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The Generals Passing

The Generals Passing

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Published by QuinnTide
A mental collapse of a will forlorn.
A mental collapse of a will forlorn.

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Published by: QuinnTide on Mar 18, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The General’s PassingThe Generals PassingFrom the window there came a distinct noise. She replaced her bookmark and stood stretching before moving toward the sound. Sheraised the window and peered out into the dimly lit street below. Arhythmic sound echoed amidst the tall buildings. Down the street a uniquefigure made his way along the sidewalk. With every exaggerated step theman lunged forward with energy, giving the impression of a man climbingover flat ground. Still far up the street, his acrobatic image was highlyvisible, and audible. In his hand he carried a cane and with each stride heaccentuated his step by rapping it sharply on the hard sidewalk. Rap, rap,rap! The continuous beat filled the concrete canyon with its methodicrepetition. She watched a while longer as the man walked by thenreturned to her apartment leaving the window open, allowing the warmsummer breeze to enter and carrying the now diminishing sounds of theevening walker.She went to the kitchen and replaced her dishes neatly in thecabinet above the counter. The kitchen in order, she turned and passedthrough the empty apartment. In the dark she could faintly make out thefurniture as she made her way down the hall in the now silent night.The next evening the sounds of the rapping cane again caught her attention and the day after as well. Gradually she became more and moreaware of the man and his evening stroll. The weather remained hot andeach night about the same time the rapping sounds would find their way1
The General’s Passingthrough the open window and into her apartment. More and more oftenshe would find herself going to the window to watch the man pass. Hisunique stride and rapping cane separated him from the crowdimmediately. She could tell the elderly gentleman was tall and dignified.Although advancing in years, his stride denoted strength and confidence.At a good distance he could be distinguished marching with his distinctivestep straight down the center of the walk, never slowing, stopping or deviating his route in any way.One night she found herself sitting in her chair doing nothing andrealized that she was waiting, waiting for the walker to appear. Quietly,hands folded in her lap; she sat near the open window. The eveningbreeze had started and it lifted the sheer drapes lightly as it swept softlyinto the room. The warm fresh air entered, caressing her bare skin,soothing her mind, as she drifted near unconsciousness. Slowly as if returning from another place, she became aware of the familiar rappingand she sat up. She leaned forward and saw the gentleman striding past,directly beneath.He dressed in the same fashion each day. Green sweater atoploose fitting trousers and a dark beret jauntily tilted aside his head. Sheimagined his having served a prestigious military career and now marchedeach evening out of the staunch discipline which he had been exposed tofor so long. It made sense to her that after his long service, now inretirement, he needed an outlet for all his pent up energy. Staying about2
The General’s Passingthe house was not his style. He needed to be out and moving about,involved in life. The rapping figure continued up the street, and shewatched him marching until he disappeared amidst the trees, the trafficand the night, leaving her once again alone.The next morning she rose and prepared to leave. Dressed casuallybut smartly and with a handbag hooked on her arm, she locked the door asshe left. She stood waiting for the elevator very upright and proper,fussing with her dress as she did so. As the elevator arrived, she steppedin and selected the button with care. The cables whined as the elevator slid quickly down the shaft, stopping smoothly at the bottom. The doorsopened to a brightly lit lobby bustling with activity on all sides. Walkingthrough the lobby with an air of grandeur, she exited the building andjoined the masses on the sidewalk. People moved up and down engrossedin their own worlds. They seemed to navigate without effort the movingmosaic of foot traffic. The little woman was absorbed and she flowedalong with her head up, enjoying the excitement she felt being part of thecity. Today life crept back where it had long ago left. She carried out her errands with a sense of enthusiasm that she imagined few other pedestrians felt.Later in the day she sat in front of a mirror with a comb. Longstrokes brushed the hair back from her face. The image in the mirror seemed foreign – mascara and rouge applied with care on features longneglected. A twinkle in her eye perhaps.3

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Evan McCarty added this note
Nice work. I liked how your use of description was really able to heighten the emotion of the piece.

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