“The Pier”

“To their left, the pier extended 500 feet out into the Pacific. It looked like a simplified railroad trestle: a fenced walkway supported by a series of three splayed, vertical, log posts that might have been the down-turned prongs of Neptune’s trident. The water reflected these timber legs, apparently doubling their length by creating an effective optical illusion. The illusion also planted lamps in the sand and water at even spacings fifty yards out into the sea. Above the boys spread the sky, cloudless, a mass of blue: higher up, a slightly gray delphinium and closer to the horizon, a lighter Dresden blue. Thick filaments of stratocumulus cloud draped over the horizon like a gauze stole. The blues of the sky dyed the sand in front of the teenagers Turkish blue, but this richer color lightened (near the apex of a triangle whose sides leaned in from the left and right) to a strange one (with elements of white, blue, yellow, and green) that could have come from a shred of cloud being dipped into the oil of the sky (like a piece of baguette soaked in fondue). A chevron of subdued octogenarian light that rested atop the distant clouds proved the source of the nearer, strange light. This tired, pallid light reminded Skylar of the blown kiss from the waxy, wizened fingers of his grandma, as he waved to her from the window of the car pulling away from her home. The light was the final soft smile of the sun. But just as grandma had sent one off with a gift, so the sun, though it had disappeared, left behind a remembrance. It dyed the ocean close to the boys the same color as the horizon’s scarf: that of the flesh of a ripe Mexican papaya. Two livid clouds, stretched wide like those hanging on the horizon, appeared above them, and two lighter-toned ones floated behind these bruised vapors. Previously invisible altocumulus patches now became barely visible (like pale objects hardly made out in bright sunlight): two of them coming together to form a pointed arch and others hovering nearby like spare parts. The empurpled clouds cast a piece of themselves onto the glazed area where the surf flowed evenly over the sand: there it shone, iridescent, violet, blue, and pink like a ten-foot-wide Portuguese man-of-war. An ellipse of water a quarter mile from shore lightened, colored now like the underside of a finger that has been pulled out of hot water. The ocean surrounding this ellipse developed an orange cast like that of a Satsuma Mandarin. Then the angle of the fading light caused the southern side of the sea to glisten like a sheet of lit ice or a spill of oily paint. The reflections of the pier’s pilings meshed the golden corn of the nearby sea into niblets. So dark had the pier itself become that it tattooed the lower southwest sky like the brand of man.”

Richard Maddox

Richard Dietrich Maddox's writing focuses on the search for permanent happiness, the goal of finding paradise on earth, the attainment of human Enlightenment. His work, though fiction, attempts to convey the profound spiritual Truth passed on to humanity by Enlightened Masters. Maddox approaches spiritual wisdom from a Western level of experience, presenting characters to whom readers can easily relate, offering situations in which readers might well have found themselves. His work offers, in a style which those living in the West will find understandable, the possibility of blissful existence.

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