(This is a piece about a character I have previously worked with. I believe there are other pieces with him on this blog, but it has been a while. Anyway, hope you enjoy!…Mark pieces are always strange.)
Mark knew it was time to hang up his coat, but he just could not bring himself to release the fabric nestled firmly between his fingers. Both hands gripped at the shoulders of his medium length brown jacket with the aspiring-to-truly-be-wood buttons. It was unclear to him why he would feel such an attachment to this coat on this particular day, as the snow had finally ceased for the time being.
Mark decided to simply wear it. Then, halfway to donning the oaken fabric, he paused. Mark returned to his previous position–arms in front of him, fingers gripping the shoulders of the coat. The warm coat. The dustless, soft, burdenless cloth…
I am unable to release the one thing in this world capable of shielding me from the least bit of harm. You see them, hung across the mantle of everyone from tall and gray to portly and crumpled up on the sidewalk. What is the average being to do without a piece of fur to call their very own? The sun is the great betrayer, promising us all warmth and comfort, only to leave us without so much as dry land with which to bring about sustenance. The crippling anxiety of the End, creeping up all around us as the trees breath their final breaths and the animals hide away from the world, damning it for all it has taken from them. Why are we so cursed? Why must the crusted ice of the sill spell so much doom in our deepest of hearts? We do not grow from the seed that sprouted alongside the brightest day, nay. We are the forfeiture of a long forgotten failure, we are the final product of what lived through death and kept going despite all signs of the Apocalypse posted around our parking spot. We brush the snow away from our windshields to live our normal lives and forget that we are the seed that held out. We are the cave dwellers and the food hoarders. We are the fearful, the murderers, the intruders. We are the seed that survived by any means necessary. The world tried to tell us our time was up, and instead we devoured each other, we devoured our own kin, and for what but fear? We know not what lies beyond the gates of the dying woods, and so we quiver and tremble and viciously grasp at scraps and tangle with the desperate need to let go, and the urgent flow of blood and marrow telling us “NO”. Thus we lived and what have we to show for it? We tremble yet but subtely so, behind our coats and our cars and our lies of fine days. We do not care for the planet that tried everything in its power to get rid of us, as we are a parasite and always have been. Yet we lived, and now in spiteful greed we strike back, living as best we can even in the seasons of slow demise. We do everything to take from the planet what made it green and lively and great, and we cover it with gray, the staunch and silent gray it tried to silence us with. We are a mean, hateful entity. We do not live and forgive, but try to make this great round beast feel the pain we felt long ago. Some disagree and try to reason with those of wallets aburst, but they are truly the lucky ones. Those with the most look at all their surplus and all they can see is what their deepest heart truly fears–their stockpile freezing over, decaying, leaving them alone and cold and quiet. Thus they are louder, more greedy than ever, and they–we–will not stop until we have the impossible number, the very soul of Terra torn from the flesh of the Earth in our grasp, giving us the sun itself, bottled and tame. All we wanted was warmth and peace, and in taking that from us, with each passing orbit, we became evil. We are born with the knowledge, the silent hatred of powers outside our grasp. You made us this way, and now, though you are stronger, we will make sure you come down with us.
…Mark blinked a soft blink. Through his lashes, he could see sunlight through wetness. Dew, and daylight, with oaken warmth beyond.
With a nod, he put his coat on its respective rack. He made sure it was not touching any other jackets in the area, and made his way to his desk, giving a wave here, a smile there.
Clouded, the sun slept.