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A Hateful Bust

In my grandfather’s dimly lit hallway, where any number of lies can lurk in the shadows, rising above the ground fog, the bust of an ancient Greek pokes itself intrusively into the haze. The warm light from the kitchen, brought to life by fluorescent bars as old as my memory, creeps across the wooden floor, through the doorway and into the chasm of shadow to rest upon the pale forehead of an ancient Greek.

The eyes are blank, oblivious to warm light and cold shadow. The grey eyes, curved dimensions flanked by two stone shelves, stare unblinking into the space beyond. The rippling brow is the soul of hatred, lines diving inward and bulges swelling out, the thickness of that wrinkled brow could hold a lifetime of deceit.

The Greek’s hair spills out, curled like a basket of hooks. There’s a faint indentation around the top, as if a crown once rested there.

Perhaps that is the mother of his anger, perhaps he was overthrown in the peak of his glory. The curls spill down his grey temples, caressing his haggard face.

The cheekbones are high and protruding, flesh descending from a line of arrogance, confirmed by tight lips gathered up in a snarl. His lips are themselves kings among an empire of ordinary lips. Narrow and sharp, razors to cut a child’s tender skin. They will never speak boldly, but will whisper in my head, coaxing my temper to crack like a weaker stone.

His beard is thick and twisted; an endless supply of complicated angles. If I could just plunge my hand into that knotted mess and grasp his throat, I would choke life out of stone.

The bust of an ancient Greek has stood fixed in perpetual discontent in that hallway. His unseeing eyes bore witness to every event now forgotten by our living minds. In his vigil over the darkness he sees what is no longer there. He sees the dark past, and keeps the hateful visions to himself.
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