It will be begin as it’s always begun. On a long busy road, houses on one side glaring down, park on the other open and friendly. Cars zipping by keeping me firmly away. No choice but onwards. No escape. And I’ll walk.
Nothing changes, nothing ever changes. The cars are always there, growling disapproval. Stopping me every inch of the way, trying to keep me back from . . . from . . . their home? Their pride? Their lair? Their hunting grounds. How many now have they killed? Eaten alive, spat out again, broken, soiled, despoiled. How many shrines on the corner, pictures of another lost soul?
Still, it will continue as it has always continued. Onwards. Growling, growing, going. The greenery goes, strangled out by the houses, the buildings, their bricks and their mortar. Blank eyed watchers lining the road, animals pacing up and down inside them, trapped. A show for the cars – or a larder.
Blank eyed cattle following the lines in the pavement, waiting to be picked off one by one by the quickest hunter, the keenest eye, the sharpest teeth. And still the cars snarl by – “You’re next”, “Keep away”, “Turn back, turn back” – or purring idle as brittle suits feed them their petrol, never enough, never enough.
Onwards, onwards only.
On to the penitentiary. A hundred, two hundred, three, cars lined one on top of the other. All of them behind flimsy cages. All of them unthinkably evil. Each one plotting to get out, each one planning their next kill. Each one growling and spluttering at me, each one hating me, their executioner, their murderer. I try to see them as they are, brittle rusting iron frames, shattering glass, splintered panelling all fed to the great Genocidal Engine. But I’m not there, I’m alone, naked. The Engine waits at the end of the road – calls me onwards to do my duty, to sate its hunger – but it remains firmly rooted, and the cars are everywhere. Omnipresent, omniscient, praise the car, hail the car.
And so it will end as it always ends. Cars to the left, cars to the right. Onwards to their rusting graveyard, onwards to the Engine, onwards, onwards only. I walk onwards and onwards, and there it is.
Waiting softly, growling softly, the city looms.
So it will be as it has always been, forever and ever. I know where I’m going, I know why, I know how. But as I stand at my door, will today be the day I open it?