The Dark Jug of Water (edits marked)

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This device was a nasty thing. (He had seen its type before: clearing areas for mines in the Af-Pak (Afghanistan, Pakistan) theaters. Trying to stay on schedule to go in ahead of the missions and the larger patrols with a technical team of eight for maintenance, measurement, calibration, and radi

First Edited Version

 

 

This device was a nasty thing.

(He had seen its type before: clearing areas for mines in the Af-Pak (Afghanistan, Pakistan) theaters. Trying to stay on schedule to go in ahead of the missions and the larger patrols with a technical team of eight for maintenance, measurement, calibration, and radio-aheads. Always looking back, not forward.)

He could smell the device. It had the insidious, and, he concluded, arrogant presumptuousness to it: that it was somehow clever, that it had the power to change the world. He believed it did not.

He put it in his pocket and hid it away deep. The streets were packed with tourists from what people used to call the 'western world' – packing it in to the insane hypnotic trance-rock.

He walked through it: and got back to his hotel room and examined it. It was wired.

He put it under the mattress and turned to splash water onto his face and then look at himself in the mirror hung up like a dead bird on a nail in the wall. He watched his wet face and turned his head and followed it with his eyes. Then he took his face away from the mirror and put both hands on a soiled towel beneath the sink hung over its drainage pipe. He pushed the towel deep into his face into his eyes and over down his nose and face and then over his lips and across his neck and scrubbed the upper center and peripheral parts of his chest. Refreshed he bent and put the towel back over the pipe. He turned and went to the window and tugged on the strip of blind and it went up in a jerk and stopped, his hand letting go. He peered out the window and looked at the tourists walking and turning to each other and opening their mouths thinking they were in the process of finding suitably cultural monikers for themselves, narcissists in love the with idea that they were doing what they should do. He saw the flip side of the coin of the other presumptuousness, both equally stupid and unthinking.It was a sight he looked out at every day at about this time. He turned around and lifted the mattress to look at the device. He tore out the wires and broke it apart until he was sure it was completely destroyed. He threw its pieces against the wall next to the door. He slowed his breath and went and picked the pieces up and put them in a discarded plastic bag on the floor in the corner under the plastic lamp. He looked around the room and saw dark shadows moving on the ceiling. At the same time he heard a scratching noise on the door. He threw the door open and there was a small man standing with his hand in the air. His fingernails were long as leopards resting in trees and set in with filth of all kind. He slammed the door and the small man kept scratching. The shadows on the ceiling were moving incredibly fast now. He went to the window and saw all of the people moving as a centipede. The shadows were going so fast now that he could distinguish flashing pieces of light across the room.

 

He woke to a room with a bed and he was that thing on the bed and he was the thing under sheets.

It was dark inside but he could see the sun lining the blinds. He saw flowers and a dark jug of water. He was alone in the room and he had time. He watched the sun in the blinds: they lit up like the color of sand. He watched dazzled and amazed. It was quiet and the color of the light was sensational. The feeling was of being all alone and protected from other people.

He had dozed off. It was just getting dark outside. She didn’t turn on the light. She stood and looked at him a moment and walked out. She had left him a cup and a flask of water.

 

 

 

Showing the edits

 

This device was a nasty thing.

 

He had seen its type before: clearing areas for mines in different war zones. Similar crudity. +He had seen its type before: clearing areas for mines in different war zones. +He could almost smell it. It had the insidious, and, he concluded, arrogant presumptuousness to it: that it was somehow clever, that it had the power to change the world. He believed it did not.

 

He put it in his pocket and hid it away deep. The streets were packed with riotoustourists+/from what people used call the 'western world'/ – packing it in to the insane hypnotic trance-rock.

 

+indent He walked through it: and got back to his hotel room and examined it. It was wired.

 

+indent He put it under the mattress and turned to splash water onto his face and then look at himself in the mirror hung up like a dead bird on a nail in the wall. He watched his wet face and turned his head and followed it with his eyes. Then he decidedly took his face away from the mirror and put both hands on a soiled towel beneath the sink hung over the sinkits drainage pipe. He pushed the towel deep into his face into his eyes and over down his nose and face and then over his lips and across his neck and scrubbed the upper center and peripheral +parts of his chest. Refreshed he bent and put the towel back over the pipe. He turned and went to the window and tugged on the strip of blind and it went up in a jerk and stopped, his hand letting go. He peered out the window and looked at the tourists walking and turning to each other and opening their mouths +thinking they were in the process of finding suitably cultural monikers for themselves, narcissists in love the idea that they should do. He saw the flip side of the coin of the other presumptuousness, both equally stupidlikesea anemones:it was a sight he looked out at every day at about this time. He turned around and lifted the mattress to look at the device. He tore out the wires and: and broke it apart until he was sure it was completely destroyed. In a fit of angerhe threw its pieces against the wall next to the door. He slowed his breath and went and picked the pieces up and put them in a discarded plastic bag on the floor in the corner under the +jaundiced patheticplastic lamp. He looked around the room and saw dark shadows moving on the ceiling. At the same time he heard a scratching noise on the door. He threw the door open in frustration and there was a small man standing with his hand in the air. His fingernails were long as leopards resting in trees and set in with filth of all kind. He slammed the door and the small man kept scratching. The shadows on the ceiling were moving incredibly fast now. He went to the window and saw all of the people moving as a centipede. The shadows were going so fast now that he could distinguish flashing pieces of light across the whole room.

 

 

 

He woke to a room with a bed and he was that thing on the bed and he was the thing under sheets.

 

It was dark but he could see the sun lining the blinds. He saw flowers and a dark jug of water. He was alone in the room and he had time. He watched the sun in the blinds: theyThe blinds lit up like the color of sand. He watched dazzled and amazed. It was quiet and the color of the light was sensational. The feeling was of being all alone and protected from other people.

 

+ He had dozed off. It was just getting dark outside. She didn’t turn on the light. She stood and looked at him a moment and walked out. She had left him a cup and a flask of water.

 

The Dark Jug of WaterWilliam Alexander Patterson © 2016alias, Christian Fowler © 2016(He had seen its type before: clearing areas for mines in the Af-Pak(Afghanistan, Pakistan) theaters. Trying to stay on schedule to go inahead of missions and larger patrols, with a technical team of eight formaintenance, measurement, calibration, and radio-aheads.)He could smell the device. It had the insidious, and, he concluded,arrogant presumptuousness to it: that it was somehow clever, that it hadthe power to change the world. He believed it did not.He put it in his pocket and hid it away deep. The streets were packedwith tourists from what people used to call the 'western world' – packingit in to the insane hypnotic trance-rock.He walked through it: and got back to his hotel room and examined it.It was wired.He put it under the mattress and turned to splash water onto his faceand then look at himself in the mirror hung up like a dead bird on a nailin the wall. He watched his wet face and turned his head and followed itwith his eyes. Then he took his face away from the mirror and put bothhands on a soiled towel beneath the sink hung over its drainage pipe. Hepushed the towel deep into his face into his eyes and over down his noseand face and then over his lips and across his neck and scrubbed theupper center and peripheral parts of his chest. Refreshed he bent and putthe towel back over the pipe. He turned and went to the window andtugged on the strip of blind and it went up in a jerk and stopped, his handletting go. He peered out the window and looked at the tourists walkingand turning to each other and opening their mouths thinking they were inthe process of finding suitably cultural monikers for themselves,narcissists in love the with idea that they were doing what they shoulddo. He saw the flip side of the coin of the other presumptuousness, bothequally stupid and unthinking. It was a sight he looked out at every dayat about this time. He turned around and lifted the mattress to look at thedevice. He tore out the wires and broke it apart until he was sure it wascompletely destroyed. He threw its pieces against the wall next to thedoor. He slowed his breath and went and picked the pieces up and putthem in a discarded plastic bag on the floor in the corner under theplastic lamp. He looked around the room and saw dark shadows movingon the ceiling. At the same time he heard a scratching noise on the door.He threw the door open and there was a small man standing with hishand in the air. His fingernails were long as leopards resting in trees andset in with filth of all kind. He slammed the door and the small man keptscratching. The shadows on the ceiling were moving incredibly fast now.He went to the window and saw all of the people moving as a centipede.The shadows were going so fast now that he could distinguish flashingpieces of light across the room.He woke to a room with a bed and he was that thing on the bed and hewas the thing under sheets.It was dark inside but he could see the sun lining the blinds. He sawflowers and a dark jug of water. He was alone in the room and he hadtime. He watched the sun in the blinds: they lit up like the color of sand.He watched dazzled and amazed. It was quiet and the color of the lightwas sensational. The feeling was of being all alone and protected fromother people.He had dozed off. It was just getting dark outside. She didn’t turn onthe light. She stood and looked at him a moment and walked out. Shehad left him a cup and a flask of water.

First Edited Version

 

 

This device was a nasty thing.

(He had seen its type before: clearing areas for mines in the Af-Pak (Afghanistan, Pakistan) theaters. Trying to stay on schedule to go in ahead of the missions and the larger patrols with a technical team of eight for maintenance, measurement, calibration, and radio-aheads. Always looking back, not forward.)

He could smell the device. It had the insidious, and, he concluded, arrogant presumptuousness to it: that it was somehow clever, that it had the power to change the world. He believed it did not.

He put it in his pocket and hid it away deep. The streets were packed with tourists from what people used to call the 'western world' – packing it in to the insane hypnotic trance-rock.

He walked through it: and got back to his hotel room and examined it. It was wired.

He put it under the mattress and turned to splash water onto his face and then look at himself in the mirror hung up like a dead bird on a nail in the wall. He watched his wet face and turned his head and followed it with his eyes. Then he took his face away from the mirror and put both hands on a soiled towel beneath the sink hung over its drainage pipe. He pushed the towel deep into his face into his eyes and over down his nose and face and then over his lips and across his neck and scrubbed the upper center and peripheral parts of his chest. Refreshed he bent and put the towel back over the pipe. He turned and went to the window and tugged on the strip of blind and it went up in a jerk and stopped, his hand letting go. He peered out the window and looked at the tourists walking and turning to each other and opening their mouths thinking they were in the process of finding suitably cultural monikers for themselves, narcissists in love the with idea that they were doing what they should do. He saw the flip side of the coin of the other presumptuousness, both equally stupid and unthinking.It was a sight he looked out at every day at about this time. He turned around and lifted the mattress to look at the device. He tore out the wires and broke it apart until he was sure it was completely destroyed. He threw its pieces against the wall next to the door. He slowed his breath and went and picked the pieces up and put them in a discarded plastic bag on the floor in the corner under the plastic lamp. He looked around the room and saw dark shadows moving on the ceiling. At the same time he heard a scratching noise on the door. He threw the door open and there was a small man standing with his hand in the air. His fingernails were long as leopards resting in trees and set in with filth of all kind. He slammed the door and the small man kept scratching. The shadows on the ceiling were moving incredibly fast now. He went to the window and saw all of the people moving as a centipede. The shadows were going so fast now that he could distinguish flashing pieces of light across the room.

 

He woke to a room with a bed and he was that thing on the bed and he was the thing under sheets.

It was dark inside but he could see the sun lining the blinds. He saw flowers and a dark jug of water. He was alone in the room and he had time. He watched the sun in the blinds: they lit up like the color of sand. He watched dazzled and amazed. It was quiet and the color of the light was sensational. The feeling was of being all alone and protected from other people.

He had dozed off. It was just getting dark outside. She didn’t turn on the light. She stood and looked at him a moment and walked out. She had left him a cup and a flask of water.

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