The sun beat down raising the mercury so high that the heat rose as waves pulsing upwards from the streets, creating rhythmic rivers stretching toward the sky. Lot upon lot exposed, as the remaining homes slowly sought to release themselves from the rotted and burnt hold that a once thriving humanity no longer claimed. The destruction of damnation declared its power over the neighborhood, and shouted from each once grand home upon the street. Charred remains of skeletal homes displayed empty rooms where had once families gathered and slept within the arms of safety. The remnants of a once prosperous neighborhood lay scattered about with no explanation of the type of war waged upon this land.

Within and without the architecture, fields were reclaiming their once rolling meadows. Hollowed-out homes with their broken doors and shattered windows were slowly becoming reclaimed, as brown grasses, forgotten wildflowers and tree saplings endured the searing breeze. This new life would be the conquerors of progressive society. This was once a ghetto; now it was the ominous fall out of the degradation of destruction.

At the very end of this street stood one home with a porch that had not yet succumbed to the totality of destruction. It appeared approachable, if one was careful and stepped lightly. To all outside appearances, it was as deserted as the other cadaverous buildings. There was an actual door to the house, and it was solid. Most of the windows on both the first and second floor still had glass remaining. Seething eddies of heat twisted their way in through open orifices of the home, transforming the abode to a veritable oven, as the mercury within rose well above that without. The heat slowly rose as an incinerator lit to burn man’s waste, or a kiln for the potters’ ware.

The balcony on the second floor did tilt toward the street at a dizzying 20 or so degrees and the supporting pillars were beginning to crumble. However, they also had not surrendered to the damage as the other homes displayed. Upon this balance stood one rusted chair that did not appear strong enough to support the weight of a leaf, yet willingly offered a place of rest amongst the destruction.

Suddenly, the door on the balcony that once shielded its occupants from the elements, opened. A woman appeared, holding a tiny infant to her breast. The flowing white shroud against her melanic skin radiated against the drab kiln background, as she sought relief from the burning embers. The scorching sun reflected upon the infant’s diaper, creating a brilliant glow that had not been seen in years within this neighborhood. His skin became so black against the white garb that is appeared to being to radiate a hope and joy; they appeared ready to bless peace upon the forgotten wasteland. They were life that came from an empty land.

With no regard to the impossibility, she slowly sat upon the offering of the lone chair and cradled the infant in her arms. The integrity and stamina of a queen emanated as she sat upon her corrosive throne, and looked out upon the campaign. She and her infant were imperishable, and the moment, could survive with peace. The heat rose and fell in tides as they sat there calmly surveying the land they called home. Eventually, she rose, turned, and walked back into their quarters. The door closed, and it once again became a part of the landscape of ruin.

Fresh air blew past on a calm wind, tossing the rivers of heat across the road and into the gutters of the remaining architecture. The grasses rustled in the meadows, and the death of man’s progress prevailed.

© 10/2010 julie sortor

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