... An off-cut
It happened in the confusion of time, when time stopped and was rewound, an hour cancelled in the ritual turn of the minute hand, a reversal through sixty revolutions, a chime borrowed, a chink in the order of progress belaying the rise of the morning sun. It happened under a sickle moon, haloed by the drift of racing clouds through which it shone whilst she lay purring, shifting through her dreams like billowing sands, only to shudder against some concrete intrusion, against a gathering storm of wants, of impetuous needs for ever changing lands, a naive flame demanding from her heart a quake, a tremor of excitement to break the stupor, begin afresh and yet remain the same, in love, kindled as the first and all other loves, and let the city be damned. And it happened as her heart stuttered and she heard his glass fall and shatter, and his whiskey spreading out in tongues upon the kitchen floor, rippling, the glass shaken as the table leapt, the table against which he sat, and the chair and countertop blurred, and pots and pans clanging on their hooks, and his eyes seeing waves of things, streaks of light vermiculate in darkness weaving through that compact of sober mind. And as the floor shook she sprang from her covers, her left hand on her swelling womb, her right stretched out in the dark, the wall striking hard on her fingers and palm and against her wrist in spasmodic thrusts as she fought this nocturnal violence and sought the door and the stair and the ragged tumble. And the banister held by trembling hands, against trembling steps, and her feet drunk, and the light dancing eerie in its frosted globe, and the lamp-stand swinging on its twirling base, swinging as some erratic pendulum, rippling, crashing against the phone. And the phone falling, and the frames of pictures falling, catapulted from hook and mounting, and the frames of the glazed glass windows rattling, and the glazed glass cracking, and nothing steady, nothing. On the bottom step she stumbled and staggered forward and meeting him at the door tripped the latch and breathed deep as in its unhinged state it opened. The earth groaned and heaved. And for just an instant she lingered, the plaster cracked casting dry flecks adrift in flurries of surreal meditation. But a beam splintering, perforating knots along its broad grain, swinging precarious in a broad sweep, shuddering, collapsing, crashing into the gable end of this humming motor of bucking concrete, buckling as though under some abnormal warp, some trophic force of immense torque, a spinning zeal gathering all things, crushing all things, accelerating. She lurched forward and raced into the street where a fire licked blue against the frigid night. She grabbed his right hand in her left and raised her right arm to her eyes, and pulled him through the murk, a belched sludge of mud and sewage. The stench of gas. A spark. A flare, quickly extinguished. Another. The hearth of home quivering above the gaping brim of chaos. Panic. Shock. Their neighbour screaming. A violent shudder. A final sag before everything stilled.