Underneath the window of the shop a boy stood. He played with a coin that he continually and with a twist of his wrist used to assault the crumbling plaster of the wall at his feet. He stopped once in a while to look up at the window. The plaster flecked white on his otherwise dirty shoe.
The window of the shop above flickered with a deep light. The light of a betrayed woman’s eyes in winter. The boy displayed patience of a man four times his age. In time, the light faded and the boy looked down and then up the alley where he had stood for a hundred years or more. He stooped down and collected the coin from the grit of the alley. The white of the plaster and the red of the brick that lay underneath ran in curving lines into the creases of the asphalt at his feet, a vascular roadmap, science class diagram of a man with no skin, head turned in silent embarrassment at being found so stripped naked.
The boy looked once more at the shop window and pocketed the coin. He turned and began to walk, following the footsteps of a cat that had darted silent as thought from behind a derelict dumpster. He began to whistle. His hands found his pockets where the right hand idly turned the coin over and over. The alley met a street where astonishingly tall women sailed in pairs carrying parcels or pushing bicycles under trees draped with the precarious heads of late Spring blooms, each one like the face of a woman about to slide from the side of a listing, wailing ocean liner. Thinly they screamed, the air peeling fingers from limbs sending them descending to carpet the path of the cat and therefore the boy.
At the seawall. The scent of the sea sweeps the enormous coral stones of the battlement. Bracing against the angry darkness of the limitless aggression of the ocean which steals the whistle from his face. He throws the coin into the clamor and terror beneath him. The cold fiend immediately clutching the coin in its salty folds.
Turning he sees the skyline of the city. In the high street the shop light again bleeds its color into the ancient iron columns of cloud.