In the burning faces laid into the stone faced rocks, a man sits settled into the dusted dawns, swigging from a flask whilst swiping settling dust off his charcoaled face. Croaking in the freshened light of dawn, his iron ridged mouth creaks with the yawning movements. The creeping willows of the house in the wooden stains where he perched on a brick wall as the breeze rustled his hair. Staring bleary-eyed at the passers-by who yell out various abuses.
"You young hounds", he growled.
"You old crone", they sneer.
"You ain't worth your salts." His bitter face was scared through the rough histories of his many years.
In his past pretences, he was the popular guy, set around the flash wooded town where he had set his stone and mortar. His popularity had spread through the constant flashing of his face in print, with people screaming for all the poses. His flash persona was in ruins for he had lived a life of too much toughness. He was drawn to tatters by those of his attractions, he was always easily persuaded by a nice smile and a gentle touch and subtle tones in people's voices.
Where as now he was barely a shadow of his past. Living in the rough ended shelters in amongst sharded roofs of a fallen building site, where rusting irons curled for roofing. Hitting the all-time low after rough rides. With others he had his heart torn.
Like the Devil Wearing Prada, in the strutting. In his fuzzing face with the flashings rattling in the pale blue eyes, which almost echoed the colours of oysters being rustled by the curly shards of hairs that hung over his face draping his arched nose that drew in air.
The glitz that tore his face of public perception, moving on the devilish diamonds that the strutter flushed in his eyes, tip toe up to the ear and gently whispering softened notes to the pleasing sound of the love strains "I am desire, you can catch" from all forms of pleasantries that would flock him in mass crowds trying to drag his eyes across to their strutting sides. Shrieking out the shines of photo snaps taken on the digitalised visions posing in all the auspicious ways, slabbering his eye with the quick-lensed flashes. The twinkling of the 'ere mate let's have snap with the bolstering grabs and flashings. He took pride in introducing himself to many a new person and describing his charismatic eccentricities that had given him many stories.
And now he was torn in torrid's where his once glazing now lay dull like the greyness of stone with the cold hearted edge and frosted hair that was once curled with blondish life now shivered with the dead white filed in hollow strands. Skeletal dropping like leaves, ears pieced with the untonely hums that ring in his shell-like drums.
The old pounding of stilettos that clacked in his face in stumbled rhythms from the outward marauding in the socialite centres whiskering past the decrepit floor men simpering in the cardboard under the rusting irons, curling whimpered in the swampy damp bag. His once clean clothes now clung with a sticky stench like thick wallpaper. The torrential issues spread themselves amongst the Big Issue papers. Leading the double clenched lives one of the outward cases stacking in the Bevies of Beauties polishing up on his old gentleman-like, calming the dogs that hounded him with the predadicIal stereotypes where there was once a curly beard in which twizzels were rooted, now lay a chevelled rough chin.
The flask he held was staling too the cold air, containing the ageing smoulder of the coffee, dropping a brisk feeling on the steely shell that coated the flask.
The red top rags that had been splashing his face upon their front pages were now nothing but well washed chip papers that scattered all of the town’s floors. Trampling in the muddied paths of his life and some of the miss-placed steps he had taken leading to the unfortunate down turns which had been his Achilles heel.
For long gone were the ringing phones from student hacks trying to scoop out the fleshy stories for their glossy dressed papers. The chaperones into popularity were now replaced by a neatly placed hat for the begging coppers of the shrapnel from the passing purses, waiting for the all too distant hands of kindness to break their money banks so they could drop some clinking jingle jangles into the flattened hat.
His bewildered stares bled into the flurried faces that would sneer a vigilante of colourful abrasives delivered with poisoned razor like tongues. Trickling brazen cuts braking the plastered skin, which was flaking off in grated patches, scurving itches pulling up in rashes. The waging of stories in exchange for coinage from new faces, often relinquishing tales of his past extravagances replacing his name with those that would describe his characteristics, so he could make them seen just that bit more un-conceivable to be true.
He looked up and noticed a new face of a young man that was peering at him from above a thick pad where he was hastily scribbling frantic notes.
“Hack!” croaked the old man staring up at the young pretender.
“I have seen many stars, Hack!” he said in a spite filled sense of vigour “I can show you the stars in exchange for some leaden coins”.
The young hack leaned forward “I never believe stories from scraggled old crones…” he paused before slightly retracting by stretching his hand into his neatly pressed trousers producing a handful of gleaming coppers. The old mans eyes flashed with rare sight of coins. “Because tales are from your wives,” he chortled before dropping coins into the hat.
“I have never trusted you hacks!” he muttered dismissively as he heard the clanging of the coins, “You can twist the mouths of even the sternest horses! Too castrate or debate with the poisoned pen!”
The hack just stared at him flinchingly through thick-rimmed musty coloured glasses and neatly pressed clothes with his hair brushed to one side, parting with the hair swooping placed above his fore head. Staring at the stark contrast that was the Crone.
“I was once a young buck like your self” he said with a slight relaxed tone in his voice.
“You think you know it all at your age and whatever happens can’t hurt you!” he said shifting his weight gingerly “But there are always dogs that are willing to bite at your Achilles heel” he aired on the side of caution whilst clasping the flask tightly.
“My face was all over your rags,” he echoed whilst flailing his finger at the hack, “My face! You see this face!” he said flailing his finger in the hacks bemused face. “This face was once blotted all over your inked chip papers, I used to be in all the top rags”.
Hack just stood poised almost motionless staring at the pointed tip of the crone’s spindly finger.
“Your face can tell a thousand stories!” the hack said with an almost simpering tone as the Crone stared at him with an icy cold glare.
“What interest do you have in me?” he looks at the hack scribbling away on his pad. The young Hack paused with his eye’s buzzing with thought
“There is many ways I can answer that question!” he mumbled. “I guess I saw something that made you more defined as a subject!” “Defined?” crowed the bemused Crone “What do I have to define myself against?” he said with a questionable energy.
“I am who I am, there is no point in abusing that words definition! I mean would it be abused to compare you to I Hack? Because we are all different Hack! Some of our wiring maybe the same but it is how we treat the wiring that makes us different!”
The Hack paused sucking and nibbling on the end of his pen, trying to figure out his next question. “So, if you really were printed on our pages like the King amongst rags, then how did you end up amongst the decrepit street urchins?”
The Crone looked down at the floor “I got bitten by the stars with the flashing clicks that blinded me” he said with a sighing tone. “Its like I said when your young you tend to think you are invincible” he paused to take a deep breath.
“It’s a long haul to the top but one short trip and you tumble right down, a bit harsh I know, but the truth is not always gentle!”
“I became this personality that the real me hid behind in its shadow” explained the Crone with a suppressed breath
“This persona turned me into a monster of cartoon like proportions. All the care was sucked out of me and replaced by a thick Glossy goo which filled all the gloss dross magazines with their latest snaps”.
“So what was it that brought about your downfall?” poised the Hack
“Was it Drink? Drugs? Money? Women?” asked Hack in inquisitive motion.
The Crone furrowed his brow “Drink and Drugs never tempered with my temptations” he drawled “ Where as my eyes became flittered with the green that occasionally wafted in my direction, but it always sprinted out faster then your petty mind could ever imagine. You see I was someone who was seen at all the right places at the right time. I would often hear spasmodic shrieks of my name from little madams that I gave big hugs to for their piccies,” he said with his arms flailing to make gestures.
“Money was never much of an object for me” he sighed. “But those madams on the other hand, as soon as you attract the attentions of one, you get the attentions of all”.