It’s a Matter of Time
Aubrey made one final sweep with the piece of chalk she had in her hand, then smooched back and leaned against the tree and looked at her brother.
“Is it finished?” he asked.
“What do you think?” Aubrey asked. “Doesn’t it look finished to you?”
“I think most of them look finished many times before you say they are done. So, I ask.” He tossed one of her rags at her head, barely missing it.
“Well, we shall see how I did shortly.” She replied.
“You really don’t think they will notice? I don’t see how they can’t.”
“People see what they want to see. They’ll see everything else. So no. I don’t think they will see. Now, let’s go back by those trees over there and watch.”
The street was always a busy one. Today was no different. The clouds in the sky didn’t affect it in the least. But, the people did slow. They slowed, many stopped, all stepped around the amazing chalk painting on the ground. Large, luminous clouds covered the area, the buildings poking through and parting them in fits and bursts, the clock tower standing out taller than all the rest. On the ground were people, hundreds of them. Fleeing and screaming as the clouds unleashed a hellfire volley of lightening and rain at a velocity that pinned them to the ground.
The pedestrians began to start in horror as they saw themselves in the figures in the chalk. Some tried to wipe their image off. But, the chalk held. More terror rose in their throats at the discovery of this. They began to swarm around the scene like hornets to a nest. An elderly lady began laughing at them and their behavior. A few people stopped and glared at her.
“Look at you all!” She said between giggles. “Afraid of a little paint on the ground. Thinking that some brightly colored chalk will usher in the Armageddon. Such Nonsense.” She laughed a couple more minutes, then opened her umbrella, pointed its tip at a spot in the painting that made her snicker, then lifted it over her head after giving a quick glance at the skies and wandered on her way.
Some of the other people began laughing as well. Pretty soon, almost all of them were in peals of laughter at their silliness. In the lightening of the spirit, they made note of the images they thought looked so like themselves. Most began taking pictures and all began talking about the incident.
The bell on the clock tower began to toll 11 PM. As it reached the last bell, the clouds overhead erupted into a barrage of lightening, hail and rain, driving all below to the ground. A few tried to make a break from the storm, but a bolt of lightning stopped them in their path. The storm ravaged for a few moments, just long enough to put an end to those below.
“I told you someone would notice.” He said before taking a bite out of the apple in his hand.
“But, no one took note of her. So, in the end it is the same.” She said as she began packing her chalks into their case.
“Doesn’t it ever bother you? All those people dying?” he asked
“No. They don’t have to. They just need to look and really see. Had they noticed, they would have left the area and gone somewhere safe. Maybe not all of them, but at least some of them.” She snapped the lid shut on her case and stood up. “Its the job. We need to cull those that lack the sense for them to survive. Besides, this one was too easy for you to feel sorry for them.”
“I suppose you’re right.” He took the last bite of the apple then tossed the core behind him.
They walked off, skirting around the painting, streaked and fading, but still intact. Aubrey glanced once more at it, the clock tower looming high above the clouds. Its hands read 11:00.