Capital Volume IV

By Hunter Potts

Numbers oozed from the clock’s miniscule grip, 1’s and 2’s slipping between the fingers of time. His hand slammed down in an adamant thump. The desk spoke well of it, squeaks and cracks emanating the omnipresent mouths. Please sir, may I have a sip of water? My mind raced. Who would win?

His tongue was a slug when he said five words to me. 

You’ve got ten minutes, kid.

I drifted on a loft atop murky, rushing waters. The slush was winning, I feared. Not even the other racers who zoomed passed me could win. And then I began to sink. I saw tangerine skies in one instant, and murky gunk in the next. The episodes repeated in my head, tempo 200, like a degrading punk rock song.

The spectators hollered between the bites of their spongy cake. I could see their soft, virgin faces through the glass. Their suits and ties and skirts and blouses crowded of luxurious colors and their pockets overflowed of green. They didn’t know I could see through their one-way glass, a weak masque. Or maybe they did, and they didn’t care. Oohs and aahs couldn’t lift me up. I knew my race. I knew I would I lose. And there was no point in me tempting joy.

I returned to that clock, only a single, lonesome 1 lingering on the beast. The hand wrinkled more than before; the fingers, with nails untrimmed and unclean, always only ever pointed down. And that’s where I was. Down.

As I passed the finish line, I splashed into that small pool of numbers, a diversion in the juicy gunk. And finally, the last one fell. Me too.

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