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Szilagyi (novel excerpt)

August 5, 2011

The smell was sour and sweet like rancid oil. Szilagyi dug the balls of his bare feet into the dirt and grit of the pavement and gripped the hatchet and moved down the sidewalk, avoiding lamplight. Above him, a banner for Vick’s Hardware  flapped in a sudden breath of wind and Szilagyi pressed himself against the wall beneath it.

You are quiet, Bodies. You are quiet, to listen. I’m quieter. I’m quieter. I’m shadows.

He could feel them like one can feel fog setting in, without even seeing it. Ears and eyes and tongues that peeked and heard and tasted the night. Noses that smelled the little smells of the city and determined if there was any life. This is why people died at night.

The night slithered down the road with its forked tongue out, tasting.

Rancid oil. This was the smell Szilagyi learned to associate with the Bodies. When they got close, the smell became sharp and festering.

Szilagyi felt the bricks with his fingers and massaged the edges of the bricks so his fingers were raw, and his mind was in the street where the danger was. He listened.


© Trent R. Leinenbach, Ashen Apples, 2011

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