Walking Spirits

Here’s a piece that I wrote in a creative writing workshop with Zee Zahava. It appeared on her blog Painted Parrot, and it might be the beginning of something much larger.

I used to climb on the rooftops and watch the sunset. The stench of the streets held no sway there, and the air was fresh. The wind could whisk my soul from my flesh for a moment and sweep it to and fro. I would often stay until I could see my father’s star on the horizon.

I used to wander the city in the rain, and no matter where I went, I always ended where I wanted to be. The rain was warm, and when I finally went home, I would peel off my drenched socks with a smile. It rained almost every day.

When I could, I used to buy old trinkets from the street vendors, their wares spread before them on rough blankets. Belt buckles, wallets, books, umbrellas.

I used to be the only god I prayed to. I knew that I would always listen, always answer, always act where other gods shrouded their deeds in mystery.

Now the rooftops are a dangerous place, and the sunsets have changed from brilliant orange to dusty gray. Wood rots, plaster chips, and one man’s ceiling and my floor are likely to collapse under my weight. I stay close to the ground, but on clear nights I can still see my father’s star.

I still wander the city, but the streets are strange to me now, and by nightfall I rarely know where I am. It seldom rains anymore, but when it does, I find shelter where I can.

The street vendors are gone, their blankets and umbrellas discarded in heaps, riddled with holes from the rain. In their places are gaunt men. They carry knives, pipes, sometimes guns, and always sacks of bliss to trade. They like valuable things. Guns, knives, food, people.

Now I don’t pray at all. Even my god no longer answers. He has grown silent in the presence of the spirits who have come to share his home.

Dear Reader, my name is Sage.


About CobraQuiz

A political writer.
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