“This looks good,” Justin said.
A fence had been erected around the construction site, metal bars slotted into concrete feet, but there was space enough between a pair of un-braced sections for the both of them to squeeze through. Past the fence they dashed across a short stretch of open ground and into the cover of the scaffolds, draped with heavy tarpaulins. The wind ran through the tarps, making them snap and ripple incessantly, a constant and uneven percussion in the cold air. Rain splashed her face, driven through the gaps in the sheeting by the sudden gusts of wind. Continue reading
A door stood in front of her, the blue paint long since peeled and faded to an awful grey. Plastic numbers barely visible, the gold painted finish all worn off. The last door in a line of grey doors on the third floor, overlooking a concrete courtyard. The grey doorways faced onto a grey balcony, with a metal handrail painted white, but chipped and rusted with age and disrepair. Below, broken swings and a creaking see-saw. Bottles, cans and mouldy paper bags. The smell of piss and vomit. Continue reading
Arsha’s cabin aboard the Triskelion was tiny, but cosy. A scattering of wooden statuettes littered the top of her dresser, the tools she’d used to carve them now buried in one of the bottom drawers. A half finished dress was draped over the back of a chair, the needle tucked into the middle of a seam, and books lay scattered across the floor around an unmade bed. On the desk in one corner sat the pieces of a harmonic she’d been trying to build, with Shani’s help.
The city was empty. She wandered through silent streets, strangely lonely without the press of bodies, the sound of engines and the smell of exhaust fumes hanging over every intersection. She passed by shops and cafés, their doors open, their signs lit, but with no one inside. As she walked, her fingertips traced a pattern on the walls and railings that she followed at each turning; a thin line of rust, like a trail laid out for her. She wondered who could have left it there, seeming so natural, yet so purposeful. The trail passed over iron, stone and wood alike, not seeming to care for its own impossibility. It simply was, almost as if it had sprung into being for her alone to find.
The clouds gathered beneath the city like foam on the waves of a stormy sea. Arsha stood at the railing, the cold air running over her thickly gloved hands as bright sunlight warmed her face. Her goggles were pushed up over her forehead, the leather strap pulling her hair back. She closed her eyes and listened to the sounds of the city. The creak of the wires, the hollow booming of the wind against the canvas balloons, the soft humming of the lightning crackling through the floatstones.