Children clustered around him wherever he went, in bright colors and flashing shoes. He was a parade all by himself, for all that he dressed intentionally like an out of work minister. The children called him Reverend, and he never smiled. He was giving a sermon while he was walking.
“Wicked is the world,” he was saying. “Beautiful are dreams.”
The children nodded; everything he said was right to them.
“There are no men, nor are there women. Everything is a dream.” A few parents trailed after the children. Dark were the looks they pierced him with when they thought we wouldn’t see. One man glowered at him with especial disapproval, a large fellow with a bright red beard that swayed like an anemone under his chin.
“Neither love good nor evil. They are world-wicked, and not to be trusted.” The man began to make his way through the children, his face mottled and ugly.
The reverend looked at the man with tired dog eyes and pursed his lips together. The man pulled two children, two boys out of the field around him and slung them over his shoulder. The other parents began pulling their own children, until only the orphan and the elusive remained. They, the few, watched him. He was silent. The sermon was over.