The heat was becoming unbearable as the temperature kept rising. They said it was a heat dome, an extreme~weather event. He stared at rippling air climbing up from the road’s skin; the light bending pebbled asphalt surface into a scorched wall. Twisting with the shimmering air, a cacophonous croaking storm bulldozes through his throat, leaving behind it, the wreckage of a whispered prayer – syllables sinking into a clogged drain.
The thing, a heart ape snake shadow, slithered in a clawed crawl upward/downward – hovering & nibbling at the edges of perception. Distance & Direction had exchanged places, leaving behind a code-riving nausea in his bones.
Wanting to go home – trying to remember how he arrived in this place, on this uncertain day, at this undetermined time. That evil melting T , now paddling in the sky, had tethered the sun to the thin pale vapours, a doubting wildflower, smelling of languor & a sick salty sea-crust.
The way back was bolted to the pages of The Book, that insufferable book. Why had he picked it up? Why had he followed the folded direction past the edges of the page, where all removability had been drained away into the cracks of this road-wall?
His blistering vision trickled away, as it sought a horizon line. Skin & sweat swirled at the edge of consciousness, vanishing into the restless vertical vertices that were supine in a peripheral weeping blur. Now surrendering, that thing, a shadow of a shadow, climbed over him, with a cold empty caress, turning him inside out – a chewed wet glove.
Man found Dead in Public Library
Giles Bohdan Boychuk – reporter
The ChapleWaite Daily Visage
Johaene Dexter Ward, of Portsmouth, British Columbia, was found dead in the ChapleWaite Public Library on Sunday. The air-conditioned library had been kept open for those having trouble dealing with record-breaking temperatures of the past week. The librarian, Zacharie Tallia Van Dorff, approached Ward late in the afternoon, to find the deceased man sitting in a library cubical.
Ward, a historian and folklorist, had been researching Sun Crawler legends, and had been reportedly looking for, The Whispering Sands of Iod. This book, purportedly, contains the earliest myths & legends about the Sun Crawler. Most scholars question the reality of such a book, though some think there may be a 19th century compilation of parts of The Book of Iod that was mistakenly identified as such a book.
Official medical reports indicate Mr Ward passed away due to a combination of heat, and an underlying medical condition. His remains will be returned to his family in Portsmouth for burial.
– from Coroner Notes of Dr. Francois Howard Balfour:
Mr. Ward had a history of seizures and asthma, which in combination with heat stress would account for his sudden passing at the age of 37. There are several points of uncertainty in this conclusion. Mr Ward appeared to have remained in the air-conditioned library for most of the afternoon. The only signs of exposure to the severe heat were signs of sunburn on his face, hands, arms, and upper chest. More curiously, the body showed signs of hypothermia, which could only be explained, under the conditions, as some implausible elaborate act of murder or a bizarre & twisted prank.