Stories

The Cycle of Swords – Ryan Bry

(inspired​ ​by​ ​​Citizen​ ​Kane​)

The​ ​clock​ ​ticked​ ​until​ ​it​ ​fell​ ​off​ ​the​ ​wall.​ ​​ ​We​ ​were​ ​there,​ ​when​ ​it​ ​happened.​ ​​ ​We decided​ ​we​ ​would​ ​be​ ​there​ ​and​ ​we​ ​were​ ​discussing​ ​the​ ​way​ ​that​ ​old​ ​men​ ​exit​ ​their​ ​cars when​ ​we​ ​heard​ ​the​ ​​tick-tick-crash​.​ ​​ ​We​ ​paused​ ​and​ ​then​ ​returned​ ​to​ ​our​ ​discussion,​ ​not bothering​ ​with​ ​the​ ​wounded​ ​keeper​ ​of​ ​time.​ ​​ ​There​ ​was​ ​a​ ​certain​ ​way​ ​that​ ​Jay​ ​Bengrove Parks​ ​got​ ​out​ ​of​ ​his​ ​Mercedes​ ​that​ ​perplexed​ ​us,​ ​his​ ​eyes​ ​still​ ​used​ ​to​ ​the​ ​motion​ ​and​ ​his body​ ​still​ ​used​ ​to​ ​sitting.​ ​​ ​Maybe​ ​some​ ​dicrotic-beated​ ​song​ ​had​ ​played​ ​on​ ​the​ ​radio​ ​and his​ ​essence​ ​keenly​ ​searched​ ​for​ ​new​ ​information.​ ​​ ​New​ ​information.​ ​​ ​That’s​ ​the​ ​point​ ​of it​ ​all,​ ​right?​ ​​ ​Hold​ ​on​ ​.​ ​.​ ​.​ ​point​ ​of​ ​it​ ​all?​ ​​ ​We’re​ ​gonna​ ​have​ ​to​ ​radio​ ​Jim​ ​“No​ ​Plan” Gallagher​ ​on​ ​that​ ​one.

 

We​ ​point​ ​the​ ​machine​ ​north

up​ ​to​ ​Fjordsberg

to​ ​catch​ ​lilting​ ​Jim​ ​“No​ ​Plan”​ ​Gallagher.

“Two​ ​problem​ ​solvers​ ​there​ ​are,​ ​keek​ ​and​ ​keep​ ​your​ ​eyes​ ​on​ ​me,​ ​one’s​ ​muscle​ ​and one’s​ ​guile.​ ​​ ​Three​ ​men​ ​and​ ​one​ ​woman​ ​rode​ ​to​ ​a​ ​bar​ ​in​ ​Oklahoma​ ​and​ ​what​ ​good​ ​ever came​ ​of​ ​that?​ ​​ ​Seven​ ​pythons​ ​had​ ​to​ ​pay​ ​the​ ​big​ ​bill​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​get​ ​their​ ​ignorance​ ​back. Nameless​ ​Chuck​ ​had​ ​a​ ​mighty​ ​nice​ ​pet​ ​pencil.​ ​​ ​Muscle​ ​and​ ​guile.​ ​​ ​You​ ​either​ ​got​ ​muscle, or​ ​you​ ​got​ ​guile.​ ​​ ​No​ ​way​ ​you​ ​survived​ ​this​ ​long—and​ ​it​ ​has​ ​been​ ​a​ ​long​ ​lonesome road—without​ ​one​ ​a’​ ​them.​ ​​ ​They’re​ ​inventing​ ​new​ ​ways​ ​to​ ​blow​ ​your​ ​nose​ ​in​ ​London. Partly​ ​why​ ​I​ ​left.​ ​​ ​The​ ​weather​ ​ran​ ​late​ ​today,​ ​can​ ​you​ ​believe​ ​that?​ ​​ ​Oh​ ​wait,​ ​point​ ​of​ ​all? The​ ​point​ ​of​ ​it​ ​all​ ​is​ ​to​ ​get​ ​into​ ​your​ ​pajamas​ ​and​ ​watch​ ​the​ ​dreams​ ​bloom.”

 

the​ ​clock​ ​has
things​ ​to​ ​say

like​ ​the​ ​cactus​ ​in​ ​the​ ​creek

 

Have​ ​you​ ​been​ ​spending​ ​your​ ​dollars,​ ​guarded​ ​one?​ ​​ ​Lean​ ​onto​ ​fourteen​ ​pillars​ ​of unrepentant​ ​white.​ ​​ ​The​ ​cycle​ ​of​ ​swords.​ ​​ ​This​ ​is​ ​what​ ​the​ ​clock​ ​says.​ ​​ ​Anita​ ​put​ ​clock pieces​ ​into​ ​her​ ​hands​ ​and​ ​threw​ ​them​ ​about​ ​the​ ​air​ ​like​ ​they​ ​were​ ​confetti.​ ​​ ​Dying​ ​world, can​ ​you​ ​spare​ ​a​ ​little​ ​energy​ ​for​ ​my​ ​carburetor?​ ​​ ​Thanks,​ ​chicken.​ ​​ ​Milkweed​ ​montage, my​ ​petunias​ ​are​ ​non-fictional!
What​ ​a​ ​real​ ​dud,​ ​that​ ​blue​ ​armband.​ ​​ ​Come​ ​on,​ ​bastard​ ​kid.​ ​​ ​Let’s​ ​go​ ​out​ ​for drinks.