Abacus

He was skilled in the art of patience, waiting would dig its mulish heels into most but this was not his way.
He was unlike those with a lack of forbearance who snaked their disgruntled bodies in their chairs. Others saw each grain in the hour glass as dying moments and met a stranger’s eyes with that reciprocal stare of “what’s the hold up?”
While the restless audience around him spoke the body language of the collective question “Why hasn’t it begun?” he found this superfluous and remained unmoved.

The climactic beginning of life is the inception of our original wait for a human post code of twenty-three pairs of nuclear chromosomes that move the primal abacus calculating our destiny.
He knew the exclusive potency of numbers, the potential cost of odds or evens.

“I loathe waiting” whispered his grouchy neighbor to her fidgety neighbor who muttered the Chinese whisper along, spinning them into a resentful web of frustration.
Except he, who sat with a quiet stillness, knowing soon enough there would be a beginning. There were always beginnings. It was how things ended that bent and crumpled his resolve on charcoal grey days when he wished he could shred his unlucky life lottery.
He was a realist mostly, numbers were inescapable equations with consequences, luck was not his dabbling.

The bright lights dimmed and an obedience to silence was accepted.
The show finally began with four diverse performers appearing magically on the blackened stage, the stark difference in their physical presence highlighted by shining star lights swirling around them.
He admired the slick agility of the four acrobats; he leapt with them but with no envy, it was the joy he saw that filled his cup.

His Ma dreamt that he would be an inspiring acrobat, triumphant in life.
She denied the curse of trisomy when they patted her unshakeable shoulders with their boneless text book hands.
She sacked them from her attention and took her beautiful son to tutor him by the design of her womb, his true flagship that offered pure maternal love.
She fashioned a devoted vision of him rising majestically above them on a golden ladder, the whites of their coward eyes were the paling lanterns of those who knew naught of the principles of true worth.
Her misguided love lead to the innocent subtraction of valuable tools that would have set in motion skills to lessen the weight of his unyielding burden.

The show ended with deafening applause and raucous laughter.
He slowly dragged his un-cooperative shrunken legs towards the exit.
He felt their sympathetic eyes watching him, a sour cloying pity for which he had no need.
He could forgive the trespasses of others; he was a real man of forgiveness.
His Ma died a few years ago, she gladly gave more than she had, but with her tumbling of his cardinal numbers she took away more than she knew.
He knew what a wrong number really meant and he graciously forgave.

© K S Hardy 2009

Abacus

Arcadia Tempest

Joined November 2008

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Artist's Description

Graphic Scratch challenge – Wrong Number (Word Count = 500 words)

A trisomy is a genetic abnormality in which there are three copies, instead of the normal two, of a particular chromosome – A Wrong Number

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