Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Stroke

by Josh Powell

The heat.

That is what it must be. The heat, he thought to himself. The constant
leaping of the right leg pushing off the gray pavement, dusty from fine city
dirt, coupled with the left leg catching his body. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
It must be the heat.

It must be the heat he thought again, because someplace deep inside him he
knew that there was no earthquake but the idea of one was the only thing
that is keeping the fear a bay.

The fear.

Another tremor and his legs buckle. How he falls. It is slow and yet he is
unable to catch himself and negotiate the space between the street and where
he was an instant ago.

He crashes hard on his knee into what seemed moments ago a smooth path on
which to race. He feels a piece of road gravel push into his patella - the
knee cap - he feels the skin rip.

Then the elbow.

It is so slow.

His head hits next, but between the time spent when the elbow collided and
the moment when the head struck the ground he tasted metal, odd he thought,
but not for too long, he had no time.

His head bounced off the ground and made a strange, hollow thud.

His teeth rattled - he thought he felt them move. The pain was electric,
horrid and terrifying. Oh this was no earthquake he thought as he laid on
the warm tarred street unable to move his left side and not wanting to the
move the right.

The metallic taste and then in the precious little time before his pupil
blew open wide. He let the fear in and it was only then that he knew without
a shadow of a doubt that there was no earthquake and by then, to him, it did
not matter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The only thing I can think to say is "wow" and that seems wrong. But, I want to say how much I like this piece. Awesome.