The man had been following him for several blocks.  Greyson had watched him begin his track, break from a lean against a telephone pole and cross Spring Garden towards Greyson, through the kind of globed incandescent light that a slight, nocturnal rain will always refract and hem in across the city streets.  He had caught a glimpse of the man at that center point of the crosswalk: covered in the silk-screened bones and skulls of the vanquished; his skin was bone-white, almost roseate as the stop lights shifted to red; he was a huge hulking shape and Greyson was thinking of Grendel shrithing across a moonlit moor.

            Greyson pulled the black and silver fabric of his hoodie up over his head and crossed Spring Garden going north into Northern Liberties.  Alone, Greyson always walked fast and tonight it served the purpose of disclosing this hulking albino’s intentions.  He cut up 6th street with a block and a half on the man, forcing The Albino into a half-trot.  Greyson started taking turns deeper into Northern Liberties, the moon broke itself out from the clouds and the smaller, unlit streets took on dimensions with rain-lit moon-silver effulgence.  Greyson looked over his shoulder, the man had closed in the distance to thirty feet. The heavy passage of the assailants footsteps were matched step for step by a mounting adrenal surge of cold sweat, strength and indignation on the part of Greyson, knuckles white around a bone, bladeless pommel engraved in red intricate carvings.  That quixotic mixture of fear and anger flushed his organs—his stomach, his throat, his cock, his knees and he stopped, turned and awaited the man…

            The Albino broke his stride—moment of hesitation—and slowly closed the half-block separating them.  With an adrenal urgency, Greyson sized him up at somewhere around 275, 6’6”, all that weight bound up in muscle.  “What do you need, brother.” Greyson said, rupturing the clean roles of pursuer and pursuant.  Greyson’s hand tightened around the length of bone in his pocket.  The Albino’s face furled with anger; his pink eyes went wide for a moment; he quickly closed that last distance and sent a sudden massive swing towards the left side of Greyson’s skull.  Greyson ducked, felt surge, put all of his mounting inertia into his left arm, driving it into the man’s throat.  He jumped to the side as The Albino drove his body forwards, his arms going into a flurry of blows.  Greyson kicked the man in his knee and the man stumbled onto his hands and knees, rasping and enraged in a cacophony of high-pitched guttural notes.  Greyson began kicking furiously into the man’s rib-cage before a massive hand shot out, swallowed his ankle and pulled Greyson down upon the pavement.  A chalk-white fist landed above Greyson’s eye, the same hand closed upon Greyson’s throat.  His right eye covered over with blood, his panting body consumed the last of its oxygen.  The Albino began a staggering rise, trying to climb over Greyson, his massive body heaving with animosity, hand still closed over throat, beginning now to really squeeze.  Greyson twisted and tried to scramble up, but The Albino, coughing in that alien high-pitched voice, gained hold over himself and smashed Greyson’s skull against the ground.  Greyson felt wetness in the back of his head, his brain in the seizure of a struck tuning fork.  Again he scrambled, pulled the man’s elbow down and brought his own elbow crashing into The Albino’s pale temple.  Fingers loosened around his neck, Greyson struck again and the body fell upon him in all its weight.  The sidewalk was a mixture of bodies and rain and blood of both men for some minutes.  The rain came down stronger, staining the cement wine-dark with watered down blood in the moonlight.  Greyson heard footsteps slapping through puddles and finally shrugged the dead-weight of The Albino from his body, rose up to his hands and knees, stood up shaking and wavering with the stuttering lambency of a candle suffering the passage of a draft. An old Black woman, her own skin a deep indigo in the shadow of a pink umbrella walked up to him, put his arm around her shoulder, “you all right, Honey?” Greyson pulled out a cigarette, offered her one and the staggered towards an apartment stoop.  In the rain sweeping through the city, under the umbrage of an awning and this woman’s pink umbrella, the two smoked silently for some minutes, Greyson staring at the inert weight of The Albino some twenty feet away, his head hanging over the curb.  The rain began to come down harder and harder and the two eventually got to talking, Sangoma asked him for another cigarette.  She wiped the blood from his face, spread some sort of stinging ointment over the wound and palmed the wound for some moments, meanwhile anointing his blood-wet skull.  They waited out the storm, talking all over the place, Greyson the whole time watching the inert form of The Albino.  Water began to collect into small streams along the sides of the road.  When his cigarettes had been exhausted and the rain had passed, Greyson stood up, stretching, feeling the bone locks of his shoulder pop.  It must have been four, five in the morning by then.  The walked together for a few blocks, passing the splayed out body, not stopping.  As she parted ways with him, she said, “heard of men drowning in an inch of water but never ‘fore tonight thought I’d see it pass,” and with that she embraced him and shuffled off down a side street singing some old time song.



Filed under am i talking to philip or what, fiction, fight, greyson, the natural correspondance of fingers having touched


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