Zack Marshall (Featuring Paul Gondry)
15 Orient

March 2 – April 1, 2017
Opening Reception: March 2, 7-10pm

Her face was turned towards the steel framed window lining the east side of the classroom. It was late September. She wondered if this time of year had always been so warm. Her Oxford clung to the small of her back and, provoked by the rustling of a chain-link fence, she pealed away the fabric between two fingers. Only a few years ago at this time she could have comfortably worn a knit jumper. But this was no longer true. She came to understand this season as something different than before. Unspoiled by students entering her periphery, her gaze fixated on the remnant glow of dawn that strained to illuminate midmorning.

As a child she suffered from debilitating migraines, sometimes taking several days off from school to recuperate. She became vigilant in recognizing the early symptoms. But it seemed the slight pressure building at her temples in step with the scent of precipitation was merely weather related. Thunder broke and a downpour followed.

She saw the old oak, the tree who’s branches once canopied the slope of the bank from which it grew, struck ablaze. The classrooms’ attention aligned with her own, but by the time the lightning recoiled, the imminent danger dissipated, and nothing lingered where the oak only moments before stood. A few grounds keeping vehicles arrived and parked on the grass about twenty yards from the sight. Sirens accompanied the easing of the rain. Three fire fighters walked across the field to join the groundskeepers. They then walked to the edge of the pitch and spoke amongst themselves before returning to the other men. Soon the scene cleared and midmorning continued as it had prior to the squall.
Later, she took it upon herself to walk to where the fire fighters conversed. On her way she noticed a metal bracelet lying across a brittle oak leaf. She bent down, dried it on her wool skirt, slipped it in her breast pocket and continued on. By the time she arrived her loafers had turned from brown to black. She found what was left of the oak singularly shattered. It was not splintered by the shock, but entirely reduced to thin ribbons of wood. Most of the remains lay strewn across the bank’s slope invisible from the vantage of the classroom. Never had she beheld something so utterly destroyed.