Rough Draft

Started on this story today. Hopefully I can finish it up this week. My working title is:

Day Unto Day

As one lone vanguard falls from the sky, landing upon the balding head of Chance, the heavens above let loose their rivers, raining upon the sloshy ground of an infant spring, an earth barely woken from its long winter slumber. Chance raises his umbrella. Setting the shaft upon his shoulder, he lets the black canvas cover him. The gentle flakes of snow are superseded by the beating storms of Uranus.

He moves his feet, marching in place, to keep from sinking into the mud. His dark leather shoes squish the soft spot of bare ground, mixing the dirt with newly minted trickling streams. Above the far off city, Jupiter throws his fearful bolts, striking the towers of man. The flashing lightening breaks the soft settling of night. After each interruption, the world seems to grow darker to Chance.

He stands as the world revolves. It seems to be as black as it will get now, the deep blackness of the night, but the storm continues. He wonders how many hours it has been since daylight. Bringing his hands together, Chance feels around his wristwatch until the little knob presents itself to his searching fingertips. Pressing it, the green glow illuminates the shadows, a quarter to twelve. Looking down at the marble marker before him—they make them so small and flat nowadays—Chance recounts the minutes of his Saturday.

It started with the letter. He opened it at breakfast, and, setting his cup in its saucer, let the drink waste away into a lukewarm soup. Could three words hold such potency? Chance read it again, his food untouched, “It is time.” Pulling two twenties from his wallet, he left them on the table. Snatching his umbrella up under his arm, he forgets the hat by the uneaten, but paid for, meal.

Fleeing the corner café, he races the four blocks to his apartment, shoving his fellow man to aside like a footballer charging through to the goal. Breathless he pants, waiting by the elevator. The security guard, being bothered to look up from his novel, dog ears a page. The gray-haired man sets the book under the counter and calls down the hall, “Sir.” There is no response. The bell rings, and the artfully engraved doors part. Chance stomps forward, and, coming to the back wall, turns and rests against the handrail. Reaching out with the tip of the umbrella he presses the fourteenth floor button.

The guard returns to page 204 as the doors quietly rumble to a close. His breathing settling now, Chance glances at his watch. Who would he call first? My lawyer, he thinks, but then remembers he could only reach the secretary. Maybe he already knows? Who else might they contact? Would Stein even walk out to his mailbox today? Of course, Stein was only brought in later. Who was left that knew the secret, who else was there so many years ago?

The lights in the elevator go out, and the whistling music disappears. The compartment continues to rise. Clutching at his umbrella, hugging it into his chest, Chance blindly looks around the chamber. The speaker, crackling to life, fills his ears with screaming static. Resting the umbrella hook in the crook of his arm Chance’s trembling hands begin to undo his black tie. Pulling it from his neck he shoves it into a coat pocket while unbuttoning his collar. Reaching under his shirt he pulls out his mother’s rosary.

“Come on then,” he shouts, brandishing his umbrella like a club. “The day’s not over yet.”

With a ding, the doors slide open. Sally stares up at Chance, dropping her schoolbooks. The lights flicker on as Chance exits the elevator. Stepping over a colorful cover depicting the lava flow of a volcano, he tries to smile at the girl. “Carry on,” he huffs, running down the hall.


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