about
stories
photographs
links + news
contact
The German (excerpt)
Blind Man’s Bluff
Casual and Unobtrusive
Extra Strong
Cross
First time Bloomer
Hostage
Ideal Parties
A little Life
The Bowling Alley
The Other Woman
The Bird
Lost
No excuses
There were Two of them
The Signing
Philosophy of Silence
Precisely
Real Ugly Things
Situations
Small Town Diners
The In The Forest Thing
Underneath
Universe
The Shop Assistant
What it’s like being a man
Alternative Ending
The Incident
The secret Dialogues
Worded stimulation for the little urges inbetween

Casual and Unobtrusive.

Mimicking his opposite casual and unobtrusive, like a drawing board it took shape as their movements mixed and mingled till they blurred. They seemed to blend into one. They made up a whole, an entity, self contained it seemed to be. Perhaps only for the untrained eye had they merged. But for those who were more familiar with their peculiarities they remained separate.

There was a sudden shudder starting from his shoulders, almost to subtle to see and his hand had a nervous tremble when he lit another cigarette.

His mirror image merged from the wall and seemed to edge away, and then further still unnoticed it slid behind him, then past.

An attack was inevitable now.

There was another shiver and a drop of cold sweat found its way from his forehead onto the surface in front of him. His shoulders tightened when he felt the urge to turn, his torso slowly spun around, it took seconds but there was nothing behind him.

He wiped more sweat from his forehead when the heat became unbearable, then produced a phone from his pocket, checked and checked again but there were no calls.

His nerves were stretched and felt like snapping, a nervous twitch in his left eyelid gave it away, but it was subtle.

It was when she turned around the corner that he stopped breathing. He was dead for two minutes, his eyes fixed to an invisible spot on the grey wall opposite.

He came to when her shadow moved through his vision, blurred his focus, jerked him back into the world ahead.

She stopped behind him her shadow bathing him in darkness, but although she tried he was too far for her hand to reach.

Impatient she turned twice to try again, but he was still too far. She could see his shoulders in front, bulging muscles, jerking with spasms of tension.

There was frustration as she tried reaching again and again, her desperation becoming apparent to a distant observer.

A reflection in the binoculars illuminated the observers face for a moment. But it was to late for the driver to stop the lorry, he felt resistance which quickly broke away as the sound of breaking bones filled the drivers ears. It only took a few seconds before it was over and quiet again, the sound of a disappearing motor ebbed away. The binoculars still stared but the reflection of light which had turned them into a target had gone.

He could hear breathing then, from behind the shadow that cast a dark cloud over him and he dared not turn. Covered in sweat there was nothing he could do to hide the scent of fear which protruded from him.

As if on cue the music set in, slowly at first the rhythm picked up as the volume rose, her feet immediately moved with it, drumming it into the ground. Her hips jerked back and forth, as the music got hold of her, swirling her around, like a whirlwind would do with a pile of straw. Upwards went her arms, shaken and pulled by the rhythm of the music.

At the edge of conceivable space to her left a figure appeared in the distance. Hips were moving as arms gently swung from one side to the other. The moment remained captured while the figure walked on but never reached.

A sudden splatter of rain washed the music away, it washed away the scene which becomes blurred like a drowned water colour painting.

Light hearted female laughter is heard through the falling of water, then all noise fades to silence.

© Marcus Bastel