Week 11: The last of my kind

20 Feb

It was foggy. That is all I have been able to remember of that night for months. I see cloudy vapor descending in curls, winding around telephone poles, traffic lights, trees and stray dogs. It advances slowly and silently until every square inch of the city lies under it. My city. I knew every twist in its roads, every street corner, every park, every shop, every dead end alley. When I walked my city, it was free of sin. Still, they were less than impressed. Apparently, my sense of territory was the only thing that marred an otherwise perfect specimen of my kind. They were wrong. I am the only specimen of my kind. Of course, I can’t remember how they took the news in the end but I can only hope it was proportional to the injustice of having to walk without a badge for fourteen years. I suppose a tinge of cruelty has also entered my manner but from all I can recollect, it might have always been there, along with the patience and eye for detail. The tiniest detail…

Sometimes I wish I could recall just a bit more than smoky, backlit trees and a distant rumble in the night sky. Other times, the times when I end up with a bleeding nose and a headache that lasts for days, I think I can see an oddly shaped shadow making its way down the street, away from me. It’s all made of sharp corners, glossy as if freshly rained-on. Or spray-painted. Or something. Its mere presence distorts all my inbuilt devices. I can’t get a clear reading of it as it shimmies from cobblestone to cobblestone through the fog, pulling me forward with a force I have never felt before. And then it stops and turns on the spot, and my head explodes with the most violent of headaches. These days I laugh when I push myself a step closer to that memory only to have my skull pulverized by yet another bout of pain. A few months ago I crawled under the comfy living room sofa and wept. That much I remember…

No one like me has been in the dark this long. It is against nature. I may work under the cover of darkness but I am a beacon. A true guide. Hope embodied. Knowledge. Strength. Yes, I am a wonder but to what avail? The only pieces of this puzzle that can set me free once more are lost, that is the long and short of it. Look at me, the last of my kind, trapped in this small, small world of fog, and trees, and shadows.

“Darren? Darren, open the door! Now!”

And that, that is the bane of my existence, the keeper of my cell, the-

“What is this! Why haven’t you cleaned up your room like I told you?! How many times do I have to say this to you–if I don’t see the carpet, you don’t see the skates. Look at this! Look!”

I watch with weary eyes as my superior makes its way through the strategically placed mounds of cloth and paper. A couple of sniffs and it is over. My toil of days is yet again ruined. I am left to survey the damages before I can return to my work table and pick up where I left…

Look at me, the last of my kind, trapped in this small, small world of fog, and trees, and shadows.

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