Life Is But A Walking Shadow


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Scene Title Life is but a Walking Shadow
Synopsis Eve is tormented by a dream of a man shrouded in darkness.
Date October 1, 2008

Somewhere in New York City

A single flickering streetlight sheds dingy yellow illumination down to a rain-slicked sidewalk. The air is bitterly cold, just enough for Eve's breath to be visible where she lay on the concrete. the city is dark tonight, other streetlamps having ceased their shedding of light, casting wherever it is into darkness. It's hard to imagine just how she got into this predicament, laying on the wet sidewalk, a soreness in her cheek and knees.

She fell. The idea dawns on her after a moment, her cheek sore and damp, knees scraped up and palms reddened. It's hard to tell how long she's been unconscious, her clothing and hair damp from the very faint, drizzling rain falling from the clouded skies. The streetlamp flickers again, buzzing and crackling as the yellowed spotlight it shines down on eve fades in and out of darkness.

Eve coughs and blinks her eyes. She looks up to the streetlight. No words are spoken yet, maybe she can't speak. Who knows? She coughs again and she looks around. She looks scared and confused!

The streetlight flickers again, making a crackling buzz before going out entirely. With the last vestige of light gone, only the ambient glow of a portion of New York city in the distance sheds a visible amount of illumination. The area looks industrial, with tall brick-faced buildings showing signs of disrepair and abandonment. Many of the cars parked on the sides of the road are worn and stripped of some parts and sitting up on cinderblocks. Beyond the sidewalk Eve lays on, a chain-link fence cordons off the back lot of one of the brick buildings, overgrown with grass and weeds.

As Eve's eyes wander the plants, she notices something in their appearance. They're turning brown, withering and wilting before her very eyes. Rain-soaked grass loses its color, falling limp and flattening out before turning gray and shriveling up. The wilding spreads through one half of the fenced in yard, and after a moment the sound of hard-soled shoes on concrete can be heard, along with the click of metal. From the direction of the sound, Eve can make out a silhouette in the dark, backlit by the light of the distant city beyond. Dressed in a well-tailored black suit, a cane used as he walks, the metal tip of it making a clicking sound as it strikes the sidewalk. As he grows closer, Eve can see more of the overgrowth withering and dying, and it begins to get darker in the area around her.

Eve gasps and then jumps to her feet, she wobbles a little and looks at the man, and the plants around her. So she isn't doing it, that means the man is doing it! "Stop!" she yells and begins to back away. No gun on her person so that she can draw. Eve trips over a piece of pavement and falls but scrambles back up again. Her eyes are wide with fear and she is shaking.

The darkly dressed man continues to approach, slow and measured footfalls striking the concrete, interspersed with the clack of the steel-tip of his cane, making a rythmic beat. As he passes by the fence, as he grows closer, it only continues to get darker around Eve. The air becomes thick and humid feeling, making breathing a laborous task. Then comes the pain, at first a tingling numbness, then a sharp and prickling sensation all along Eve's extremeties, slowl growing in intensity. "I cannot." The voice that comes from the man bathed in shadows is deep, rough and coarse.

"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow," His voice raises, cane striking the ground more firmly as he walks, "Creeps in this petty pace from day to day." There is a lyrical quality to the way he speaks now, but his voice remains just as rough and grizzled as it had before. "To the last syllable of recorded time…" As he continues his approach, the growing sensation of pain shoots up and down both of Eve's arms, enough to make her feel as though she is wide awake, and not lost in dream. The sensation only grows more acute as the shadowed man draws closer, and the light around Eve drows more dim.

Eve begins a low scream that soon explodes into a full on wailing. As if she was a banshee, "Leave me!!" She yells the feeling envelopes her and the darkness surrounds her. She doesn't know what to do. Looking back and forth and her eyes wide and fearful.

There is no sense of amusement or enjoyment in the man's rough tone, though there is something reminiscent as he recites these words. His shoes click on the sidewalk as he comes to a pause in his stride, eyes following Eve as she turns and runs down one of the side alleys. "And all our yesterdays have lighted fools," It is but a brief respite from the meteronome of the clack of his shoes and click of his cane. As Eve stands there in the midst of the growing pain, perhaps paralyzed by her own fear, the rattling roar of an iron-beam bridge overhead signals the coming of an elevated subway train. The iron beams continue to grow in loudness as they rattle, followed by the shrieking squeal of the subway cars and the flash of lights from its windows. Eve can see overhead as the cars rush past, silhouetted figures standing in the windows, all of them emaciated looking; gaunt and withered like ancient corpses.

"The way to dusty death…" Up ahead, there is but a brick wall covered with old and faded graffiti, a dead end. The sound of footsteps draw closer, impossibly loud over the roar of the subway car, matching the deep and resonant tone of the shadowed man's voice. "Out, out, brief candle!" Pain wracks Eve's body again, and she stumbles up against a trash can with a rattling clatter, as far away as she can get from the sound of approaching footsteps. The end of the sidewalk seems smothered in darkness as the air grows thick around the seer once more, causing her breaths to come heavy and hard.

"Life…" She can barely see the figure now, a dark silhouette with wavy hair at his shoulders, moving closer by the moment, the click-clack of shoes and cane deafening now over the background noise of the subway car. The pain Eve feels only grows as he gets closer and the light grows more dim, her heart aching in her chest as if someone were attempting to wrench its still beating form free from her body. "…is but a walking shadow."

With those words, Eve feels her heart racing faster and faster, colored spots forming before her eyes as blood vessels burst, a horrible and blinding pain filling her body before a watery suffocating sensation fills her lungs, and the coppery taste of blood rises up in the back of her throat…

Her eyes snap open, darkness, and the glow of an electronic clock. In her bed, covered in sweat, Eve can see a light and drizzling rain falling just outside of the window.

She's alive.

October 1st: Like A Party Game?

This is the start of a Storyline

Next in this storyline…
Death and the Maiden

October 1st: Changing Faces
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