Richard has managed to escape the routine of his life and engage in a fully-present moment with his wife Julie. A simple stroll down the shopping promenade gives him the chance to engage in precious time with his wife. However, the presence of an electrical storm turns the early day into a disaster for Richard. Suddenly he is faced with a shocking leap into a position where someone’s life has been taken by his hands and an Observer suddenly holds Richard’s fate in his hands. Will he escape the impending persecution and re-unite with Julie?
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Richard forced himself to look up from the cobbled stones of the pedestrian zone as he eased himself around the corner. It was a force of habit to avert his gaze to the lowest point possible in front of him to pretend that the world wasn’t really existing around him. Walking in a bubble protected him from having to react should there ever be an emergency situation in his vicinity. If he didn’t see it, then he wouldn’t have to go chasing down a pickpocket or assisting an elderly man who had stumbled to his knees. It’s not that he was unsociable, but Richard had convinced himself that situations were so easily misread and he could just be digging a hole for himself if he were to pay attention to the world. Maybe a pickpocket had good reason to steal from someone, to feed a starving baby maybe, or perhaps even to just steal back something that was theirs in the first place. Things were rarely so black and white that he could afford to give full attention to everything and everyone around him.
But today was different, an early Saturday morning stroll through the shopping promenade with his wife Julie, arms linked in solidarity and comfort. So few people were around that Richard could afford to be present in the space to the point of being concertedly focused on everything around him. The anchor of Julie’s arm allowed his attention to drift outwards to fully embrace the newness of the day. The sky overhead was just starting to cloud over with greyness, but the encroaching gloom had yet to strike the force of the early eastern sun from its illuminating position of casting shadows from the stores on Richard’s left.
Past these shadowed replicates of facades, the flat, lifeless versions of the material world that were their creators, Richard strolled with his wife. In his absorption, he looked across at one of the buildings to his left, a storefront for a chic boutique of clothes that were neither modern or vintage, but lost somewhere confusingly in between. Richard pulled his gaze back a little bit from beyond the clothes inside, to see the reflection in the glass, a reflection of holographic figures across the way, riding on a gantry high on a building across the street. Richard noted silently how those figures seemed to move slowly in their transparent, mystical representation.
Not deciding to leave it there, Richard looked to his right, where above a bakery (which was yet to open, but the odours from within indicated that operations were in full motion), two construction workers were indeed standing on a raised gantry. The workers on their high platform were poking around and assessing something on the frontage to the second floor of the building. The gantry was the raised end of a piece of heavy plant machinery which was parked to the left of the bakery. A long metal armed stretched across the top left-hand corner of the window to raise the workers to the second floor.
It could be some reconstruction work on the stonework, Richard guessed silently to himself. Maybe a window repair, maybe a cleaning job. Who knew? Well, the workers did obviously, but Richard’s interest waned quickly and he pulled his eyes back to Julie, who in turn smiled at him, and pulled herself a little closer into his arm. It was a feeling Richard appreciated. Commuting and work hours stole time away from his precious wife and this deliberate day of absorption and time locked in unity with her, was going to be milked and appreciated.