Two, and smoke with[out] fire03 Aug 2006
And suddenly there the two armies met, clashing noiselessly. Neither side can report any casualties, save the occasional bump — an unintended attachÃ© clash ending in a mumble and an averted gaze: a moment is too long. After the battle, there is no blood, no amulet or token of commemoration. However, two civilians remain, unmoved. One, a girl, sits cross-legged, her back against the wall. Her face is obscured, for there is a man crouching between the observer and herself, resting one hand upon her leg (for balance, if nothing else) whilst his other is no longer visible. He is wearing a dark jacket, loosely fitting, and from its right sleeve a pale grey smoke emerges, its wisping effervescent form a substitute for his hand: this absent member the only victim of this urban encounter.