Once more he descends

“Inspire me!” he howls. The frustration echoing loud through the room. “Step away” came the voice, the gentle caress of a whisper, fading almost before it had begun. That cold sheen of silk pulled across skin, comforting yet alien, the voice soothes him once again. Closing his eyes as the colours flow, emotions swirl vivid in technicolour, washing from blue to red, anger to love. But he will not. He remains there, resolute in his determination. This has worked before and will work again. He will see this through, it’s all he knows, all he can do. The world washes white, then colour floods his view once more. He is drawn through purple and green, closer still, knowing what he …

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The average man

He wanders through the streets, past the gentle glow of the houses, under dark and slanting drizzle. He has no purpose, no destination, and can barely remember where he started but this is all he knows, this is his life, his motion. He hunches forwards as another car drives past, plucking the droplets clustering on the edge of his hood and shining them like jewels. His motion is fluid and organic as he ambles over the pavements, lightly stepping on cobbles and kerbs. He has been here before, he knows, been round this place more than once. He knows it well, too well perhaps, but like an old friend he enjoys the comfort it brings, the familiarity that makes it …

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Rube Goldberg

I always feel ridiculous when I put on the balaclava, but I know I must. I check my appearance in the mirror and a man in black from head to toe stares back at me. Hey, I think, at least I look the part. I yank the balaclava off and stuff it in my pocket for later. I walk over to the table at the other side of the room, not a huge journey in such a cheap hotel, and check that I have everything I need, ticking each item off against my mental itinerary just as I’ve been trained. I remember all the drills clearly and trust that instinct will guide me should the need arise. Taking a deep …

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