Water dripped relentlessly from the ceilings, tormenting the faucets which had been dry for over three days; scorched wood made a dark patchwork quilt of walls where colourful landscape paintings once hung. Ominously, an oil slick slithered in slow motion across the floor, forming dark pools of sinister proportions. Sharp arrows of morning sunlight exposed bad joinery and the fragile tin roof creaked like old bones on a winter’s morning. The sorry looking figures of townspeople lay prostrate all around, some now stirring, others closing their eyes even tighter, afraid to face the day and deal with the inevitable aftermath of questionable behavior.
He rose to his full height and scratched his balding head. It hurt. His clothes were torn, his skin grimy, and splashes of blood lay half-hidden on the front of his red silk shirt. Wiping his hands on the back of his black trousers, he looked around. The place was a wreck; smashed tables and chairs were strewn in splinters all about, shards of glass were all that remained of once elegant goblets, works of literature and fine art lay in shreds and tatters, and the smoke-filled air was a reminder of the fires that had burned. An old couple in contrasting rags of green and blue shuffled deeper into the dark recesses of the room like nocturnal animals; away from the day, away from him.
Gradually, others began to stir and sit up. Seemingly unable to look each other in the eye, their cheeks were flush with an embarrassment of sorrow, guilt and fear. Their gaunt faces tried to comprehend the wanton destruction they had wreaked, the terrible mess they had created, the inevitable clean-up task that lay ahead, but which would never be completed. They looked up at him, now towering above them like a giant and casting a long shadow across their feeble forms. His face carried no message at all. He lifted the latch and the starkness of reality invaded the room. Stepping outside, he slammed the door firmly shut behind him and smiled. The town was his.