Bewildering Stories

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Devil’s Playground

by Gillian Marshall

Drifting in and out, wandering without direction these dark tangled streets; lit by orange fire from burning street lamps towering like anorexic ballet dancers above the wet stage on which they perform, their glowing light casting peculiar shadows. Bringing larger than life those which cower in dark distant corners of one’s overactive imagination.

I sit and stare in awe and wonder at these dancing figures, these iron beauties that come to life in the obscure dark of night. Their light avoids me.

Did my heart lie? Is that the shadow cast, is the darkness set to last?

I would gladly give up my disconsolate soul if I were to be touched just once by such grace, cleansing light and warmth the like of which no fire of this world could produce.

Their furtive faces offer mocking smiles I am sure.

Bewildered, I know not what to do to please them; feeling cold to me as I dare the very tips of my fingers to caress. I risk a look into their bright faces, shall I see and angel staring back? I fear I should cry if my eyes were blessed with such a delicate sight.

Happily I would fade and succumb to the blackness which haunts my every waking moment.

Softly, with not a single breath between us, I rise and reach towards their radiance; outstretched hands grasping at the Titian hue, allowing the ambiguous warmth to melt through my begging fingers.

I am lost.

My hands hold onto nothing save empty air and a wish once upon a bright star caught falling from heaven’s unbroken perch.

I cast no spell and offer no sacrifice other than what is mine to offer. Secretly I beseech them to blind my all too seeing eyes with their brilliance, for I would rather wander these tenebrous desolate plains a blinded fool than behold their dying beauty for eternity.

Sweeping in a low bow I offer reticent gratitude for their poisoned needle before sinking deeper within my own chasm of misadventure.

As the golden orb of day begins to rise I fall into the shadows and await retribution.

Copyright © 2004 by Gillian Marshall

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