One Decadent Life: Part Two



… did anyone think he couldn’t do it? But he could. He could do it.

David in his fretful sleep twitched like a dog, his eyelids spasm’d, he groaned and whimpered. The fireplace had burnt out, the temperature in the room gone cold. At regular intervals a shuddering ran along his form, this rhythmic reaction merging with the vision, the thing that held him captive

He was being pushed by a powerful wind. Again was he sliding along the derelict plaza. Again he cowered before the sentinel tenements. But now the central Obelisk had been chopped down.

It lay like the broken hand of a huge clock; it lay pointing at nothing, there was no center holding, only blank desolation, a hideous world made by man. And he was doomed to live in it.

The rotting structures of the human dwellings no longer retained human flesh. Only roaches lived there – roaches and rats. All other living creatures had fled the precinct. No one answered his searching glances. Around the periphery he began his walk, looking for anyone who might be lingering. But every door was locked, from the outside. Everyone had left. No-one looked from a window. Not even a junkie lived there anymore.

David watched as a million-roach swarm covered the facade of one tenement.

Usually, at this point, came some answering explosion, the crevasse’s revelations, the great Cat’s ambient hiss.

But nothing. Nothing Happened. No Grand Denouement. No Revelation. Only the monotonous round he was making. There was nothing to do but exist.

Circling circling the centerless square that rocked and buckled like a newspaper in a draught.

But in the arid and senseless air of the dead plaza — something hovered. David looked up.

Aiming for his face was the end of a gigantic red sable paint-brush. He screamed as it lunged at him like a spear, the long silky hairs thrusting against him violently. He fell and the bristles swept across his body, flinging him across the plaza. The hairs caught him up and threw him back again. He could not escape this sweeping, thrusting, he ducked and darted but The Brush always found him out.

He realized he was being painted out — erased. No, worse. The Brush that worried him wanted only to be rid of him, he was nothing but an irritating grain of sand on someone else’s canvas.







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