The dog was nearly as jumpy as the human it was escorting. Like peas in a pod, they were. Both going slightly grey about their muzzles, both lean and wiry.
He was clearly a veteran, and the dog may well have been too. You can’t always disguise the nervous tics of someone freshly home from combat. The strangest things would alarm both man and dog, sometimes causing them to practically levitate in surprise.
Then the moment would pass and they’d realize together that whatever the shared moment was about, it wasn’t real, wasn’t happening here and now.
So I sit here and watch people go by, and they sit over there and relive their shared pasts. I briefly consider telling them who I am and what I am doing, but then that never works out well. I can invent a better story for them from here than whatever it is that they share.
So I collect my cane, my hat, and my notes and make my way towards the parking lot to find my car, leaving them in their moment. Together.
views to die for from the very edge
lift rising to rooftop penthouse
golden chains cut to escape
fancy dress hides truth
knowing is all
lied to hide greater
truth behind finery
rewarded by safe escape
smoothed egos greased palms gilded cage
see it all in memory’s mirror
It always begins with a fount of knowledge. The all-seeing eye that watches and records, and the leak from it back into the mortal world.
Leaks always seem like a good idea at the time.
Some over-confident blowhard is brought down by a well-timed leak. The gods are keeping useful things like “fire” to themselves, but a gutsy mortal, acting on a leak, can steal it.
But all too often, the result of a leak is more scandal, and punishment of the source.
That is partially why Sisyphus is still pushing that boulder, after all.
And even though he has since learned to apply tools to his problem and shave years off his sentence, math tells us that his sentence is still forever. He’s also learned that magic such as levitation is considered cheating, and didn’t earn him any goodwill. Cheating was the larger part of why he was condemned to that boulder in the first place.
In fact, his only way out is to simply endure it, serve his time, and hope that he is laboring in a side timeline that will be looped back into the normal frame of things so that after his infinite service, he returns humbled and can redeem his good name.
They won’t believe the tale he’ll tell, of course.