Skip to content

The Emerald Foliot

Miles stopped beneath the overhang at the entrance to the tube station. He leaned against the wall, out of the wind, and a short distance from the throngs hurrying home from work. “Nobody knows because nobody knows, Robbie. You know, and I know, and the person who told me knows. And I guess if he—or she—is still alive, the person who told him knows.

“But that’s it—that’s all. In the whole entire world, we’re the only ones.”

His eyes glittered—with excitement, but also tears. He wiped them away, unashamed, and smiled. “I wanted you to know, Robbie. I wanted you to be the next one.”

I rubbed my forehead, in impatience and disbelief, swore loudly, then aligned myself against the wall at his side. I was trying desperately to keep my temper.

“Next one what?” I said at last.

“The next one who knows. That’s how it works—someone shows you, just like I showed you. But then—”

His voice broke, and he went on. “But then the other person, the first person—we never go there again. We never see it again. Ever.”

“You mean it only comes out once a year or something?”

He shook his head sadly. “No. It comes out all the time—I mean, I assume it does, but who knows? I’ve only seen it twice. The first time was when someone showed me. And now, the second time, the last time—with you.”

—Elizabeth Hand, “Hungerford Bridge,” Conjunctions 52, Spring 2009

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.