Handle

May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

There’s a man by the Choke with a turn-handle organ and he plays as the shadows walk by. There’s a monkey beside him with an old, rusty cup and she dances for the copper they throw.

Sometimes he wonders whether he turns the handle or the handle is now turning him but the song is near ending and the monkey’s stopped dancing so he puts the machine in reverse.

.esrever ni enihcam eht stup eh os gnicnad deppots s’yeknom eht dna gnidne raen si gnos eht tub mih gninrut won si eldnah eht ro eldnah eht snrut eh rehtehw srednow eh semitemoS

.worht yeht reppoc eht rof secnad ehs dna puc ytsur ,dlo na htiw mih ediseb yeknom a s’erehT .yb klaw swodahs eht sa syalp eh dna nagro eldnah-nrut a htiw ekohC eht yb nam a s’erehT

There’s a man by the Choke with a turn-handle organ and he plays as the shadows walk by. There’s a monkey beside him with an old, rusty cup and she dances for the copper they throw.

Sometimes he wonders whether he turns the handle or the handle is now turning him but the song is near ending and the monkey’s stopped dancing so he puts the machine in reverse.

bsmnt

May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Y fckn lttl sht whn wll y fckn lrn y sty n th fckn bsmnt r y gt nthr fckn btng y fckn lttl drty bstrd nml dnt fckn cr fr fcks sk nne fckn crs y fckn mk m sck y fckn lttl sht.

In the mists, in the skies.

May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

They say the mage mist is just a by-product. Acceptable levels of thaumic leakage, they say. Unavoidable and harmless, they say. It’s not true, you know. None of it is true. It’s as alive as you or I. More alive than that Boxer over there, anyway. Oh, yes, it’s alive…and it speaks if you listen hard enough. On a quiet night you can hear it whispering sweet secrets and fortunes. It can whisper all night sometimes. All night long. Tales of other places and other times. Before the City. After the City, perhaps, when there’s nothing but trees and clouds.

Hah, you’re right. It does sound crazy. People always say it sounds crazy and maybe it is. Doesn’t stop it being true. The mage mist is a mouth. Or maybe it’s an eye. Maybe it’s both. A mouth and an eye that speaks as it sees and sees what it speaks. It’s all the same, really.

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Crazy it might be but if you could get up close to it, up on the roofs, who knows what you might find, eh?

I once had a birdie…

May 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

Children are the greatest barometer of a civilisation. Adults are merely the way that civilisation operates, like cogs in a machine, but children are the means by which it gains expression.

I once had a birdie

As leaves blowing along a path show the invisible wind so the songs of children reflect the health of their civilisation.

Who sang all the day

In happy times, children are free to play and retain their innate understanding of the world around them

He sat on my dresser

Their bustle and games parody the adult world and reflects the chaotic cycle of existence with laughter and joy.

All coloured and gay

Yet, like all means of expression, it is frail and easily subverted.

And yet, my poor birdie

What was healthy can sicken. What has sickened can die.

Stopped singing one day

There are agents that know this and, as they please, turn children against their civilisation.

The blackwings came calling

And turn civilisations against their children.

And took him away.

Image

Under Cellar

May 12, 2013 § 1 Comment

The foundations of the city are riddled with holes. Basements, sewers, sub-basements, forgotten wells and more upon more. Even the eerily still worlds of natural cave systems stretch down for untold fathoms beneath the daylight world. Very few people venture down into these dark, fungus haunted spaces. Fewer still return.

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Somewhere in the subterranean sprawl, a dim light shines into a cave half-lined with crumbling brickwork. A figure, tattered and smeared with grime, staggers out from a side tunnel and slumps against the masonry. It lets out a low moan, before sliding down to the gravel-strewn ground. A hand reaches up to pull away the cobwebs covering its face and reveals the features of a young man, his blood-streaked cheeks cleaned only by the pale tracks of tears. Gingerly, he pulls his other hand from the folds of his jacket. Green-tinged and bloated, it seems to almost glow as red streaks creep out from two ragged puncture wounds in the palm. A scrap of cloth is wrapped around the wrist and he uses his teeth to pull the knot tight, wincing as a thick fluid wells up from the holes. He gasps and retches, leaning back into the wall.

The globe he uses for light flickers, dims…and then glows brightly again.

He sits for a measureless time, listening to the silence that stretches around him. Not even the drip of water, the whisper of air. Why did he even come down here? Curiosity? Greed? Pride? A mixture, all of them now satisfied in their own way. He thinks of that vast cavern and what he saw inside, lit by the light of countless candles. He thinks of his pack, now long lost, and the gleaming things it held for a short while. He thinks of Matthieu, who ran when he didn’t and was snatched up by the darkness itself.

He thinks of being more alone than he has ever been before.

He thinks about closing his eyes, just for a moment, and wonders what will happen if they don’t open again. Could it be worse than this?

The globe he uses for light flickers, dims…

…and then dies.

Where Am I?

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