Downloadable PDF: Chapter 1 w prologue
With the distant sun behind the only cloud in the clear, blue sky – collaborating together to misrepresent to all the world the space between them – the early morning begins slowly turning toward another stage, and I am still one of but few characters to strut or fret across the day’s first act. Knowing the city prepares to fill itself around me, I keep my seat, for now alone, my mind as the morning and the city: awake and peacefully awaiting more.
As a stream of light bursts the dam that is the only cloud, it careens into the polished, white sides of the sail boats and breaks upon the standing horns of the slave-named bridge, crashing down on the water’s surface. My eyes close before I can give the order, and they absorb and adjust while I await their signal, to let me know they are ready to continue on under the new conditions. I wait behind the curtain for a moment and for an age while the river accepts the sunlight, escorting it along beneath the wooden platform and the Cascade Steps to suffuse the city. The morning turns no slower, no quicker, sending the reanimated breeze on another reconnaissance about the waterfront.