long after the dregs have gone, the slat remains, their presence permeating throughout the dilapidated building, secrets waiting to be discovered.
there are rickety old floors with cards fastened between the wooden slats, the queen of heart’s beady eyes tracking every movement. crimson gambling chips veiled in spider webs are gathered in the corner and deep impressions have been left in the drywall—the frame of broad shoulders, a cavity in the shape of a skull, a fist that missed its mark. mold crawls out of these gapings, blooming around the droplets of blood that have gone black and crusty.
wanted posters torn at its corners, ripped from someone else’s walls to be brought here, are bespeckled with holes across the faces, someone’s target practice.
up the sunken stairs there’s an office, small hills of ashes that used to be paper, a lingering stench exuding from the charred leather bound books that refused to melt. a rumpled handkerchief can be found, a crow and a cup embroidered into it. storage chests have been flipped over, matchsticks scattered across the floor, crooked lines carved by a sharp blade permanently etched into the desk—a secret, a memory, an honoring: rietveld.
but there’s also the unmistakable outline of footprints parting through coats of dust and small rings in the shape of the end of a cane. a daunting realization that someone else has been there recently.