by Sherry Huang
Art by Carrie An
Issue: Scintilla (Spring 2019)
Don’t stay on the street.
The instruction fluttered in Robert’s mind as he walked, like a moth inside a paper lantern. But there was no way off the street,it was perfectly straight and stretched all the way down until it touched the horizon. At that particular point the sky was darkest because the sun was rising from the opposite end, facing Robert’s back. Houses painted in sandy hues lined the two sides of the street. Sycamore trees spread star-shaped leaves to the sky, violet morning glories twirled up walls to spill over rooftops. The houses were empty, but one got the feeling they weren’t lonely. The street was empty of life as well, and so silent that Robert could almost hear clouds drifting across the sky…
Don’t stay on the street! He jerked out of the lull and looked around wildly for a turn in the road. Nothing except two lines of houses forming a straight hallway down.
By now, the sun had almost arched halfway across the sky. Before it went any further, it paused and slowly arched backwards. The point where the street met the horizon was farthest away from the sun, and still darker than the rest of the sky.The sun never sets here, Robert mused. What a peaceful place! I would be fine walking down this street forever. It’s funny, I think I could walk down this street forever. I’ve been walking for hours now without feeling hungry or tired—
A gaping hole appeared suddenly on his left. It was a turn. He stared into it, then hesitantly put a foot inside. A sudden twist of hunger. He pulled his foot back and the ach subsided. Don’t stay on the street… Why shouldn’t he? Because there’s somewhere you need to go! Somewhere… his memory fluttered frantically. Somewhere…
The sycamore leaves waved in the breeze, the houses shone warmly against the sky. Robert walked decisively away from the turn and continued down the street.
Soon, the sun arched back to it’s starting point. It rose again on the back of a man who walked interminably down a peaceful street, towards a point on the horizon which was always darker than the rest of the sky.