Mark Z. Danielewski (f. 1966, New York, USA)


Written by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves, 2000

"Charge!" Probably never really said. Just implied. With a gesture or a grin.

Only in Lude’s case the bayonets were fifths of bourbon & bindles of pills and his charge was led on a Triumph.

Of course this was no Little Round Top. Not about the Union, though ironically Lude was killed right outside of Union on Sunset. He’d been up in the Hills at some so & so, such & such gathering, enough chemicals rioting in his body to sedate Manchester United for weeks. Around four in the morning, still hours before that great summoning of blue, inspiration struck, winding into him like an evil and final vine. He was going for a ride. The chemicals sure as hell didn’t object nor did his friends.

Amazingly enough, he made it down the hill alive, and from there started heading west, going after his own edge, his own dawn, his own watery murmur. He was doing well over 100 MPH when he lost control. The motorcycle skidding across the left lane. Somehow — in the ugly stretch of a second — threading unhit past any oncoming traffic, until it slammed into the building wall and disintegrated.

Lude flew off the bike when the front wheel caught the curb. The cement uncapped his skull. He painted a good six feet of sidewalk with his blood. The next morning a sanitation crew found his jaw.

That was about all Lude left behind too, that and a few pairs of scissors with a couple of shorn hairs still clinging to the blades.

 

© 2000 Mark Z. Danielewski; New York: Pantheon Books

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