19A.6 – The Sandstorm

And now, a look at financial news.

A fallow wheat field, grey sky, cut by black Vs of black birds. There is a child, dragging a hatchet. His eyes cast down. His eyes tight. His eyes white and red and superfluous. He knows not what he sees, but he knows what is there. A single black winged beast, beak cracked, feathers rotting, alights roughly on the child’s shoulder. They stop. the bird picks at the cartilage of the boy’s ear as if biting secrets into it. The boy groans, not unpleasantly. Heavy slow clouds roll and rise, starkly contrasted against the flickering daguerreotype hills, which stoically keep the poisonous rains at bay.

A sudden little river, partially walled by palsied shafts of grain, rolls by. The boy walks into it. He bends forward. His blank eyes stare into his reflection. Neither he nor his mirror knows the other is there, but the bird, the bird knows. The bird cackles, or perhaps cries. Even the bird is uncertain. The boy takes a palm full of the dark water. Most of it runs out through his long, zigzagging fingers. He licks the remainder from his dusty skin.

A sound: like thunder, like drums, like steps. The boy turns and hurls his hatchet behind him. The bird flies up and away. There is a hideous thump. The boy knows not what he has hit, but that it has been wounded. He waits for its retort.

This has been financial news.