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Published by Achilles Sangster

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Published by: Achilles Sangster on Sep 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Newport It’s not the kind of place you’d want to call home.

The only smells were hot rubber and that metallic blood taste in the back of your throat. You’re not bleeding, though. You’d have to stay a few months for that. After getting acclimated to the melting copper and iron, you won’t even care about how dry your sinuses are, how wheezy and heavy your lungs have gotten. There she is, looking out over you from her house. Less of a house, actually. It’s more like a cupboard. Peeling with paint, her body has become a bee’s nest; her eyes pale and vacant. Her hair has grown splotchy with crusty dung; no longer the fine silvery sheen she had as a younger old woman. Nearby, a pink boot lined with tiny windows sinks slowly into amber grass, its doors closed and laces tied tight to keep out the booming maelstrom from the nearby road. Each vehicle, an independent microcosm of isolation, leaks its individual tune: An engine’s hum, a thumping stereo, the crunching of French fries slurped down with malts and cups of soda tossed thoughtlessly to the curb. The old woman in her shoe, ever the enforcer, would tell her children that there is nothing for them outside but ticks and cicadas; sinful, mindless noise. Off in the distance, there, creeping behind a prickly patch of piney weeds, it stalks. A four-legged predator, silently seeking subsistence. Its face is peeling white, but its fur, crinkled and flat, is becoming a soft liquid in the solar heat. Fear not, though: It is but an observer, for now. He may yet spare you if it deems you unfit; if your ribs are sticking out too far and your belly too distended to warrant taking you to slaughter. Indeed, it feels a sinking sympathy for you, and the placid beast leisurely lurks safely out of reach. It’s clear, when you hear the static cries of flies nearby that this is not a safe place. A slab of flesh and hair, hidden in the windmill (which has long been condemned, and rightly so), vibrates and wriggles as though alive, but it is merely leather; hollow and formless. Within, its soul has been replaced with new, white breath. It is Legion, feeding on that which is inevitably left behind. Hurry, hurry. Don’t be late. Clamber over fallen trees, keep your soles safe from rust and jagged stones, sludge through mud and clay. Is that a cry you hear, or merely a creaking from the nearby cacophonic concerto?

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