Scheduled to Vanish

The day is without much heat or cold. A perfect day with white clouds drifting past like the images that drift slowly through my mind’s eye; some horrifyingly too real, emitting pangs of pain that pulse in waves of guilt and dread up and down my cowardly spine.

I walked for a long time, watching the others in this place we all occupy. They - barely glancing around in their daily pursuits - seem to be a profound waste of a skin suit; like zombies living in a perfect place, unable to feel the cool breeze blowing, hear the warbling of little birds or the leaves stirring as the wind passes through them. Can they not open their eyes and see the filth of the city or the scars on the lives they lead?

Having finished eating a quick sandwich lunch, I sat unmoving across the street from my silent friend; wrapped these long years in it‘s antisocial exterior; just like me.

A small shiver ran through me as our deathly silence was broken by a city truck pulling to the curb; squeaking and squealing as it ground to a stop. It had obviously been too long been neglected - refused the healing grease it so badly cried out for.

An innocuous worker stepped out from behind an orange door, lit by dappled sunlight, emblazed with official seals, small-print identification and warnings. He took a long thirsty swig from a bottle of Diet Coke before throwing it and the clipboard he had held in his left hand back onto the truck seat.

As he slammed the door shut and dragged a set of worn leather gloves from a bulging back pocket, an incoherent static-laden radio voice came from the cab of the vehicle and wafted up to the top of the church spires; vanishing before it became truly audible from where I sat.

Pulling gloves onto large coarse hands, and wiping his mouth across a right sleeve, he walked briskly to the back of the truck and with a jerk, pulled pins from the tailgate causing it to fall open with a singular distinct clang. The church seemed to wince at the sound, as if it were jealous and wishing instead it were the wide-ranging clangs of long unused bells in it’s tower.

Moving slim aluminum slabs aside, he sorted through a signage file of different sizes and colors until he found one he was seeking. Checking it twice, he plucked it from the back of the truck bed, sitting it on the pavement at his feet. He grabbed a red metal toolbox, and with the sign in the other hand, headed to the iron gate of the church, pausing only once to get a better grip on the sign.

It didn’t take long for the man to bolt the sign to the gate. It read: CONDEMENED - KEEP OUT - DEMOLITION SCHEDULED.

My mind reeled, as if a red hot poker had suddenly been held too close….

The End

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