contain.tunnel.bakers

contain.tunnel.bakers

“On the pavement were seven silver trays, each one stacked with cakes and pastries melting in the late summer sun.

For most of the day no one dare approach the confections, not knowing the source or origin. What pleasures or poisons they might contain.

Sometime around four in the afternoon a small child in a red coat reached down with sand covered fingers and plucked free an eclair, revelling in the rarely enjoyed indulgence.

She did not notice that in her haste she had dislodged one of the seven trays.

In their tunnel below the pavement the underground bakers tutted and interrupted their work to replace the cover while they prepared more sweets to leave for people in the world above.”

electric.surgical.palace

electric.surgical.palace

“We smelt the palace before we saw it. The reek of ozone pooling around the roots of the forest where we sheltered. The reek of welding and skin. Sliding on our masks, and letting the ventilators sit snug in our throats. Shouldering our packs we walked across the plain that was meant to be the killing ground, but all the bodies died long ago. We ignored them and concentrated on the walls blocking out the sun. The defences coloured electric, pitted by surgical scars where citizens climbed in and out.”

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harps.flats.zooms

harps.flats.zooms

“The Truck zooms past the block of flats, scattering instruments along the tarmac.

Most shattered to splinters, and few survived the traffic that paid no attention to the cellos and violins, barely noticing as their wheels crushed necks and splintered bodies.

When the children went down that night to see what survived, all they found were harps. Dragging them to safety, they sat in the gutters and played until the world went silent in its listening.”

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balanced.wants.escape

balanced.wants.escape

“Balanced on the wall, Stevie braces himself as his feet threaten to slide from under him once more. He wants to leave. Wants to get away. Below him the dogs shudder in the dark corners of the yard. All Stevie wants to do is escape. From inside the house his mother calls to him. Her voice is uneven. Stevie looks one last time to the street beyond the wall, and drops to the yard. Walks back into the house, shoulders dropped, blank face staring at the ground.”

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visitors.faces.purist

visitors.faces.purist

Knocking at the door.

Jamie was not expecting visitors. Not at 5pm on a Sunday evening. He rose from his chair, stood in the hallway and listened. Outside, the visitors tapped on the door with their nails. He knew they would be at the back door too. The windows. The gaps in the walls.

Trying not to shake, he unfastened the latch, opening the door just a touch.

Though they had many limbs, and razor sharp teeth, the visitors had no faces

Jamie stared at them, then pointed this out. The nearest one leaned forward until their porous skin was against Jamie’s cheek.

“We have no need of faces,” it said. “We are purist.”

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pastime.eagle.promise

pastime.eagle.promise

“Simon had a pastime and that pastime was making promises. He promised the rains would come to farmers watching their crops shrivel in the fields. He promised hands in marriage even if the hands did not belong to him. He promised to save the eagles nested on the cliffs near town from extinction. One morning the people reminded of his promise and lashed him to the rock with ropes and a basic lesson lesson in climbing, and hand over hand Simon made his way up the cliff. At the top sitting in their vast nest, the eagles listened to his chatter, fluffed their wings and scraped his head from his neck. They feasted well that night, and would last a few more weeks. For once Simon kept his promise.”

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