|Image credit: ciracar.com|
|Image credit: ciracar.com|
My queen had thrown her coat over the backpack. Her runway strut moved the conspicuous lock to break free of its camouflage and catch the sun, gleaming, drawing attention. A few started to come toward us, as they walked closer, they seemed to have second thoughts, my queen staring at them with her sensuous eyes, eyes now used to convey a very different type of message. Amazing how she can maneuver and manipulate circumstances with just a look. I thought of my weakness to her gaze, how she melted my resolve and conformed me to her will. Breathing deep, I focused on the issues threatening our incursion.
Like an inner city subdivision, all the houses looked the same, only the color of the boxes and blankets, or the store brand of shopping carts parked outside, marked the differences. After passing a few of the camps, we came across one, that by outward appearances, was another of the same. The homeowner, a frail ancient man huddled under layers of coats, all worn well past usefulness to the ordinary wearer, looked up at us, and not standing, seemed to say all he needed by reaching out his hand. My queen passed him the backpack, which he confidently took and began to decipher the lock. Cussing under his breath when his first attempt failed, he tried again and had success, allowing me to breath easier, nothing was what appeared in this world.
In an unexpected gesture of trust, evidently gained by my advancement through the ranks to his residence and my queens unflinching manner, he threw the blankets off a sturdier looking cardboard shelf, decorated with graffiti and empty cigarette boxes. The revealing, showing a clean and organized assortment of guns, maybe a couple dozen or so arranged in an order unfamiliar to me. Pistols, small ones that could fit in your palm, larger revolvers, chromed with scopes, lining case. His hand flowed over the choices, like a diviner finding water, finally settling on a flat black pistol. Handing it to my queen, she in turn, handing it to me. She leaned close and with whisper that caused my hair to stand at attention, asked if I knew how to use it. Of course I did, destiny prepared me for this reason, that I might leave my mundane, back-breaking job, to guard her and escape from the listless world that was mine, outside this Queen’s castle.
Also published in Broowaha
I take a minute, to look out from the world that is me, to see carefully maintained facades in the all the faces looking back. I understand I’m the same, different from what you perceive, disguised in my intentions. I have masks to hide the things that my mind thinks, hiding my brokenness, deceiving you, protecting me. Crafting these masks carefully in the heat of pain, shame polishing the rough edges to a delightful smile, I take cover from you my companion, or you my enemy. These facades have mistakenly become my reality, deceiving myself with this subterfuge and believing my lies, I must lay these falsehoods down, baring my soul to keep my identity. My friends, enemies, and acquaintances, “Who will lay their masks down?” I hear no reply, so let me be first. See into my soul, I’ll not hide. But, you know I’m lying, I spent to long on this mask, to tear it up just for you. I have good intentions in mind, however, most of the time, I plan on getting what I want, even if it’s under the guise of my kind smile.