Weary and hot, he dropped the weight of his body on to a park bench. Twisting his neck and giving his shoulders a loosening shake, he gazed automatically at the summer people in the park. He peered intently at several, his own eyes hidden behind shiny reflecting glasses. For a moment he stiffened, watching a young girl who came toward him alone across the grass. But as she passed, he sagged again, a small frown of tired disappointment passing over his face. Apparently relaxing his scrutiny of the park people, the man let his gaze wander to a small green island in the center of the muddy pond.
After a few seconds, a small speculative smile appeared. "What
if . . . it might be an easier way than scanning every likely
individual in the sector . . . damn this planet, unlivable in this
season . . ." The stranger's mind set itself in strange gears, as
though a tiny switch marked "Build" had been flipped on.
In his mind a heavy shoulder appeared, and a dark golden muscled arm
curved down to strong fingers, relaxed in an arc toward an oil slick
on the water. To connect the other arm, which rested on an invisible
knee, the stranger's eye drifted downward over smooth and knotted
muscles - not heavy with useless show but lithe with waiting
strength. His mind flickered for a moment over his knowledge of the
park's inhabitants, then with a small smile of amusement, he finished
off a strong, heavy penis and moved on to turn out long legs, as
naturally muscled as the arms, and the long-toed feet of a Byzantine
statue that suddenly crossed his mind.
Satisfied, even enjoying himself, he returned to the shoulders and
built the neck and head of an oblivious, thoughtful Greek athlete,
absorbed and self-contained, eyes turned down toward the grasses and trash on the islet. Leaning back on his
bench, the stranger tilted his head slightly, positioned his
creation, a hand on one knee, the other leg stretched out loosely,
comfortably. Drawing a gentle breath, the stranger sighed and
suddenly the creation appeared, blowing out gently from chest to
fingertips, dark, full, and real. With another breath its chest rose
and fell and a hand absentmindedly brushed away an insect. The
stranger closed his eyes behind the shining glasses; when he opened
them, the creation blinked and focussed his gaze calmly on the grass
at his feet. With a smile the stranger touched his own dark hair and
the breeze stirred the heavy hair of the creation.
Raising his gaze, then, the stranger left the creation motionless
and looked searchingly across the open park. People were already
stopping, whispering, peering. Some drew close to the bank but the
naked golden man remained oblivious on his island. The stranger sat
still on his bench, a white cane now completing his appearance of
quiet withdrawal. People drifted by, small boys hastened toward the
hoots of their friends.
Turning slightly, the stranger noted two uniformed men approaching
from an official car. Apparently unconcerned for his creation, his
eyes continued to pass over the curious gathered near the pond. One
by one, he noted, then passed over, single people close to the water.
In his lap, his hands fluttered briefly and the creation moved
slowly to his feet, stretched with animal grace, surveyed the island.
A few gasps were audible in feminine voices and the officers
quickened their steps.
Intent now, the stranger's stare narrowed and flickered between
two young women who were standing almost on the edge of the pond.
Suddenly one of them stepped forward. As the officers voices broke
authoritatively through the crowd's murmurs, the stranger strained
forward with a low cry and the creation disappeared in a faint dusty
glow. For a moment, the young woman's foot rested full on the water,
then she drew back unnoticed into the amazed cries and questions of
the crowd. In confusion, she turned through the people and at the
crowd's edge met the stranger, tapping hesitantly toward the
commotion. As she brushed past, his hand grasped at her arm and she
turned, wary and defensive as a cat. Anxiously, he held her eyes
with an intent gaze and she seemed to return it with no regard for
the shining impenetrable glass. At an instant both faces relaxed,
hands met across space and all the puzzling officers found, returning
to their car, was a small pile of clothes, a cane and a faint rosy
dust hovering around a pair of shiny one-way glasses.
the heat," said one.
"People do anything for a little
excitement," said the other as they pulled into the midtown