The Amaranthine Moment

The slender iron columns resolute in their purpose, curved off towards the tunnel, their rigid equidistance punctuated by people milling, reading, their toes awkwardly kicking the shiny painted paving stones of the platform in anticipation of the train’s imminent arrival.

The woman was there again. Her tall and purposeful gait was as slim and strong in appearance as the column itself.  I stared at her surreptitiously. Her haircut was austere, her face hard and chiselled, determined and striking, her lipstick as red as the cabochons above the blood gutter of the sword-shaped brooch on her long tailored coat.

She was aware of me. She always was.  All-seeing, never aging, triumphant and un-phased, her presence a constant reminder of my failure all those centuries ago. Now, she was a powerful barrister, unassailable and untouchable in the legal hierarchy of The Temple. Me? Just a humble clerk to the court.

As I stared, I remembered the crisp-cut effigy of my master 800 years ago. Now worn and chipped, the colour stripped from the arms on his shield, his identity lost to history, the gradual degradation of his stone image reduced to a flick book in my head; thirty generations to a mere mortal, distilled into an arduous amaranthine moment.  So easy for her to stand over him and gloat.

The perpetuity of my presence no longer seemed relevant and as the train arrived and the doors slid open, they seemed subservient to her will, just as I had become. She turned, her eyes narrowed and I could not move.  Like my master’s effigy, I was worn by age and tired of life. She had murdered him and my sufferance had been interminable. I had no desire to stare at her anymore.

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