The dial doubled decibels and drowned out the howl on a block notable only for noise. The sun forced into the filth of the floor at a forty-five degree angle, burning any ants trapped in the myriad of magnifying glass, broken or in bottle form. Blood frosted the peaks of the ridged glass ranges sprawled across the linoleum floor. The most desperate of ants braved it, deranged by the southern summer sun, trying to find the zenith of their Everest. Telfare didn’t mind. In fact, he liked the fuckers. Through four foster homes, eight girlfriends, seventeen apartments, three colleges and an infinite amount of bottles his tiny insect ecosystem seemed the only permanent fixture in a ephemeral life.
The snow of blood was Telfare’s own, an early morning dream had left him sweating cold bullets on a sheet-less bed. He had found himself on a shore he had known in early childhood. The shore where he had last seen his mother. Her clothes too small and her face painted bright red around the lips and bright blue around the eyes. She had handed Telfare a book that seemed twice his size at the time. ‘A Boys First Book of the Stars’ was etched in gold lettering on the cover. He accepted it not understanding the implications of the gift. His mother walked North purposefully crushing the wet sand with pointed heels, while her figure obscured into a red and blue dot and eventually to nothing. Telfare sat waiting alone until dark. The sun set and he matched the pictures in his new book to the new twilight.
Now, in a dream he was an adult on the same shore, holding the same book that was still twice his size, making it a good eleven feet tall. He tried to find the patterns of the book in the sky but they were cryptic and unrecognizable now. Telfare grew tired of the dream game, threw the book into the tide and walked along the shore. It grew darker and darker and he grew uneasy. He found himself overcompensating and walking twice what he considered a casual speed. The wet sand began to pull at his shoes like quicksand, pulling him under. He panicked, using all effort to pull his feet from the tar-pit, he fell short of breath. In the distance he spotted a white pinprick that stood out against a black chalkboard horizon. Telfare slowed his pace and held twitching limbs still as he approached the figure. The man stood motionlessly facing the sea. Telfare leaned unto the mans shoulder.
‘Rare night, so clear you can see all the stars.’ Telfare blurted out without meaning.
‘A Boys First Book of the Stars’ the man replied.
Telfare’s spine snapped straight, he took an awkward step back and back again and fell on some inconsistent mountains of sand. The man slowly turned around to reveal a mirror image of Telfare’s current self down to the miss-matched shoelaces and all, except he held an urn between his haunches. He popped it open and ashes dispersed three hundred and sixty degrees around them, like a tornado, up and into the ocean air.
‘Who are you mourning?’ Telfare screamed over the increasingly loud wind and tide.
‘Us! We are wheels within wheels and nothing more!’