The Narrow Path
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Inspired from a line in Objects In Space.


He sat--alone in a room lit only by the glowing figures cascading down the screen in front of him, his stylus quickly tapping on the pad in his hand. Time was short and there was much to do. Knowing he had no hope of saving himself, he continued covering his tracks in the hope others might be spared.

A slight change in the air pressure pulled his attention away from his hurried work. Not yet, he thought. “You’re early.”

For a moment there was nothing. He began to think his imagination was running amok, but then the soft noise of fabric brushing fabric dispelled his hopes. He feverishly entered more information into his hand unit and, taking one last look at the screen, slowly turned his chair around.

“Ah, you.” Great dread passed through his heart, but he knew it would not show on his face. He’d been schooled in many things in his rise to power and being enigmatic was one of them. “I knew they’d send someone. You are a surprise.”

The shadow stopped its progress across the room. It was the shape of a man; however, he knew it wasn’t a man, not any more. To gain time for his programs to run, and to hide the screen from the shadow, he rose from his chair and calmly straightened the front of his silk shirt. “I suppose there is no point in my trying to reason with you.”

The shadow did not respond but glided around him to glance at the screen. “This won’t gain you anything,” the shadow breathed.

The man knew the voice would be rich and melodious in normal speech. He knew the laugh would be like chocolate syrup. He looked into the face of the shadow, dusky skin drawn tightly over high cheekbones, brown eyes reflecting the images on the screen. He mourned for that which had become this shadow.

“You do know I am innocent.” The man was surprised by the sadness in his voice. Suddenly the screen went black, its programs completed. He knew there was no point in moving. The shadow would find him just as well in the dark as in the dim light the screen had provided.

“I don’t give half a hump if you’re innocent or not,” the shadow responded emotionlessly.

Softly he asked, “So, where does that put you?” Resigned, the man felt for his chair and sat down. Rallying, he tried a different tack. “There was a time you would have.”

He felt the air stir as the shadow bent over him and jumped slightly when he felt a hand squeeze his shoulder.

“Yes. But now I walk a narrower path.”

It wasn’t until the man heard the door open and close did he realize the shadow had gone. Joy coursed through him and he rose again from his chair; but his legs would not hold him. He tried to catch his fall and found his arms just as unresponsive. As his face hit the floor, he felt a great pressure in his chest. With sadness he knew the squeeze he’d felt on his shoulder had been his death, not the brotherly affection he’d once known.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005 11:05 AM


Great example of what Book's past life might have entailed!

Thursday, November 17, 2005 11:21 AM


Oooh eerily spooky and very well done! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, November 17, 2005 1:47 PM


eep. always knew preachers were evil...


Thursday, November 17, 2005 10:43 PM


Neat little vignette. Wish I could have read this on Halloween - would have been perfect.

You have some solid descriptive work there, and there's very little wasted prose. Thanks for sharing.


You must log in to post comments.



Crop Circles -- Nine
Wash and Zoe's evening.

Crop Circles -- Eight
Jayne's fun.

Crop Circles -- Seven
Mal learns more than he really wants.

The Narrow Path
Inspired from a line in Objects In Space.

Crop Circles -- Six
Wash and Zoe's envelope revealed.

Crop Circles -- Five
Shepherd's Walk

Crop Circles -- Four
Jayne in, where else, a bar.

Crop Circles -- Three
Jobs and envelopes

Crop Circles -- Two
Changing schedules...again.

Crop Circles - One
Sometimes there are honest jobs. Well, almost.