Implosion by Pritemon Pirann10 Jun 2018, Posted by Short Fiction in
Art:What becomes of the broken tartlet by Adam De Ville
What’s coming down is not freezing rain but diffuse flakes melting on the panes of the kitchen window. The rain that they predicted has probably arrived and passed in the course of the night. Footsteps sinuate across the sloppy white carpet on the ground; nobody takes this course even on sunny mornings. Tips of grass and desiccated leaf show up in spite of the snow, giving a mottled look to what is below.
The tree outside dominates the view without being overbearing. Two days ago it had significant foliage of the crinkly, tapered kind. Now it is nearly bare in its upright branches. Only the most crumpled, tarry leaves hang on for a reason of their own. Over the latticed fence the snow lies foamy and fluffed, the creepers upon the edge barely showing. The air flowing through the net on the kitchen door is not really cold: it is bracing. At the same level, a child lifts a corner of the improvised silken drape on the window of the brick building opposite. She looks down at the footsteps in this yard.
Return to the middle of the kitchen floor. One of the dreams of the night said that an upheaval of road construction would begin. In the core. In spite of the stubbornly falling snow, engines are revving in a crescendo on the street just across while an unseen giant mover is tooting louder and louder. Everything is then drowned by the reverberating boom of an airplane that is rising in the wide south-western sky. It is coming! It is coming! The hands could go up to the ears to silence it all.
But no. The hands must go to place kettle and pan on the stove tops. There isn’t much time. The dream lasted long enough to make it nearly convincing that today is not a working day. But there isn’t much time. They, the engines, are working but it is apparently a kind of fiesta for them. That is why they are making boisterous celebration. The hands still don’t go to touch kettle and pan.
The people in the bureau will be ensconced in warmth, illumination and carpeting. There will be no snow for them. The papers of most of the candidates will have come in for evaluation. More people will be ready to take the oral test of competency. A functionary in the department of natural resources awaits instruction in the interpretation of words as spoken in remote parts. Then there are those who must themselves be taught how to deliver the test.
Three of the candidates are in need of reevaluation. Five have to communicate when they will be available over the phone. It will not be snowing where the office is concerned. Here, the blind of the kitchen door is raised but the louvers on the window are partially clasped. It makes no sense to introduce light because there is so little of it outside. It does not seem like a working day.
Wait. Light is coming near the door. The flakes have become larger. They are bouncing and ricocheting at cross purposes. The gray grass and leaves that were showing have almost disappeared, while those footprints glare out at the beholder. That tree, that tree, is trembling, but that cannot be. The dashing, tempestuous globs of popcorn in the air are creating an illusion. The tree has been sturdy unfailingly through wind , rain and snow. Pity that it should be bereft of its leaves, but that’s only for the season. It is exceptional in this group of buildings, standing tall and serving as a beacon for the kids of the crèche who gather at midday.
It is unthinkable to avoid the office. But the dream said a road was going to be built in a single day. In the core. The dream was an enveloping one. So is this twilight of the morning. Now listen. A chopper in the sky is going on a quotidian round. This morning it is making an approach . The thwacking, clacking, battering of the engine is almost in the kitchen. Dizzyingly machete-like, the blades must be swishing aside the flakes to create visibility. Then, as the fulminating tide ebbs, a succession of mighty clangors and ding-dongs rends the air. The garbage truck with its two liveried men. It has found a way through the throbbing behemoths in the street to unload and dump the bins in the alley.
This has not happened before. No morning before has mingled with dream, prevision, twilight, snow, footsteps and motions in this fashion. To the door and the net again. Tiptoe. Something is going to happen. That child is still staring down. Where does she see the snaking footsteps going? She may notice, but open the door and step out on the balcony. The bare tree offers an assurance in steadfastness. It is in deep meditation. It will not sway and neither must the mind sway. The footsteps lead to the bottom of the black steps of the fire escape coming up just here. On the first step from the ground, they seem to turn around. They regard…the tree.
Close the door firmly and go back to the center of the floor. What is it about metamorphosing into an insect? You tend to slink away and hide. You may be crushed.
It is too late now. At best, it would be an unpardonable late entry into office. Sunlight brightens the floor. No, there is no sun. Is there a clapping of hands somewhere? The engines are revving. The mover is tooting. Something is singing through the air. Increasingly urgently. Heart-stopping noise. Quake. The floor shakes and the walls quiver.
The tree no longer reaches for the sky.
The sun was indeed out. But momentarily. The shroud of cloud has brightened. The snowflakes are mushy and they are again melting on the panes.
Now, the road is clear.
It does not matter.
About the author:
Pritemon Pirann lives presently in Montreal. His writings have been published in some literary
magazines in Canada and the U.S. He works as a contributor for the journal of a community
Art: What becomes of the broken tartlet by Adam De Ville
In the artist’s words:
My work explores the themes of displacement and belonging, character and scene, using mixed
media. I explore and subvert traditional storytelling narratives of start, middle, end and set up,
conflict, resolve. I like the viewer create their own journey with the work.
My background includes drama: acting, devising and writing, which is currently fuelling my
I have been a professional artist for three years, having sold across the UK and internationally,
and showing at Store Street Gallery London, Lilford Gallery Canterbury, Flux international
exhibition, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Parallax fair London.