Sonntag, 8. Januar 2012

Sunken City

Written for the Trifecta Challenge. This week's word is "cutting" in the following sense: inclined or likely to wound the feelings of others especially because of a ruthless incisiveness. I worked parts of a short story I wrote into this as I had never been quite happy with the story. In here the bits work a lot better.

SUNKEN CITY

God, I hated London! This restless, noisy moloch. I hated the Tube, its endless labyrinth of escalators and subways in which there was the same stuffy humidity all year round. I hated its eerie sounds, the scampering rats between the tracks. People ducking behind walls of newspaper which they wore like a piece of armour when they were swallowed by the damp, mouldy entrails of the city, rattling along towards their work, shrouded in deafening noise. In the flickering light of the speeding train cars, their paper walls provided protection from unwanted social contact.

Yet, without this subterranean network of veins pumping vital workforce in and out of the city, chaos would have reigned in the streets.

What was I thinking when I moved here? Aeons ago when I had found Richard’s cutting sarcasm endearing, his mannerisms charming.

The train had slowed down and I stared out of the window into the blackness of the tunnel which seemed to widen. For an instant there was a streak of white flashing past. Tiles. A ghost station! I had heard there were a number of those scattered under the city. Given up, discarded, some still intact whereas of others – like this one – merely faint traces remained. They all bore the tragedy of sunken ships, long lost witnesses of human civilisation. Forgotten, haunted places. Like clean sheets, no longer infused with the sweat of passion. A lover’s eyes that lost their hunger. Shrieking, the train came to a halt. I just knew we were past all hope.

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