Ezra / "Destiny"

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by Ezra

The dance starts slow and he
Grasps her waist with one
Nervous ink-stained hand,
While his other clasps hers
And he hopes the palm doesn't sweat
Too much.

And it's a beautiful night for young love.
And it's a beautiful night for a date rape.
Across town on the wrong side of the tracks, the overtaxed back of a factory worker snaps
Under the overwhelming pressure of his own sysiphus stone.
This path he walks alone, searching for the end of gravity's rainbow
But the pain slowly seeps into his unconscious mind and he knows,
At that moment, he will never find
What he's looking for.

As a young boy loses his virginity at the expense of a young girl's dignity
And an old man faces his end with his last and only friend being the vast and lonely memory
Of his long-lost children, for whom he sacrificed everything,
The same face appears in both places simultaneously,
Not disembodied, but enshrouded in shadow.
To the boy it extends one pale and frigid hand, saying in a voice that commands attention,
"You have done well, my son. You epitomize the true way,
for in life, you must take what you want without fear of retribution."
The boy glances down at the cowering, broken girl on the floor
And the shadowy figure laughs cacophonously.
"We all have our crosses to bear,"
It says, with no small amount of irony.
"Take my hand.
"You're one of us now."

The shadowed and timelessly arrogant nomad finds the old man a harder study;
See, he's one of those old school, "see no evil", "hear no evil" types,
So it is only his intuitive sixth sense that detects this presence, and he says,
"I know you.
"I've seen you in my dreams when night takes its toll,
"Seen your eyes gleam as you devour each new soul,
"And I've been waiting for you."
The figure in black is momentarily taken aback by the old man's lack of fear,
More accustomed to tears and equivocating pleas when its time is near,
But it has a plan.
It always has a plan.
The old man is secure in the knowledge that he has led a good life
(At least, as good as anyone can be expected to),
Until the figure opens its cloak with a puff of smoke and reveals
A teenage boy,
Cowering and ashamed, facing his share of the blame for the legacy of the human race
And, though the old man has not seen this face for over a decade,
He recognizes his grandson instantly,
And is not surprised when the figure in black says,
"I offer you an exchange."

In a daze, the boy gazes amazed
As the old man calmly walks to his destiny.