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The Agony This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Heels click by like carriage wheels. Armani suits and Dior cologne pass like spiderwebs on the wind, startling, sensual before stifled by the street bleach stench. Chlorine water writhes as sunlight pulls it from the tar streets and gum-lined broadwalks, those streets that burn bright in glass windows.

Heels click by like carriage wheels, stuck to gum and tar and the fallen ice cream scoop of a crying child. Blue Moon—heat-fried. No, that child cried yesterday when the day still grew, that morning. Then, the scoop sat on the ground like a cloud Blue Moon island, floating in its own sticky ocean. The heavens had been plucked for that ripe blossom to grow there, splattered on the sidewalk by a greedy tongue.

The sky...

Oh, yes. The child cried--pigtails in her eyes--, the heels clicked by, and Jimmy Choo met Blue Moon ice cream.

Heels click, Gucci swish, the heads hold high before the sun-burned sky, unseeing. It's a picture.

It's a picture. The man on the sidewalk sitting on a cardboard box, weeds of white growing from his drought-lined faced. Lips crack, but no blood comes out. His eyes are open, but they can't see. This perfect picture is an irony.

He doesn't breathe.

The last sight those eyes could see was a sad little girl with perky blonde pigtails stuck in her eyes as she cried for her Blue Moon ice cream. His last memory.

The blue, so blue that fell on the sidewalk, oozed into the gutter track, and dried to a gummy sap, seemed scooped from God's hand to torment him. He watched the blue, so very blue, turn from a mountain to an island to a small puddle not worth her bawling. He watched the puddle crawl to peace. He watched the foam turn to grease. He waited for the liquid cream to wriggle in the air with steam when, in the moment left, he let his eyes rest past the heels click-clack and the busy street rack to dream he could see

the sky.





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