from Chapter 1 of The Three Relics of Orvil Fisher by Thierry Di Rollo (Translated by Michael Shreve)
Thanks to Le Bélial´ for this post.
The clouds are heavy and black, like this world in agony. I am cold.
Lucite is deserted, eroded by time. The buildings surround me in gloomy, crumbling rows. I cannot lose a second. My next dead are waiting for me. And if they do not know it yet, I have to get ready to receive them at the start of their pitiful journey into nothingness. I teach them how to fly.
There is nobody on the street. Not even a ghost embedded in the shadows of the fissured walls. Everything is falling down: the lives, the deaths on hold, the black air of this late afternoon. The cracked tar of the sidewalks.
I walk. Wherever I go, I find human misery. My hand tightens on the grubby handle of my briefcase. My whole reason for living locked up in a beige and ochre rectangle. I am still not hungry—it will only come with the frozen corpses that I am about to sow. As usual.
That is my job.
I spotted it two weeks back. It is still here. Anyway a building does not move, even if I sometimes wished it would. That would cheer me up, something unusual, the brief period of illusion; for nothing. So, it had not budged an inch. And no one will ever set off. Everybody is waiting in the darkness of the nascent evening, certainly hoping for me to come. Desiring, perhaps.
Men survive in the ruins of a city that was called Lucite in less dark times. That was before the cold, before the white snows from the North. Today the buildings are gutted, gaping onto the dust of a room occupied by entire families—the apartments are open. Passers-by (if there still were any) would see them wasting their lives away in the glacial wind, sitting on the brink of the sheer drop of their own floor; and they would notice their pitiful smiles. Misery rots teeth and souls. Today the buildings are guardians of stagnant water reserves. Water only good for scouring the rusted metal but that the inhabitants would not give up for anything in the world. Today Lucite is nothing like itself. Because it has become the reflection of a shadow.
Today I, too, exist. Dressed in my double-skin coat, my hands protected by gloves, I am meeting him whom I have coddled for two weeks now.
The night will soon weigh upon the street and upon all the buildings of the poor alongside it. And life itself. So that Death can take flight.
Everyday is a good day to die.
Someone once said.
I enter the empty hall. Nobody sees me. I look at the abandoned place blanketed in black, almost sticky dust. In front of me the unhinged door of an old, unused elevator is open. Habit. There are always the stairs. Ten floors to haunt with my briefcase in hand before reaching the top. Illegible inscriptions cover the walls. Shadows overrun the world and my free will. Who am I, ultimately? A useless angel come out of an old Hell? Or only myself?
One. I had a happy childhood. My mother always told me a story at bedtime. My father used to smile at me, even at night, with his three remaining teeth when he came back from his grueling job—sweeping a street twenty times in one day before some big shot European politician passed by. Lucite used to sparkle.
Two. I made love to a few women like everyone. I have forgotten them all. I did not save one.
Three. My father liked to doze off before dinner. My mother cooked in silence. Chloe waited for me in the street at the foot of my building.
Four. I started to love them later. For their icy contact and their reassuring weight in the palms of my hands.
Five. Chloe mastered fallatio pretty well. My mother was killed on the eve of my nineteenth birthday. Of exhaustion. That is what my father chose to believe.
Six. For a long time I thought I was good for nothing. Nubila sucked male genitals like nobody else. My father joined my mother the day of my twenty-third birthday.
Seven. Nothing bothers me. Everything is for the best. My body does not fail me. My arm remains sound.
Eight, nine. I have forgotten them all. I will not save one.
Ten. I look up: the trapdoor to the roof of the building is already open.
I come out into the cold air of the evening looming over the city. My target is on a gray line to a south that is absolutely blind. Another building. Full of still living dead.
Yes, it is true. I began to love them later. Too bad a Royster cannot perform fellatio like the dark, brown-haired Nubila used to do on me.
I kneel down now. Unlock my briefcase and open the cover. It is resting there, calm. It could even wait an eternity, still as dazzling and sure. I put a support butt on it—to stabilize the shot—and a scope.
Too bad a weapon is only this.
So, I cast an eye over Lucite coated in persistent gloom. A few flickering lights outline yellow rectangles scattered over the sooty walls. The timid glimmer of my building also emerges out of the darkness. Inevitably.
It is because it is becoming too easy that I cannot go on like this.
I hear a hydro-car cross the street that separates my hideout from all those moving targets. Its engine sputters for no reason. It even seems to slow down and then slowly speeds up again. I do not know, deep down, if it existed only in my mind at the exact moment when I nudge the butt up against my shoulder. I am lying down on the cold cement. Perhaps my dream car has driven off. The street is soothingly empty again. On the other side of my universe, beyond the road that the night is soon going to reduce to a bottomless pit, the puppets toss around their formless shadows.
Nobody is watching for me. The water guardians on the outskirts only care about their polluted tanks; they cannot imagine that I would come this far. Sometimes in the accurate eye of my scope, they are tangible, human in their shapes and gestures. Usually they are blurred behind the dirty, moth-eaten curtains.
There is a fat woman. I see her clearly. Her whole life is entrenched within the four walls of her ground floor apartment. She lifts her arm a little, seems to sigh, and then tucks a long streak of red hair behind her right ear. And I shoot.