Gritty steps reverberate the path, winding. Puttering along, the lone figure listens to the mosquito moon moaning behind skuzzy sky. Scraggly limbs cast sniveling shadow across his face, leather loafers glinting damp through lamp-light ripples. Rain hovers in misty summer air.
He stops, cognizant of Eyes upon him, lambent yellow beaming through the darkness. Then comes a muffled cry, a raspy whir wafting down from the arms of the great live oak- creature nestled somewhere in the down of rain-dappled Spanish moss.
Muted-still, the man waits, gazing up into the dripping tree, listening to the sound of life writhing and stirring in the dank and brittle grass at his feet.
With a flash of pale wing, the creature spills into view, poised on a naked branch, talons curling into deep fissured bark, glinting with rain. Those gawping eyes of lemon fire slit the darkness.
Then, a sudden gust of ludic wind flits through, brushing away the film from the moon. With a tossing steel mane, the man watches the little owl glide upwards and over the crests of trees, quickly dissipating into the darkness beyond, pursued by the lucid light of Sapphire Moon.
The man, too, hurries on, with bowed head, starlight stirring in ruffled puddles that swirl in his wake.
A lapse in the torrent, and he is a blur before me, blank in the vacant street. I recede deeper into the sliding grey shadows that bleed down from the eaves.
Bullets of mercury rain ricochet upon the fissured sidewalk.
Stooped beneath that drooping, dripping checked fedora, he is hazy-still.
Looming before me like a condor.
His unseen eyes gawp into me from the drear, and there is a flitting moment of strange Recognition- as the sun struggles to dissolve the steel-mesh above.
Then comes the drowning deluge, and he glides on, scrambling after the Darkness, leaving splinters of misty rainbow in his tracks.