Monday, November 22, 2010


The juggler is in the marketplace, calling for the knives of murderers, knives that have been used to kill.

One by one they approach him, running quickly out of the shadows and retreating before they can be recognized. Grizzled old men whose hands have lost their blood lust, shy children too innocent to know what they offer, abandoned wives reluctant to let go of that last keepsake, however tainted its past. And who's to say one of these shadowy figures is not in fact a shade, the knife like a flower plucked straight out of its wound?

And the knives! Straight and curved, long and slight, a Babel of blades proving murder multilingual, there being as many ways to kill a man as there are races or creeds. Yet look how easily each knife he receives is added to the act, the steel flashing as it is tossed into the air, taking its place among its brethren in a circuit that grows ever higher, ever more elaborate, until it is difficult to believe that all this is the work of two lone hands.

Then you realize it isn't. At some point the juggler must have passed a knife to another, because they are going back and forth through the crowd now, the blades flickering in the air above you like so many metal dolphins leaping out of the sea. And you are amazed at how many accomplices the juggler has, until you notice that you too are a part of it, and you watch entranced as your fingers reach up and pluck a naked blade out of the air, only to throw it back a second later, catch and release, catch and release, and you feel exhilarated because you are no juggler, because you never dreamed you had this in you, and because you are proud to be part of this, whatever this is, the provenance of the knives already forgotten, mere arcs of steel connecting person to person, hand to hand.

What happens when the show is over? Will he be able to catch them all?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was awesome. But revenge?