Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Cupid's Stool

The sheer scale of the crowd was mindbending, as if the entire population had simultaneously locked itself out of its flat. It was 2 o'clock on a Monday morning, inverted.

Everyone was in rather good spirits considering. There had been a light drizzle for most of the morning but the accumulated bodies had reached some sort of critical mass and a constant and comfortable temperature was created. Some bright spark had rigged up contraptions along the telephone lines above the streets to harvest the thermal energy and then used it to power the omnipresent pa system.

"You are not lost, you are blue
You are cornfed, addled, it's true."

went the voices. This was a new one. New ones seemed to be released every couple of days without fanfare or announcement, only a slow growing murmur around us, dropping again as we listened. I suppose the music never really varied that much. There was a formula to be followed, there always is, but a new one always brightened up the day.

Most days we don't even think about the inside, not any more. Very adaptable creatures human beings; once it became clear that the outside was now ours, well we jolly well just got on with it. That day though, and I don't know why, I did.

The building next to me was a regular terraced house, the kind I grew up in. The windows, of course, had been blacked out but in places the paint had flaked and enough daylight seeped in to make out the room beyond. It was a small but standard kitchen in layout but otherwise tranformed. Since we came outside, the city's parks and open spaces have been trampled into the ground but it seems the flora had found another way. Vines twisted away along the work surfaces. Elephantine fungi had burst from cupboards, bulbous stalagtites swallowing space. Every remaining inch of the room was covered with a thick moss.

"Come back, come back my friend.
Come to the barricade.
We have a city to defend."

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