One frightful gasp of the elevator door, and she's sucked from my arms, leaving me numb except for the flow of her hair on my face. I'm saved by the flow of her hair on my face.

Wingless and apprehensive, I ride the elevator. Its reputation is not good. The labors of a dozen contracts have accumulated to keep this machine running, but the pull on my organs, like the loss of a carefully hidden breath, is more than I can stand. Still, it takes me where I want to go, heaving its burdens through levels of uncertain enterprise and releasing its hold with understated electronic ceremony.

The lethargic hum is disfigured by a clang of aggression. The doors open and close on varying, even opposing, realities. Some civil agglutinant holds this... this mess together: our faith in the Lady of Numbers who makes cables of steel from paper conceptions. She rides the elevator, and breaks down with the elevator, whimpering in the corner when the alarm bell states its low case.


© Ragnar Kvaran 2003