- Vol. 06
- Chapter 01
When they move house, Lucy needs to dismantle her town. "Before the men get here," her mother says. "They won’t know what to do with it." Lucy lies on her belly under the bed, collecting pieces to box. The elevating bridge, the factories, the Cliftonwood multi-coloured houses, the lighthouse. The smell of dust makes her dizzy but she mustn’t cough. Many pieces are much too delicate, too worn by time.
The people in the cardboard town are always terrified by the visits from the giant hand. This latest disruption, this earthquake, goes beyond their nightmare imaginings. Their screams are cardboard silent, their fear is fleshly real. They want the dark, the dust mites and dust motes. They want to be left in cardboard peace. Instead they are held too tightly, divided up, confused, isolated. The giant does not tell them where they’ll be going. The giant hums in a thunder voice.
The cardboard people miss their friends and children when they are put in different boxes. They miss their cardboard dogs and cardboard cats. They miss their elevating bridge, their colourful houses, their lighthouse. After the move some pieces will never be found, some will be damaged beyond repair. Some of the cardboard people will say all people are playthings of the higher gods. Others will never believe in gods again and declare the giant hand was a vision created by their own impossible dreaming.
In the new house, Lucy will look at each of the pieces as she thinks about where best to place them. But she is already too big for the model town and once it is built under her new bed she will never play with it again.
Slowly, softly, Lucyville will suffocate in dark and dust and no one will hear its cardboard weeping.