‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’ … ‘Dip your toe in’ excerpt no. 2

The Path Through the Eye of Another

This excerpt follows directly on from ‘Dip your toe in no.1’ which can be found below and also under the ‘My EBOOK releases’ tab.

The Glass

Drip …

The small, glistening droplets of water fell, missing the dry glass every time.

Drip …

Dust from the street caked the interior of the glass, the water landing just a fraction too far to the right to quench its parched, grit-smeared transparency.

Drip …

But the air-con extractor pipe, on the wall above the broken man, didn’t know this so continued its dripping to the same place, spilling its potentially life giving by-product onto the cracked and blood stained pavement, there to evaporate uselessly in the mid-afternoon sun.

The man was too far away. He couldn’t reach the glass to move it below the drops and catch a little of their refreshment; his once agile body now refused to respond.

Another explosion from somewhere close by. The man sensed a faint thickening of the dust on the air: a mixture of the familiar dry sand of the park down the road and the newer, more vivid brick and plaster of the latest destroyed building. The mix coagulated as it settled in his black, blood-matted hair.

He knew which building it was—had been—too, their old political headquarters where their dream had become, almost, reality. And with the building’s demise he felt the now familiar pain of emptiness stabbing at his gut once again.

‘Bah! To hell with it …’ He didn’t need those with whom he’d once shared hopes for a new world, the good ones were all gone now, anyway. He didn’t need It, the ‘Cause’. He didn’t even need her, the woman who had once been his right hand, not anymore. He had cared before, he had fought and he had loved.

But he felt nothing now, inside—in there he was already dead.

The man gazed at the grit-covered glass again. It looked hazy now, its lines blurred; the water splatters were teasing it still.

He sighed and closed his eyes. His nose was full of dust but the rest of him was a void, no emotions left, incapable of feeling.

‘No need to go on.’ But yes, he’d known that for a long time.



He grew up in a small village in the sierra, near Teruel, Northeast Spain. A typical boy: playing with friends, roaming hills, fishing, and when he was older motor-biking along dusty paths through the pine woods. It was on one of these motorbike trips that he met his friend, a tall and worldly looking man wearing work clothes, scruffy with age and use. His friend was older by ten years than he and told the boy things of the world outside the mountains, a world into which the boy had ventured little—his village gave him everything. However, the boy felt he knew that outside world well for he saw it on the television every evening, with his family all around him.

‘It is a bad world now,’ his new friend told him. ‘There is nothing good there anymore. There is no work, no money; people are all day in the street drinking and fighting.’ The new friend sneered with contempt. ‘There is no direction anymore.’

‘It is true,’ the boy replied; he had seen the images on the news. Then his new friend invited him to a meeting, a union of people who wanted to change things, who believed they could see a new path.

So the boy ventured down on his motorbike in the afternoon, early to make sure he didn’t miss anything. The meeting was in an old, crumbling, summer house—it would have been beautiful once, he thought—at the foot of the mountains. And there, he listened to his new friend talking, and more people talking. They had drive and a plan, they wanted to win, to show ‘the bastards who had let their country sink into its current destitution’ how they should do their jobs. There would be punishments, yes. But later there would be good, much good, and the people out ‘there’ would be happy again. 

And the boy felt empathy with these sentiments. Although for him the hardships were not obvious, he was sorry for those who did not have what he had in his village, where they grew their food so did not have to worry much about money. And he felt angry that the leaders had squandered so foolishly that which they had always taken, in the name of society, from the people they had claimed to be helping.

He would help this Cause, aid them in bringing about the change. And by the end of the evening he could see the way illuminated before him, as brightly as the stars which shone down from up above the tree-furred ridges behind the summer house.

And he journeyed back to his own house that night with excitement in his belly and a glint in his eye. And from that day things were different for him.

But now, amidst the explosions and clouds of destruction, he couldn’t remember any of this. 


©Davey Northcott January 2014


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