NEW STORY: "The Violet Hour," by MK Laughlin
The hour comes whether you want it or not, whether you are drinking neat brandy in a warm fiftieth-floor office stuffed with leather-bound folios of tort law, whether you are slugging Corona from a paper bag by the overpass, or whether you are sipping cheap champagne out of a sports bottle and drumming your fingers on the wheel as you slowly bring the groceries home.

Everything goes a little purple.

"This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affections glow again and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen magically along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn."
- Bernard DeVoto, "The Hour"

Who am I, you ask yourself, digging your fingers into your own temples and thinking back to the horror that cauterized your memory the last time you dropped acid.

Am I numb or am I happy?

And you look up into the sky, staring at the contrails of the jet engines and the gathering gloom, and you squint, searching for birds or angels or dragonflies. Looking for life above you, hoping that if you get another point you will be able to make a line and move forward along the path.

And you think about space and gravity and the stars, and how there is no above or below, how we are all just falling really and you take another sip from the fire, and you shut your eyes, and you lean against your office window and fumble at the latch, or you climb out onto the railing of the overpass, or you take your hands off the wheel and you start to drift, and then your eyes snap back open and you scream.

You scream and you sob, but only for a moment. Because you got an answer to your question.

You are numb, after all.

"The Violet Hour," by MK Laughlin! Read it with a good view and an open window!

Posted by miracle on Tue, 13 Oct 2009 20:22:12 -0400 -- permanent link

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