October 30, 2008

Occoquan.

Posted in Virginia at 4:49 pm by Alix

The winds die down as you step outside.

The sky should be gray, but the clouds are bitter orange/burnt umber/something smoky like paprika.

It is strangely warm. (It was cold on the ride down, cold enough for your jacket – jewel-toned like a hummingbird – but now outside on an empty street with no real lights to speak of, it is oppressive, so you slip it off.)

You only catch glimpses of the river from here; there are other buildings – houses, a few, and shops – standing in your way. Watching like moai.

Surprisingly, you can’t see the bridge.

There are people nearby, people outside with you, but the road is cold (except strangely not for you) and dark (save for that eldritch glow of mundane houselights) and empty.

And the paprika sky still drags your eyes out towards the other shore.

And down the other side of the street, a streetlight that you could have sworn wasn’t there before is on, brilliant and bright, the clearest thing around –

– And as you stare at it, mesmerized like a rodent before a snake, the wind whips down the street like a long, long sigh,

and you see the head, resting not sixty feet up the road, with its open mouth swallowing the street and its streetlight-bright eye, and its long back curving away in forested hills across the river.

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