The Sound of Leather

He took me up to seventeenth floor, and with a few clangs, I danced in the plastic casing with my mates. He slid through a door that, though should have been locked, seemed to have been left unfastened and thrown slightly ajar beforehand. With his brown leather gloves, he pushed the door open, revealing the empty room inside; in his other hand, he carried me, in the bag. He walked, as he always had, his neck and shoulder stiff, as if locked in place. He appeared not so much walking as gliding, stomping the cool hardwood floor so lightly is was as though he weren’t touching it at all. It was as though the apartment were rejecting him, not wanting to have anything to do with him. He breezed in, piercing the stillness of the bare room.


In the corner of room was a wooden stool. He picked it up and placed it opposite the lowest window, the leather of his gloves creaking in protest as he did. He slid the bag open, and fished the plastic casing out. Out of the casing, he picked out my slender, angular body with his fingers. He twirled me in his fingers, then gently set me on the room floor. He pushed the window up and open.

The leather creaked as he assembled it, fitting the pieces together while looking, not at the blur of his fast-moving hands assembling the black thing, but out the window. Finished, he lay it on the stool, and positioned it facing the window, outward. A blanket of sunlight coated it now, light and filmlike. It glistened under it. He picked me up, and slid me into the chamber. 

Through the 609.6 millimeters that are the narrow barrel of a telescopic sight-fitted semi-automatic Death Bearer, you can only see so much. The world is blocked out, save for the circular Window that is the last of the barrel. Because their vision is restricted, and because precision is important, snipers take a short while adjusting where they point the barrel. During that time, they toss the barrel about until they pinpoint the vicinity of the target, and then the target. He first passed the barrel Window over the empty park, then to the right over the tarmac floor of the street, then pushed upward over the glass panes of the building opposite. Then she walked in. 

She tiredly walked into the apartment in the building opposite, and took off the jacket of her violet business suit, a suit like that of those many who meet their end by those like me. She threw the jacket onto the sofa that, if you sat on it, you faced the window and the street below. She collapsed onto the sofa so that the locks of her brown hair draped over the cotton of it. Can she see me? Can she see Him? She spent a moment staring into space, and was then interrupted by a ringing phone. She had a lengthy conversation, periodically interrupted by fits of laughter, and gesticulations in the air: she tried to convey to the person on the other end of the call a circular object, something producing waves, something falling out of the former, and the latter startling her. At the very center of my Window was her chest. When she was done she looked down at the phone, a smile solid on her face. The leather creaked once more. I spun about myself as I burst out of the barrel, out of the window, out of the apartment, out to where under me were the wails of streetcars.  I broke through her window. Then I lay there, invisible in the red. She never stopped smiling. 

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