Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Cloak of Falcon Feathers



(a writing prompt from Trifecta)





The two men watched, seeing unseen, as the young woman on the monitor moved her arms and hands and fingers.

“Tai-Chi?” said the younger man.   The name badge on his white coat read  Frankl.   He could not take his eyes from the screen and the constant intricate gestures.

“No,” The older man was short and white haired.  Nobody pestered Doctor Kessler about name badges or rules and regulations.   “Not Tai-Chi.   They look more like yoga mudra, but not from any tradition I know.”

“You do yoga?” 

“I read books,” said Kessler testily.  

The woman had been found wandering in Munich, stark naked, stumbling and her inability to respond to the presence of others had led to her being given over into the care of the Planck Institute.   She’d been catatonic for just over a month.

“When did the gestures start?”

“A week ago,” Kessler said.   “About the same time that the tattoo on the nape of her neck started to fade.”   He smiled like a chess player.

Frankl kept his eyes on the woman and her deliberate complex dance of hands and fingers.   He could not see the back of her neck, her blonde hair was in a long braid.

“Tattoos  don’t fade,” he said, “Unless it was henna or some temporary-“

Kessler showed him a photograph.   The design was black and angular and looked like a pair of spiders with interlocking legs.   “A tattoo.   And it’s gone.  And now this.”

“But…”

“I know.   The same gestures over and over.  Twenty four distinct patterns then they repeat.  Minor variations.”  Kessler nodded to himself.  “Getting more precise I think.”

“Some obsessive compulsive syndrome?”

“Clearly.  But nothing I’ve seen before.  Damnation…”    Kessler’s nose had started bleeding, he raised his hand to wipe the blood away.   The woman stood gracefully from her cross-legged position.   Frankl reeled, suddenly dizzy and the monitor screen flickered briefly.

“My damned nose,” Kessler muttered pressing a handkerchief to his nostrils to staunch the blood.

“She’s gone,” Frankl said, “She’s just… gone.”

30 comments:

  1. C'mon!!! haha what, but, but... stay tuned eh Thomas? Have you heard of Victor Frankl?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have, but no relation to this Frankl. Thanks for the comment :D

      Delete
  2. I think that if these two are lucky, she won't come back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The two doctors are nice enough people so she may not have any ill feeling toward them. But perhaps their lives would be simpler without her.

      Delete
  3. You create such fascinating characters. I would love to see all these in a collection sometime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for saying so - I'm already entertaining some thoughts in that direction, so you've just added a bit of encouragement.

      Delete
  4. Whoa, that's strange. I'd agree with Whispatory - I think it might be a good thing she's gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily for Frankl and Kessler, she has business elsewhere - with the person who put the tattoo on her for a start.

      Delete
  5. People fade with their tattoos - mysterious to say the least. I love your work, Thomas, well-written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Steph, I really appreciate the comment

      Delete
  6. This is great- My laugh out loud line was "You do yoga?" And Frank's classic response. The tatoo fading, the strange movements, the nosebleed. Terrific piece.

    ReplyDelete
  7. ooooo dude this is so cool! It is downright eerie haha :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great write... what characters you develop here... and she seems to be a lady to beware of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bjorn - I get the feeling that *someone* will be in trouble when she gets where she's going. Glad you liked it

      Delete
  9. Blood, gestures, and spiders...a winning combination, my friend! Great piece :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it, and yes they do form a fun combination.

      Delete
  10. I'm riveted. Next part please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I may indulge myself and provide the next instalment shortly

      Delete
  11. Thomas-this is unlike anything I've ever read before, and I mean that as the highest compliment. It really shows off the depths of your creativity! Very well done-and yes, totally cool!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Valerie, I'm really glad you liked this.

      Delete
  12. Love this! So intriguing. I would love to see more of her story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like I need to continue this :D Thanks very much.

      Delete
  13. This is tightly written and intriguing. I'd like to know more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Trifecta, more may be forthcoming I feel

      Delete
  14. Wow.
    Love the nerdy, rigid observers (Kessler's "testily"!) and the sexy, enigmatic disappearing woman.
    Great piece!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kymm, I'm glad you liked it.

      Delete
  15. Loved the characters, mood and intrigue. I'd love to know where she's gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There may be a follow up. Glad you liked it.

      Delete