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The Day The Other Humans Came: Chapter 1.
It was one of those cold spring days where it's too cold for just a t-shirt, too hot for a jumper. The sort of morning where rain lingers invisibly in every breath of air, hopping around in every inch of grey sky, a weird sixth sense tormenting pedestrians before it fell and lent even more stress to the bent figures of the working classes. Annoying here and there weather, like this town, my life, the world... the day the other humans came.
I stood at the bus stop, facing the town hall, dwarfed by it's monstrous mausoleum-like facade. A governmental tomb, housing undead bureaucrats who'd be incinerated by one shred of sunlight and reality, dumped on nature, concrete breezeblock on steroids and nature had to bear that blemish. I adjusted the hoodie draped over the nook of my arm, thumbing the blue fabric, toying with the idea of chucking it over my shoulders, keeping it unzipped. Wincing slightly at the ache’s spiteful knuckles, grinding into my back, shoulders and neck, remembering to smack a drum in my brain to jolt mind and nerves, both consequences of being struck by lightning, White Lightning Cider. The delayed bus was doing it's best to extend my misery, so forgive me if I didn't notice immediately.
Rearing it's head over the steady flow of traffic, off centre and due south, no more than a 100 yards away down the road, a, rip, broke the iron grey sky. The bottom of the black gash flapped aimlessly in an artificial wind, defying a course set by the true wind, before depositing itself without a care into the rest of reality next to an old ash tree, there oddity upped the ante! A black shape dropped from the gaping wound, before the rend vanished, doing itself up again like the zip on my battered old 501's. Everything grew much colder. Like waiting at a bus stop in Antarctica, even time froze, as though my body was under the strain of extreme hypothermia. The spit in the back of my throat became ice in a shorter space than I could blink. I coughed heavily against it, eyes streaming, it's like I've eaten a chilli, I thought in anguish, drawing looks from other people at the bus stop. Dignity misplaced like your phone after a drunken night out, I straightened and left the bus stop to approach the shuddering black mass on the floor. A couple of kids on BMX's had noticed the indeterminate shape now too, crows with wheels instead of wings, forming a customary throng, seconds away from snatching the nearest plethora of sticks and poking like pistons in unison, powering an engine of curiosity.
They dispersed like rats at my approach, ostensibly gone but still lingering in the eaves for the opportunity to come back once I'd left. Despite my heart wanting to race away at Warp Speed towards the trembling mess, involuntarily caution had turned my trainers to concrete! Pulling one foot, after another free of the pavement, sent pulses up my tender spine, giggling imps racing up and down, lunging knees inside my skull. Eventually managing to tear up stone, reaching the... figure? Yeah, there was no mistaking it, a figure was laying before me, on the ground, dressed in what looked like a black boiler suit, a man, shaking like the last autumn leaf on a tree branch!
… Instinct shoved my hand out before decision could debate the pros and cons, which his sinewy, large hand clasped eagerly. As I yanked him upright, I studied the clothes he wore, like a sophisticated onesie, perfectly tailored by some reject from Saville Row. A gust of shocked wind raced past, hastily hoisting up the rent in reality like an embarrassed person who’s trousers had come loose in public. The blackness in my head was so vivid I’d already begun to forget it, watching the man’s tuft of brown hair, making it appear like an organism striving for dominance above a face of strong cheekbones, square jaw, long nose and large bow-shaped mouth. That void still lingered in the black of his eyes, didn’t matter about the sky blue surrounding his pupils, “thank you… I believe that is what you say here?” He greeted, a voice as stony as the concrete, as officious as the bureaucrat tomb down the road, what kind of accent has he got? I couldn’t help but wonder, compelled to tug him away, before the words “I require some time to recuperate in your domiciliary, you refer to them as, houses or flats, right?” The metallic voice inquired. So do I, I thought, as pavement, road, traffic light, pedestrian and car retreated into one slurry of confusion, how a Tory MP sees us no doubt… so the fuck do I!
© Brad James, 2014.