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Page history last edited by rsb 8 years, 2 months ago

"Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world." - Edward Hopper

Edward introduced himself to Mr. Fitz.
With his dark skin and graying hair, Mr. Fitz bore a resemblance to pastor Collins.
"How can I help you, Mr. Hopper?", asked the old man.
"I'm looking for a book.", Edward said.
"Well, then, I think you will have an easy time of it here.", the old man said.  Behind him, carved wooden bookshelves rose to the ceiling, and stacks of books were strewn on the counter, leaving only enough room for the register and a small space in which customers could transact with him from their side of the heavy wooden surface.
"Any book in particular, or just a book?" the old man smiled.
"A book on the occult, I believe...", said Edward.
"Well," said the old man, adjusting his spectacles and turning to the shelves behind him, "I can certainly recommend some light reading." He began to pull a gigantic, new-lookig text from the shelf.
"Concerning the posessed.", Edward added quickly.
The old man raised his eyebrows and turned to examine Edward, laying the book he had selected on the counter with a thud.
"If I am not mistaken, there are several mentions of possession in this ostensibly non-ficiton work.  Unless you were looking for fiction.  That section is..." 
"I apologize, but I have become quite familiar with posession through my own study.  I am now interested in a more detailed treatment...What I'm after more specifically is non-fiction...exorcism." Edward said.
The old man gave Edward a brief look up and down.
"Really, what have you read?", the old man asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Nothing." replied Edward.

The old man lowered his eyes to the counter and nodded his head.  He took a look around the narrow store.  Tall windows rose to the high ceiling along narrow streetfront, bookshelves rose to the ceiling along the walls, stairs rose to an open second level in the back half of the store.  A small reading desk and chair sat in the back corner of the first floor.  Piles of books on and behind the counter barely left access to a small office door. 

The old man returned his gaze to the counter.  He looked up to Edward, this time with a wider smile.
"Am I right to assume you are an artist, by trade, Mr. Hopper?"
"Have you heard of me?", he asked.  Edward strained to see how this gentleman could know this on sight.  The average shopkeeper would simply consider Edward an older man in a suit, perhaps one that has missed a great deal of sleep.
"I have a sensitive nose for the oils and spirits involved." said the old man.  Then apologetically, "I was only curious. I get a lot of artists in here.  An imaginition is required to accept the subject matter, perhaps."
He locked the register as he spoke, "Take a look at the section on ritual, second floor, section 719a.  You will find a number of books on the topic there."
The old man picked up the book he had placed on the counter, and turned to return it to the shelves behind him.
Edward was about to speak, when the old man smiled even more broadly, and said, "Excuse me.  I have phone call to make.  If I'm not here when you get back, just ring the bell."
He gestured to a small bell on the counter and turned to enter his office.

Edward was momentarily dissapointed.  Pastor Collins, in his typical impermeable deadpan, had given Edward hope that this shopkeeper might help him understand the frightening condition he and his wife were experiencing.  He had hoped to engage the shopkeeper in further conversation.  Perhaps self-study would help him to ask the right questions.

The stacks on the second level were dusty and dimly lit.  It took some time to find the right section.  Edward found mostly foreign books with names like "Mallei Maleficarum" and "Casum de Incubo".  Ultimately Edward found some texts written in english, made a stack, and took them back to the reading desk on the first floor to choose from among them.

He had just begun to study the first book when a low voice came from behind him.  "We have decided to help you." 
When he turned to see the source, the room darkened strangely, as if a black fog obscured his view.  Edward rubbed his eyes, then when they did not clear, became frightened.  "Mr. Fitz?", Edward turned back to his book, instinctively, his eyes grasping for light, but it was now dark there as well.

"Relax, Edward.  We're going to answer your questions."
Edward turned back to face Mr. Fitz, and found himself held, forcibly, by forces unseen, in that awkward twisted position one has when turning to see something from a chair.  The darkness was complete, except for the outline of the old mans face within it.
"You *do* have a demon in you, don't you."  Mr. Fitz said.
"I...I don't know. Please...my eyes...", said Edward.  He could feel the panic rising up within him.
"Relax, Edward.  We're here to help you."
Edward felt the grip ease on his arms and neck, and some light restored, he looked back to the desk and caught his breath.  He could see the book again. 
Slowly, he turned again to Mr. Fitz, this time rotating his chair, and although he could see the old man dimly, the store behind him was in complete darkness.  He leaned the chair back in fear.
"Tell my why you think you are posessed." said the old man.
Edward breathed heavily for several seconds, then spoke, as in a dream.
"The...the blood.  We find blood...in our kitchen.  And other things...and the models, in my paintings.  N-none of them are alive anymore.  The nights.  We can't stay up, no matter how we try..."
Mr. Fitz laughed.  Not the laugh one would expect from an old shopkeeper.  It was an uncaring, blindly aggressive thing.
"Well, Mr. Hopper." Mr Fitz said in between laughter, "I think we can help you."
Edward focused on breathing.
"Good.  Good.  Stay calm.  You certainly don't want to pass out while you are with us.  Your problem, Mr. Hopper, is that you are a psychopath.", the apparition said.
It continued, "Not, during the day, mind you.  But when you and your wife fall asleep, the beasts within you awaken.  They inhabit your mind for some time.  They are unable to function on their own, requiring you.  And you, Mr. Hopper, an artist pure of heart, are an ideal host.  We assume your wife is similar."
Edward continued to breath rhythmically, his eyes locked on the apparition.
"Good.  Relax.  I am about to tell you how we will exorcise these demons, as you would call them.  You *are* listening...aren't you?"
Edward nodded.
"Good.  Now.  This may be difficult for you.  But it is the key to your salvation.  If you do not do this, the demons within you will discard the bodies of you and your wife, soon enough."
Edward nodded more assuredly this time.
"You are ready?  You will most certainly remember my instructions?"
Edward nodded vigorously and said, "Y-yes."
"Good.  I hope you can manage this...we...want you to paint something."
Edwards jaw dropped.
"I'll even give you the subject.  You *can* paint a building?"
"Yes.", Edward said.
"With people in it."
"Yes!", Edward exclaimed.  He found his throat in a vise, breath completely cut off, his hands and feet held again, nothing but black before his eyes.
"That's the spirit." the apparition said.  "You have a simple task.  You will paint a picture.  It will be compelling.  We will devour the beasts in you and your wife if you succeed."
The grip tightened.
"If you fail, the nighthawks will eat your bodies...your souls...and the beasts."
The blackness diminished, and light returned to the room.  Mr. Fitz stood before him.  Everything was as it was when Edward had arrived.

Edward breathed heavily.  His head felt like it had been beaten by hammers.
Mr. Fitz casually walked around behind the counter and began shuffling through some papers underneath.
A bell tinkled as another customer entered the book store, and began to browse the shelves near the entrance.
Edward composed himself, slowly, then approached the counter, still breathing heavily.

"Here you are Mr. Hopper.", Mr. Fitz said, having pulled the book he had first shown him from the shelf. 
"That will be three dollars. Oh, and here is the picture you requested.", Mr. Fitz said, as he wrote in pen on the back of a 5 by 8 photo.
When Mr. Fitz had finished writing, he opened the book, placed the picture across the pages, back side up, and kept his finger firmly pressed on it, pointing to the writing. "it's in the book." Mr Fitz said with a toothy smile.
-> Memorize and paint this picture.  Include the bartender as you see him.  Discard this picture before you arrive home.  Never mention or set foot in this store again.  No refunds.  <-
Mr. Fitz gave Edward a final overly enthusiastic and toothy smile.  He placed the picture neatly in the book, closed the book, and handed it to Edward.  "Thanks for your business.  Honestly, I've been having trouble moving this one.  Have a nice day."
Mr. Fitz addressed the browsing customer as Edward was leaving, "I'll be with you in a moment, Mr. Weiser."
Edward, still as in a dream, only felt awake when he left the store, and the cold wind hit him. 
He looked at the book "The Urantia Book".  He discarded it in the nearest trash pile and studied the picture as he walked the city.

--------

"I don't get it.", said Ed, staring at the canvas.  It was a painting of a cafe at night.  A few diners sat unenthusiastically, while the sole bartender chattered away.
"Me neither." called Jo from the kitchen.  "It's like it's unfinished or something."
Ed and Jo lived in a studio apartment in Greenwich Village overlooking the park.  Well, it was a little big to call it a studio, but open enough to qualify for that title.  And they only lived there at night.
Ed was in the art room, a place he spent as little time as possible in.  He was studying a painting created not 12 hours prior.
"The coward is using us as models again.  I think we can kill this one, maybe." called Ed in return, pointing vaguely at the bartender in the painting.
"What?" Jo called, and walked out of the kitchen holding a nasty-looking kitchen knife in front of her bloody apron over her conservative black dress.
Ed was lost in thought again, staring at the painting.

"Ed?" Jo said.
He snapped out of it.
"Oh.  Sorry.  I was just saying that the male behind the counter must be a real person.  The rest are modeled on us.  I'm pretty sure this is a real cafe.  But there is this other lady in the window...staring at something..."
Jo looked exasperated.  She breathed heavily and walked back to the kitchen, shaking her head.  Ed could waste any amount of time chasing down dead leads.
"Well come eat, we're going to hunt soon!" she called back.
Ed hopped off the stool with the agility of a gymnast and was in the kitchen hugging Jo from behind in a second. 
"Jo was a beauty fair, her cookin' surely fine.  But you never knew quite who she'd serve when once we sat to dine.", he said with a twang.
Ed tightened his hug and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
"You've been reading that cowboy crap again."
"No I haven't.  I've been talking to Luther.  He tells me all about it."
Jo elbowed him off her, hard, and pulled dinner out of the oven. 
By way of being helpful, Ed slapped her ass as she pulled dinner out.  Jo shot Ed a deadly glance.  Ed raised both hands and backed away slowly, then set the table. 
Jo hated Eds bar-buddy Luther.  Ed was nearly late because of him more times than she could count.

--------

They ate most of the previous nights catch, and were burning by midnight.  Jo began to exhibit the fog by the time she finished dinner.  White fumes moved like clouds in and out of her pores as she put the dishes away and cleaned the kitchen.  Sometimes the fog made shapes like flames, sometimes becoming solid white for a moment, like ghostly tendrils exploring her body. 

The burning always slowed Jo down.  She always tried to ignore it, but it always felt like dying at some point.  She had to make it through.  It never got easy, and tonight was one of the bad ones. 

By the time she had the dishes clean, she was doubled over, leaning on the kitchen counter with one hand, the other on her belly as the fire and the cramps shook her.  At times like this, Ed would be there.

Where was he?  There was too much pain to look for him.  Too much to think.  She only hoped that Ed would come, or that she would die. 

The sweat dripped off her face onto the floor.  Her dress was drenched.  She felt she could not leave this position.  She knew she would die here.  The fog surrounded her.  It was all she saw.  One last try. 

"Ed." she said, weakly pleading.  She willed the fog from her head, and her head to turn to the entryway to the kitchen.  An act of hope.

Ed was there, skin as red as hers.  His lean arms held oustretched out and down, palms up.  The white fog a solid thing flowing out of him like snakes, reaching from him to her.  When it contacted her, it tickled, burned, and mixed with her fog, and enveloped her, relieving the pain like no drug could.  Ed was made for this.  He saved her, as he did every night, and while she slept, he took whatever shape he preferred. 

She dreamed of him.  In her dream Ed created his new shape out of the fog.

The fog worked slowly, but it could bend to the will, given time.  Once bent, it could be as solid as any other object.  Moreso, it seemed to Jo.  But once a shape was taken, it would take time to change it again.  Jo would not dare shape the fog in any but the most basic of ways, but those she could do quickly.  Ed was so much better at manipulating it than she.  He was the artist.  He could do anything with it.

Perhaps the will and the mind worked slowly.  For the fog could also move quickly on it's own, and it could transport Ed or Jo across small distances in the blink of an eye.  The fog was it's own animal, strong, obedient - it lived in symbiosis with them - it woke them from their pathetic alter-egos, and made them powerful.  Without it, they would not exist.

In return, they fed it.

----

She woke up in bed an hour later.  Leaning on her elbow she saw a dog-like animal of immense muscularity sitting vigil, looking out the window at the park.  Jo closed her eyes.  When she opened them she stood next to the dog, whose shoulder on all fours was at the same height as hers standing up - it's voluminous body many times the size of her overall.  She followed it's gaze to the fountain in washington square park, then gently put her arm over it's shoulder.  It turned its snout to her and brushed it's head up against her.
 
"I'll get dressed", Jo said, and went next door.

------

At the fountain Jo approached the old man.  With a playful smile she struck up conversation. 

"I love this fountain." Jo said.  She was in a short red dress now, a full length fitted wool coat, unbuttoned, and heels.
"I remember when they built this fountain.  You might not have been in the city back then.  It was a wooden arch for a while."
"You know a lot about this place." Jo said with a tilt of her head and an admiring smile.
Before long she was spinning for him, showing him her dress under her full length coat, tickling his chin and toying with him.  She had done this a hundred times.  When she came in to kiss him she willed tendrils of fog into existence to brush the old mans hair.  Then she pulled back, and had the tendrils grip his head like steel tongs, holding his head a foot distant.  She grabbed his wrists with her hands.  He struggled.  At the height of his panic, she let go.  The old man stumbled back, fell, crawled, ran.  She moved ten meters at a time, disappearing and reappearing, pushing the old man down for a while.  Jo laughed gaily at the sight of the increasingly scraped, paniced, and clumsy man.  He kept getting up, and kept running in the direction he thought he might avoid the demon woman.  He called for help, but his call was cut short. 

One thing Jo knew how to make out of the fog were fingernails.  Long, sharp, white nails.  It had taken her a long time to learn, and it was one of her few tricks, aside from blinking ahead.  She had made one such nail earlier in the night, and had it fully extended now, pointing through the back of the old mans throat.  Impaled on the nail, the old mans cry was in blood, flowing down his shirt.  Jo extracted the nail, lithely swung around to embrace him from behind, and blinked back to the apartment ten feet at a time, rapidly enough not to be seen.

On a building across the street, Ed watched Jo dissapear.  It was a good catch, and easy.  He wouldn't need to hunt tonight if he didn't feel the desire to.  Of course, he always felt the desire to kill.

The fog made Ed incredibly strong.  He could probably leap from the building he stood on, if he wished, but stealth was more appropriate given his habits.  He blinked in and out of city yards for a while, mauling dogs, giving their owners something to think about.  After he had his fill of that, he visited the alley outside Cinnabar, a dive he frequented.  The alley was dark, and full of trash.  A lone drunk passed out among it.  It took him fifteen minutes to ply the fog back into an invisible state, minus the cane.  When he had returned entirely to his human form, he was a healthy 60-year old man, dressed to the nines.  Ed liked to show up in his fineries, to encourage muggers.  The tuxedo was a bit overdone, but he had to let his alter ego buy the clothes.  Unfortunately, word had got around that it was unsafe to mug men near Cinnabar, perhaps due to the rash of killings of common criminals in recent years.  Ed was not approached as he casually strolled through the alley and walked in the door, ivory white cane in hand.

By 1AM Cinnabar was filled with dim light, smoke, the stench of spilled liquor, and a collection of drunks casually strewn around the bar or it's darker corner tables, most bent over their drinks, occasionally yelling an invective and laughing at no one in particular.  In the far corner, tonight, two men Ed considered gangsters were quietly talking. 

At the bar, Luther was mumbling something incoherent to no one.

In the seat to Luthers right, an out-of-place well-dressed irishman did his best to blind himself with a bottle of Jack.  The irishman was a large man, in vest, jacket, agitated, with a balding head and red mustache.  Ed felt he was the archetypical image of a corrupt cop.

"Evening, Luther." Ed said as he sat to Luthers left.
Luther turned his head a few inches so he could momentarily get an eyeball on Ed, and let out a grunt.  Luthers one swath of long white hair moved as he did so, swinging to cover his right eye.  Then he turned back to his drink, his head fallen even lower than before he had raised it.  The hair laid back down over the eye he used to identify Ed, brushed against his huge hook nose, and dipped into his drink. 
Luther was a huge man, but so bent, drunk, and everpresent that most people looked on Luther as part of the wooden bar itself.
"Luther, I've been thinking about what you said." said Ed.  "Regarding the prairie wolves."
Luther began to mumble at that, slowly, sounds gradually congealing into words.  "mph...lips curled back in snarls of hate, they wail a curse against their fate.", he said.
"Exactly.  Now why should prairie wolves wail a curse against their fate?", Ed asked.
"Because they're wolves!", said Luther.
"But the *wolves* are the hunters.", said Ed.
"No they're not!  They're takin' the hell-bound train!", Luther said.
"I see.", said Ed.  "But Luther, you assume hell itself is a bad place."
Ed thoughtfully tapped his lips with a forefinger. "I'm going to have to call that into question, Luther."  Ed knew that was enough to get Luther onto another poem, eventually.
Luther mumbled a few bars of something unintelligible, then began again coherently.
"A texas cowboy on a barroom floor,
drunk so much e' could drink no more;
fell asleep with a troubled brain,
Ta dream he rode a hell-bound train."
He paused, then became more animated as he went on, and louder.
"The engine with murderous blood was damp!,"

At that the irishman next to Luther interjected, "Take yer talk of hell ta' the other side a' the bar, ya filthy drunk!"
Luther gave the irishman a brief eyeball, and his speech devolved into animated mumbling.
Ed leaned in front of Luther to fix his eyes on the Irishman. "Do not interrupt us again..."
The irishman, mistaking Ed in almost every way, briefly made eye contact and dismissed him with a smirk and a slur, "Ta hell with ya' both, frog!" and turned back to his drink.
Ed continued, "...because Luther here, has killed more men before breakfast than you can count, sir."
The irishman simply scoffed, and poured himself another drink.
"You *can* count, can't you?", Ed asked.
"Listen ye fuckin faggot frog miscreant!  I'll put me gun up yer arse if ye interrupt me drink one more time!  The only thing standin' tween you an me is an old drunk and yer fuckin fear.  Now keep at n' mind!"
Ed calmly leaned back onto his stool and faced front.
"I'm sorry for that interruption, Luther.", he said.
Luther continued to mumble.

Shortly, the irishman got up to head to the bathroom.  Ed followed him in.
There was barely enough room for both of them to stand.  A deep-sink and a mop were to Eds right.  In front of him, the irishman had his hand on the door of the sole toilet stall.  The irishman looked over his shoulder with a sneer, re-evaluating Ed, "Well, ye're a queer dyke-jumper, aren'tcha.  There's one pisser ere, so wait outside."
Ed didn't move, but the irishman needed relief more than a fight, entered the stall, and began his business.
Ed blinked to the other side of the door, interrupting the Irishmans standing evacuation by pushing him against the wall, his head smacking against the pipe leading up to the toilet resevoir.
As the fog leaked out of Ed and filled the space between the Irishman and himself, the Irishman recovered and threw a left elbow back.  It contacted Ed, but was gripped by the fog.  A right elbow was thrown.  It too, was caught.  The Irishman struggled and began to make demands.
"I'm a cop!" he said.
The fog gathered around the irishmans throat.
"Uhk..o.k...o.k." said the Irishman, his speech labored.
Ed raised his cane so that the ball-end touched the irishmans lips.  A spike grew from the ball and pierced his nose. Then Ed released him, ripping the nostril.
The cop sat on the toilet, terror in his eyes, blood leaking from his nose and forehead, as he looked up at the man half-made of fog.  He could not take his eyes away.  He fumbled in his pocket with his left hand and pulled his wallet out, held it up to Ed.
"No." Said Ed, and with an open palm gently pushed the hand containing the wallet back down.  "I'm here for the look in your eyes."
Blindingly quickly, Ed put the spike in the cops belly as the fog again took a hold of his throat and hands.  They stayed there, eyes locked, until it was over.

Luther had given Ed a lot to think about.  It had been a long time since he had considered existential issues.  Ed blinked through the wall to the alley, and went home.  He would be home in plenty of time tonight.

-------

Jo and Ed walked arm in arm down the dark street leading to the diner.  The diner was an odd-shaped, brightly-lit thing, as in the painting.  Huge glass windows ran along the front and part of each side.  At a triangular bar, several people sat.  Clothes aside, none of the diners looked anything like the ones in the painting, but that was to be expected.  

As they approached, their target came into view.  The bartender, an older man, with a severe limp, wearing a tie and shirt under the white hat and uniform of the restaurant.  He came over to the bar, lifted the hinged counter to enter, and began filling the water glasses of the seated customers.

"Not much of a likeness. Nice of him to choose a late-night diner, though." Ed said.
"I think he caught him pretty well." Said Jo. "I wonder when he'll stop using models entirely."
"I've been thinking that myself." Ed said. "We'll have to find a new game."
Ed looked at Jo and said, "I think it might be time for us to find a new couple."
"Ed dear!  We've had so much fun here."
"I know Jo, but we've never NOT inhabited a couple.  I know that we can somehow survive in between, but I don't want to find out what it's like.  Better to move into younger bodies, younger minds."
Jo looked at him. "Why?  These two are still healthy.  Do you think we've blown our cover?"
"One thing is for certain.  If we keep moving, we won't."
Jo thought about that as they walked, her brow furrowed with concern.
They passed the diner and turned down a dark alley at the next block.
Ed began to transform. 
"Well, lets stay here, Ed, in the city." she said.  She knew he wouldn't talk while he was focusing on his art.
"You aren't worried for any other reason in particular?" she asked.  She bit her nails in nervous thought for a moment.
"I'm going to see if I can find that woman in the window, then.", Jo said, and walked away.

Ed took the form of a giant snake he had seen in one of Edwards art books, and blinked into the attic of the diner.  He allowed the fog to poke a small hole in the plaster above the entrance to the bar, and observed the cripples progress, then slowly moved on to examine the rest of the restaurant.  He was looking for a back room, or a bathroom, where the bartender might be alone for a while.

Jo, in the meantime, walked alone past the upstairs apartments next door to the restaurant, and found an open window.  She blinked in.  No one was home.  The apartment, apparently, was vacant.  She felt a sudden chill, and walked to the window. 

Two of the customers were leaving the diner, dressed in suits, putting on their hats.  Others were getting dressed.  There was something odd about the group as a whole.

One of the two stopped at the street sign on the corner, facing away from her, and began fiddling through his pockets for cigarrettes.  The other waited patiently.

Then she looked back at the diner.  Another patron was outside. 

But he was on the side of the diner near her.  The diner's sole door was on the other side. 

 

Another patron, having just stood up from the bar, suddenly appeared outside with him.  As she realized the gravity of the situation, the world seemed to dim, and she felt herself choking.

Ed waited patiently for the barkeep to re-enter the kitchen, but he never came.  He grew impatient and blinked back to where he could observe the bar.  It was empty.  Something was wrong. 

He blinked back to the alley and was face to face with two gigantic black birds.  He froze for a moment, and they were upon him.  Their massive beaks clasped around each end of his form.  He tried to blink but somehow could not, their black forms surrounding him, rising up into the sky, and above the diner.  He lashed out with spikes of fog into the eyes of the beasts, and they faltered in flight, but did not release their grasp. A third bird came to their aid, grabbing his center with it's talons and dragging the group back into slow flight toward the front of the diner.

At that moment the apartment across from the diner exploded.  White spray blew the brick and wood out as if it were ash in a storm.  A seething white angel of death took form in the remains of the building, clawing at the beast on her neck with knifelike fingers, black spray flying in all directions where she struck.  The black beast cried, "Now!  Help!"

The two patrons at the street sign had not been looking for cigarettes, but had handcuffed themselves to the sign.  They made as to leap, and their human bodies collapsed as an explosion of black fired like a geyser from each, one arc curving through the air into Ed, the other into Jo.  Eds form, writhing but completely subdued, went ashen immediately, and the white began to fade.  The angel fought back, slashing at both the spray and the demon at her neck, but gradually she slowed, and became ashen, and finally black.

Moments later, five well-dressed men and one woman stood above the bodies of Edward and Josephine in the back alley of the diner.

The woman took the body of Josephine in her arms. "That one's smart." she said, nodding to Edward.  "It was lucky to seperate them.  Distracted this one.  She's was the real danger.  If I hadn't had her neck from the start..."
"Maybe.", another said.
"Either way, I'm taking these two home." said the woman, "they've earned it."

-------

The smell of smoke woke Josephine Hopper at 2AM.  She rolled to see Edward sleeping, and pushed him.  He stirred, but did not wake. 
"Edward!" she said.
Edward rolled over, "Josephine." he replied, barely able to see her.
Then they both stopped and took in the unusual situation.  It was late, later than they had been up in a long time.  They both smelled smoke now, and realized they were in bed in their clothes.
They looked at each other in concern, then in unison ran downstairs, and out into the street.  

The heard the fire engines.  They saw flames from the apartment next door.
Slowly, the knowledge of a deep change in their innner lives set in.  They held each other long after they began to feel that change in the world around them.

 

 

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