The little man at the side of the road where the hearses do their U-turns is pointing at passing pedestrians and shouting ‘You’ll never get out! And you’ll never get out! But you’ll get out! But you’ll never get out!’
I fall into the ‘Never get out’ category.
My coffee has gone cold and I am hungry, having skipped eating again. A caffeine/calorie trade-off. I should know.
Later, as I leave for home, water gushes from a pipe, soaking the reinforced concrete embankments by the train station where I spot a new piece of graffiti. It says, ‘City of sludge’.
Decades ago, the town’s councillors had erected a large mirror in the municipal hall. It reflected light into a function room where, at receptions, the townsfolk would see themselves in it.
One day, a party at the hall became debauched and the mayor turned the mirror around so that the revellers’ actions could never be reflected in it again. He called it ‘the dead mirror’.
After years of increasing clamour, the mayor again turned the mirror around. The townsfolk came to look. In it, every person saw themselves as a child – with one horrific alteration: they were dead children.