The Old Murderer (Who Shouts at Clouds)

An old man shouts at clouds. Imagine that, a man in his 70’s tying the laces on his beaten, brown boots, walking up a hill, raising his panting face to the blue and white canopy above him and yelling obscenities at the top of his voice. No one hears him apart from the clouds but that doesn’t matter because it is wandering, white wisps to whom he is aiming his aggression.

“Look at the way you move,” he sneers covetously, “it’s so perpetual”.

“Look at the way you change,” he snarls invidiously, “continually morphing into a dog or a rabbit or a carrot or a crown. Continuous change.”

Now puffing heavily due to the climb and the frustrated expulsion of words from his lungs, the old man plants himself on top of the hill and is bathed in the somnolent summer air. The familiar sounds of squabbling birds and the hush of grass in the breeze are like the comforting hug of a mother to the old man as he regains his breath and composure.

“As least other things don’t change,” he reassures himself – an excuse that will sedate his self-loathing, for now.

The old man stands and walks back down the hill, across the car-park and slides into his car. As the familiar stench of death has begun to wrestle in the air with the humid scent of the old leather seats, the item in the boot makes its presence known to the old man’s nostrils. He starts the car and drives off angry but, ultimately, unchanged; the old man who shouts at clouds drives off pretending not to be disgusted by his fatal predictability.


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