Before the FrostThe forest,Feeling its last hour closing,Burns its own funeral pyreAs if to sayI shall go, but not defeatedAnd so the end is beautiful and swift.
City MusicThe court was empty. Stale city wind knocked what was left of the chain net against the metal rim of the goal, and a raily cat slipped under the chainlink and disappeared, but the players who owned the cement pad were no where to be seen. For a few hours, Xander had the space to himself.No theirs, exactlythe makeshift basketball court technically belonged to everyone and no one. Might can make right anywhere, however, and Xander had been the offending stray one evening. He would never press his luck again, and to the clanking rhythm of the swinging chain, he prowled the edges of the game yard. Only hungry pidgeons and feral cats peopled the landscape of asphalt and brick, dirty windows and dirtier voices behind them. For a while, it was safe.Xander had a case on his back, the kind that is meant to look leather when it is new but as it is kicked and dropped and left in the rain at bus stops, it reveals the cheap brown beneath. It was perfect for a life with Xander, and he droppe
Smoke and HabitThe inside smelled like an unclean ashtray. The inside of everything. The house, the car, the shoes, the fridge, the sheets. Everything. Sebastian didnt even smell it anymore. Like people with cats who forgot about the litterbox, Sebastian hardly noticed when he ground one cigarette into the ashtray while almost simultaneously lighting another.There was a lot around the house to suggest that Sebastian didnt notice much. Besides the ashtrays, there were only two photos on the coffee table in the living room, both of the same little girl. One showed a tiny, wrinkled baby in a hospital hat wailing in the arms of her beaming father. The other was a six year old girl dressed as a bumble bee for Halloween. Sebastian hadnt been there for that picture. It had been taken in Kentucky.Nothing else. The couches didnt even have pillows. Sebastian had pictures in the closet somewhere he'd meant to hang once, just to at least cover the peeling paint, but hed forgotten.