image name for issue #10


 by Paul Kesler

Shadows leak from an enormous egg leaning against the clock tower in the square. They pour through a crack that extends, like a smile, from mid-way to the top, streaming down the side of the egg like a pool of ink, or lava. The shadows, scribbling downward, form an extension of the smile; already at the point of destruction, the shell seems ready to collapse from longitudinal severing.

The shadows curdle outward as they pour from the egg. Townspeople, terrified at this incursion on their lives, have fled the square, but tourists, arriving all the time, seem perplexed by the spread of this blanket that covers, first their shoes, then their ankles, then coagulates to prevent further movement. They stand, the shadows swirling about them like a dark cement, unable to run, unable to fathom what has happened.

As the people are grounded, a strange thing happens as their mouths distend and shadows seem to pour from their lips. They stand like stalagmites as the shadows stream down, their open throats like wounds in what would otherwise seem like normal faces, clamoring silently. Their skin hardens ---- lines appear on their bodies like cracks in the side of an egg as the shadows stream through.

Slowly, they topple. As they fall, their horoscope faces read the message of the shadows scribbled on the side of the egg in the square. The message, slowly diminishing, seems to point to the provenance of their bodies drawing life, however briefly, from this visitor in their midst. They fall --- the shadows pour out ---- their slowly draining bodies float on the tide till, like shipwrecked vessels, they sink in the climbing stream.

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