The Reign of Imperfection


“A Trip to the Theatre.” Pete Amachree

Chloe O’Meany-Lucas, Staff Writer

The main premise of this was to write a 500-word fictional story about a picture

It was one of those days. A rainy day. The vast sky had opened its eyes, revealing the stormy gray pupils within. Shedding tears for days lost and those that begin. Clyde Vygotsky donned a black top hat with a firm brim, choosing matching attire for the somber view outside the foggy window. A crisp chill floated throughout the small apartment at that moment, creeping across the back of Clyde’s neck, turning his mind frigid. The mayor had announced a meeting this morning with the usual crackling static that came from the tiny black and gold-lined radio. Clyde had wanted to turn the gold dial on the radio, a temptress that beckoned and lured his desire.

But to turn that dial meant treason.

He hadn’t changed the channel that morning.

The carriages’ morning grumbles and strains could be heard over the pitter-patter of rain as Clyde followed the well-trodden path towards the Town Hall, scratches made by years of heavy, slim, petite, wide shoe prints marking the faded road. A curtain of blur became his sight as the rain picked up speed. The surrounding townsfolk began opening up their umbrellas, the ladies patting their hair and scurrying faster, and the gentlemen hiding their neatly combed beards within their layers.

It was a presentation. No one could afford imperfection.

Mr. and Mrs. Walker, however, stayed true to their last name and simply elongated their strides, their faces expressionless. Clyde observed all this with a bland glance to his left. He didn’t change his pace. The bitterness of having to down his blend of coffee steadily without the usual sips and smooth drinks had soured his cherished routine and, thus, his motivation.

Dawn began peeking over the horizon, tinting the farthest sky a soft vermillion, but it wasn’t necessary. Massive buildings with numerous rows of windows on either side of the road glowed from interior lighting, the slippery streets streaked with reflections from the bright street lamps decorated with unfurling petals of dark, thin metal, and the Town Hall entrance up ahead emanated a soft yellow.

Clyde adjusted the length of his long, black trench coat with gloved hands, covering the slim exposure of brown skin on his wrist from the increasingly cold weather. At that moment, a man in a red uniform crossed his path, heading to the left, and the horse he sat upon snorted a cloud of steam. Clyde compared the ridiculous height of the guard’s hat to his own and suppressed a grin that would foul his comforting dismal mood.

Almost imperceptibly, the surrounding people and Clyde slow their stride as the entrance to the Town Hall approaches, ignoring the dreadful, heavy showers of rain. Then, Clyde stops. The horse’s trots cut off abruptly. The Walkers slowed. A carriage halts on the right. Or was it a police car? The sky opened its eyes wide, a spray of sharp droplets pounding the people. Clyde won’t. Not today. He couldn’t face another execution like the last. Help him. Please.


(Special thanks to Miranda Johnston for providing the picture and creating the title)