

He plops down onto the old wood and pulls a sandwich from his knapsack. His hound is tied beside him, its leather leash looped 'round one of the roots. The man trusts his dog not to fall off the side of the world of its own accord, but… things happen.

The Grand Chasm. The man stares at it. Into it. He dangles his shins, both wooden, both lost in a logging accident, into the abyss. 

He chews on his sandwich. Egh, he thinks. Corned beef. I thought she packed me ham. She knows I hate this crap. Thirty years o' marriage 'n I still get corned beef.

The substance of his sandwich is his most pressing concern. He hates the dryness, the toughness, the sharp flavor. He hates the butter she slathered on top. He hates the stale bread, the flecks of wheat grain stuck into its brown-white flesh. The man wishes his wife would learn his tastes already. She still remembers his daughter's favorite dishes, but never his, no, never.   

The man thinks almost nothing of the chunk that has been taken out of the world, the black, bottomless pit that spans almost a quarter of the globe, a pit that swallows all things unfortunate enough to fall into it. He thinks nothing of the water paradox, nor the history of the Grand Chasm, nor even postulates how it came to be. He is like everyone who lives along this freakish quirk of nature. It is there, and he can dangle his wooden legs off of it, and that is enough.

Presently, tired from the walk, the man falls asleep in his nook, leaning back against the roots of the oak. His dog does the same. It has corned beef on its breath.

The man is extremely lucky that he has wooden shins, because when the Grand Chasm is slowly but suddenly filled in with land, those shins are cut off and forever lost.

(Let me know if the .gif doesn't play.)

1 comment:

  1. What? What is happening? Is this good or bad?