This evening I have concocted a chaser blog. A strange substance for a Saturday night, not available in off licences or to order from disreputable websites – come with me down a black-lit back street and I might let you have a dab. It’s called Urban Eeriness and has two complimentary effects on your consciousness. First it fizzes up with a cheeky little poem:
face defined by un-features
a threatening blankness
except your own
the mannequin detests life
mocking it with moulded simplicity
an idol defying passing shoppers
thin linen gracing cold limbs
if heart ever fluttered in its bust
it soon died as life not born
trapped forever in an imitation cavity
would you want this imposter wearing your clothes?
Feeling OK? Got it under control? OK you should feel a story starting to tingle in your belly now, relax and go with it:
The people started falling apart on a Sunday afternoon. James saw it all. An old lady’s leg elongated, stretched taut, then plopped off like a glob of wax in a lava lamp. It happened just outside Goblets bar on the high street, famed for vodka shots in all flavours from Aero chocolate bar to Fisherman’s Friends throat lozenges – so foul tasting they were intended as a joke but ended up a staple.
On the skate ramp in Mayflower park, as children on the waterfront queued for ice-cream in the dying rays; a small boy accelerated down the smooth incline on his board, somersaulted through three hundred and sixty degrees, and landed – footless. His feet had shot off and ended up in the water where they proceeded to swim for the Isle of Wight.
Dogs weren’t immune either. Whilst waiting for its owner outside West Quay shopping centre one wagged so hard its body detached and ran away leaving the tail erect in mid air. Which would have been funny to the toddler watching had not his bright blue eyes tumbled out and bounced over a nearby wall, quick as rats.
“You can’t beat a Maccy D’s”, opined a young man in fitted baseball cap to his girlfriend, and then screamed as he withdrew his hands quite fingerless from a bag of ketchup-red French fries.
James saw it all – as his head floated on the breeze, bobbing quaint as a balloon. Well I always thought this dump was falling apart, he mused, as he watched the human landscape below crack like blocks of lego.*
How was that? You might feel a little spaced, a bit discombobulated, but don’t worry – go for a walk outside and clear your head. Take in the night air. You’ll feel much better – just don’t linger too long in front of any shop windows.
* (Short story was written for an exercise as part of a Resident Writers session. It’s set in my home town of Southampton but could happen anywhere).