Story: Like A New Cacophonous Thunder
By: Brian Barbeito
All around there is a small crack. The world in the town and of the town shown impertinence by the harsh ice storms. Crack again goes the earth there, as if an archaic, maybe once molten thing has severed. What of paint? Once well and bright, now chilled and chiseled away by the cold air, by the dustless and humorless wind. You could hear the air-brakes of trucks, some signal of life, like a quaking or quacking ship’s horn. What are they doing? Garbage collectors and deliveries. The trees solemn upon the death of so many branches. Will the roots and trunks survive? The populace bundled in coats and spring a far flung dream of faded hope. This crack that goes round and about, signaling something- obeying only itself. Or, is it a messenger, doing the bidding for a larger talon belonging to a cycle of time? Whatever the case, the souls agree that it is far too cold. The squirrel and deer duck away and there are no old men in trucks by rivers hauling anything. There is not the lover walking with the beloved to a small shop in a side town. The ice comes to stay- sometimes the temperature rises in order to let rain pelt the town and then…as if playing a sly malevolent cosmic yet earthly joke-the temperature descends once more and the streets and walks, the rooftops and retaining walls, the once easy and friendly parapets, and somehow, perhaps, some of the souls themselves, glaze over, quiet things becoming too still, devoid of lifelike the dead, like dead men and women- ice laden-baked in clumps and dirty crystal rivers of simple frozen-ness. The winter bird used to come by- still fearful but also courageous at its survival, swift, knowing, darting. But he is gone, and it is not known to where. He either died, or found his way south. The Carolinas. Myrtle Beach. Jacksonville. Tennessee? In Daytona they drive cars and trucks on the beach, right down there by the lapping day waves. There is a small carnival that stretches the best it can out towards distant piers in two directions. Ice cream. Neon. Cotton candy. Smiles. Stucco motels and hotels. A chance. Maybe a chance for happiness for a person or persons. Maybe a chance for life for the bird. Maybe he is there. I want him to be there because I cannot be there. Surely he is there and his skeleton is not a vague and never seen marking in a forest path. All around came crack, producing a prolonged harangue – like a new cacophonous thunder- because the winter got carried away with itself-bolstered and prideful, disdainful, hurtful, forceful. Unrepentant.