The River

The sky was a cool, oppressive gray; unforgiving and closing in on him from all sides. He stood on a rock in the middle of a cold rushing river that was a half mile from one bank to the other. The air was chill. His long brown trench coat flapped in small gusts as he stared out into the upstream. Everything about this day was gray , but not the kind of gray where it seems nice to stay inside and have a hot cup of tea. This gray was an entity unto itself; it was the cold and unwelcoming gray that children disappear in, the gray into which fishermens’ boats capsize. There was nothing safe or comforting in this gray. The steely water rushing past, breaking in chilled white peaks over the worn, slippery rocks; the dark winter trees, tall and skeletal on either side of the colorless, brittle grass lining the edge of the river; a dense army of cold- seeped wood. It was raining. The man raked his fingers through combed -back black hair. A large bird cried, making him jump slightly and shiver. This was a desolate place and he was, it seemed, part of the scenery. It was in his eyes, this bleak, desolate gray; it trickled cold all the way down to his soul. This man had lost everything, and the river had taken it.

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