Day 5 of the WordBohemia.co.uk challenge…
He listens to the conversation but can’t understand it. They don’t have accents he recognises, or words he knows, but their intention is clear enough. They’re drinking out of metal containers. He can no longer smell or taste, but it must be ale. He knows it by the swagger of them, the way they laugh.
Other people walk by. The women- wearing britches!- seem scared. They glance back at the crowd by the arches, moving as fast as possible, head down, trying to avoid attention. Sometimes they call after the women, but they are always ignored.
He could try getting their attention. Once, that had been amusing, but soon became stale. There’s another metal container on the floor between them. The biggest and ugliest boy picks it up, shakes it and sprays black paint all over the wall of his station.
He is there opposite them and, if it were possible, a tear would leak from his eye. The plans that had taken up his life’s work. Intricate pencil sketches of the dramatic arches, the thing that would draw and please the passenger’s eye. He can visualise them all as if it had been yesterday. Yesterday his heart had pumped blood and powered a mathematical mind. A body capable of moving, or performing actions his brain didn’t even seem to know about. He missed living, breathing, even pain.
Emotion was the only thing left. The only thing powering whatever existence he had now. And now sadness turned to anger. If he had a mouth, he’d have grinned.
Time to give the young ruffians a scare.