The Apples of Wrath
He was from Kiev, the man I met on the funicular railway. It suddenly seemed such a long way away, to him and to me. His air was that of a man not yet defeated, not fully. He sighed and sunk a tiny bit more upon learning the distance from Mersch to Hollenfels. I, in providing this information, I felt as a cold assassin must feel, slightly.
From his distant starting point – ‘in Ukraine’, he clarified, in the manner of one giving a present – he was heading for Hollenfels, you see. It seemed imperative that I should discover the nub of this enigma, yet his confused statements became a little more closed, on each attempt.
We spoke a mixture of his terrible English and a French that we appeared to be locked in a desperate need to murder, more fully and more rapidly than the other. It was as if our very lives depended on it; should one of us leave a breath of life in French, perhaps, we would be condemned ourselves. These linguistic dilapidations left us further confused and diminished. I suggest freely that on his part this was somewhat deliberate.
Once again I was struck by something being out of kilt. A man smoking, without cigarettes. An assumption of something hidden, hidden beneath an elderly, benign exterior. He left, I pointed him to platform one, he had fifteen minutes to wait for his train north, his destiny, maybe? My train pulled out a few moments later.
I never saw the man from Kiev again, and I never learned of his purpose. The apple crop in the north that year, however, was devastatingly disappointing.
Today I wrote between 12:37 and 12:47. I was prompted by an idea here.
If you enjoyed this short writing, a whole load more are available in paperback, and kindle editions in your local Amazon site