Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Searching for the Gold Man

A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Alchemical" in Mirror Shards.

I wander the slums looking for the crazy, or perhaps not-so-crazy, man that had accosted me. The city grows dark as it nears twilight and although I thought to see everything gold, I find the streets no different than I had feared. The stink of offal and feces swirl through the narrow alleys near the tannery quarter. Flea-bitten children swarm past me like angry bees.

My skin itches, everywhere but especially under the bandage where I've laid bare my now gold body. This afternoon, shortly after the Gold Man touched me, a teenaged boy ran down the street and collided with me. I reached out with my hand and clawed his forearm as I helped him catch his balance. He bled crimson blood as fear filled his eyes and he twisted out of my grip.

I try to find the old man, but he seems to be gone. Nothing seems out of the ordinary here. Just as I consider my options thinking that I have failed, I see gold footsteps in the mud. Leading east.

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