Beyond the tracks of the old super-train red line, and just before the blackest valley in the town, there lies three tall crucifixes, hidden under the neon highways and skyscrapers of the city, within a little copse of concrete, in an alley of its own. The screens that flicker from their canopies give the only light needed for any children who play with their holo-toys or hallucinogens in the morning, uniformed students returning to their shadowed courtyards at the end of the day, or salary-men who stumble filled with sake in the night. Atop the tallest crucifix, in the highest garret, under the steel of the pre-war mechanisms that pulled the ancient, giant maglev trains is where I reside, bound to a bed more like a coffin, where from above I can observe this small unnamed street that is perhaps nowhere to me, and everything at once.
Each morning, the elevator that stops by my door takes me to the ground, where then I go under the river, upstream by subway to work. The murals of graffiti that line the tubes may change- even if they are only seen for a moment under the headlights of each train, beyond the stations that appear like stars in the night- but the tube itself never changes.
Once I am on a tram, the whole city opens up in motion. The lights that scale buildings fade with the dusk, and from the Paris street, I can view the markets slowly beginning to open as the merchants and customers rub the sleep from their eyes and gradually peruse the scattered shops, sit down at one of the alleyway cafes which are sometimes still heavy with the haze of hashish or some other soft drug, and order themselves, as a monochromed waiter passes by, an espresso to wipe the night away. That darkness itself however, inhabits the very corners these curious people scurry to, under the wires and girders; even away from the ruins. The blackest places of all are the craters- some that have turned into valleys either side of the river across the tunnels, under the ruined castle, or over the crowded Chain Bridge. The largest is, of course, the Central Crater, a half hour ride by maglev upon the outskirts, home to squatters strewn about its great edges, which, it seems, has taken a giant bite out from the river, as it flows diverted by the aqueducts around its edges.
I have never been there myself. The nausea of travel gives me no need. What can a trip there change me, if not for myself? The very idea, of seeing a spectacle long forgotten is for the tourists- who eat it right up with their eyes and pass about, with their charged implants to take photos and share videos via the net, or abstract themselves into what machines have so long given anyhow. Travel is for those who cannot feel.
Antiquated machineries and weapons that border the edges are no matter to me, as much as they ever were to begin with. Mere apparatuses designed to kill have been consumed by the resolve they once were used for, as the living forests around them grow, constrict their parts and rust their gears solid.
Listen to me, and keep listening. Don’t look out the windows of the trams and trolleys and at the murals across the rivers, and don’t go down those alleyways and market streets. Believe me now; nothing ever truly serves their purpose in the end. One part of them soon becomes another, continuously changing so much as our fickle and capricious minds do so; even the scatter of trolley wires that lattices the sky above us will one day fall down and become the earth.
© Copyright 2016 Lynchalot. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Young Adult
Short Story / Science Fiction
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