Sunday, December 14, 2008
Of a Bizarre Contraption
That night he took me to his apartment.
“I have to show you something. I have to prepare you, in case…”
“Some reliable help you have…” I mumbled, half proud of getting his confidence, only hoping that the fresh crisp air would bring some clarity to my mind.
He told me to wait in the corridor and sneaked inside his apartment, with contortionist ability. He didn’t shut the door in my face, but it was obvious he didn’t want me to see the interior. However, through the slight opening of the door, I was able to catch a glimpse of a bare wall and floor, of a simple wooden table on which a pile of dirty dishes shared the space with a bizarre contraption. I could’ve pushed the door open. Instead I watched him as he put that weird thing onto a small trolley and rolled it to the entrance hall. I had to admire the swiftness with which he passed through the door and then closed it, without me seeing more than what I’d caught before. I let out a chuckle.
“Hiding something in there?”
It looked like a typewriter – I suspected he’d used parts of one to build it – badly combined with what could’ve been some cathode-ray tubes and other stuff taken from an old TV. And it had straps which made it look like a useless rucksack.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“A device I built… It misses one piece that a friend of mine is helping me find. Then, it will become a… mathematical harpoon.”
“We deal with equations, T. This is the domain of the highest of mathematics. We can’t use a gun or a club.”
“Coles wasn’t kidnapped by an equation!”
“Yeah, but I might be able to get him back with one.”
excerpt from "Shadow on Your Shoulder", a short story