Suddenly there was noise. Shadows outlined by the tunnel lights edged closer to reveal a man and girl. Struggling to a broken bench in the middle of the abandoned subway station the man roughly threw the girl down, amidst cries and protests, and quickly climbed atop.

Hearing something above his head the man looked up to see a dove in the rafters. Hopping from left to right the bird turned its head and flapped its wings, softly cooing. “Would you look at that?” The man said, smiling down at the girl. “Even the bird is excited.”

Ignoring the man’s attempts at humor the girl continued to struggle. The man clenched his fist and made ready to descend. A thump stopped him. “Who’s there?” He called, fear clear in his voice. He’d never done anything like this before and, try as he might to appear confident in his actions, nerves racked his very being.

Footsteps, clasped in heels, sounded closer. Out of the shadows emerged the tall and slim figure of a woman. Dressed extravagantly in surprisingly tight clothing, he was momentarily awed into stillness by her beauty. Quickly closing the distance she first looked down at the girl and smiled, conveying that everything would be just fine in a moment. The girl looked back and was still.

Clenching her fist just as the man had the woman drew back and struck, knocking him across the room. While the man mourned the loss of his now broken nose, screaming in pain and fury, the mysterious woman helped the other up, brushing off her face. Smiling again, she gently pushed her towards the exit with a pleasant farewell wave. The girl ran from there never once looking back.

Turning her attention back to the man, now on his knees, the woman walked towards him confidently. “The fuck man?” The man looked through blurry eyes at the approaching sight.

“By God! This is the best beloved of the worlds, and yet ye comprehend not.” The woman spoke finally, with a voice unlike her looks: high-pitched and grating to his ears.  

“What are you talking about?” The man asked. “She—we were role-playing!” He motioned to his now absent female counterpart. “Who the fuck are you?”

“As wind I have settled here and inhabit this place. May He who causes His name to dwell in this House, cause to dwell among you love and brotherliness, peace and friendship.”

“What?” The man asked before another fist rearranged his mind. When he awoke he found himself on a bench in a park down the street from the old subway station he’d fallen asleep in. How odd he would want to squat there for the night; it was so cold and lonely in that building.

Rubbing his eyes he stood and went in search of breakfast. Along the way he happened upon an older man who struggled up the stairs to his apartment complex. The man, now innocent in mind, stopped to help his elder inside, rewarded with five dollars (which he later used to buy a cup of coffee).  

The older man was delighted but showed concern over the state of his helper’s face, which was blessed with a black-eye and swollen nose. The man couldn’t remember how it happened and told the other not to spare a moment’s thought on it. If he wasn’t worried about it, why should he?       


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