• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 08
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Push, Don’t Jump, Push With No Exclamations

The boy gnawed on the wood left by drips of garish ice. He was first in line and his final lick would guarantee that his place was not lost. Yet he still felt the rung beneath him and found himself at the end with nowhere to go.

The little girl took his place even though the blue void filled her head with spiders. They shouted at her to hold her nose. Her nose was special to her, as to her knowledge spiders did not have them. Instead she closed her eyes and saw only deep red. Her aunt felt the tug on her arm. She never understood why her twin brother insisted upon wrapping this round the child's wrist. She watched the body of her own flight as she buckled with it. It was oatmeal, a colour she did not recognise.

A man stepped out to hang his legs over the side. He did not want to dangle with freedom but to test the reaction of the hairs on his legs to the cold. To the contrary he found himself reverberating with the heated sweat of his body as if he were playing the spoons atop a metallic heap. He realised this only when a swing garlanded with feather boas and dandelions swung over his head. He reached to grasp on but found he was stuck and that the young woman holding onto the sides was already half dead. Someone at the back tried to surge forward but banged their head against a wall of the purest of glittering perspex. They understood the pointlessness of this and attempted to retreat further.

Signs clearly stating that no pets were allowed appeared at every level yet there was always one or even two in each daily segment. Generally cats that were Ginger or Tortoiseshell but sometimes a canary or budgie which was okay as they had feathers that were preened.


Push, Don’t Jump, Push With No Exclamations

The queue could be seen from as faraway as the castle where people in the maze longed to be out of the green and high above about to plunge into the unknown.

An aeroplane flew above but saw only the mirrors from the plastic fields and reflected arid lands of no return. They could not see the people.

The family that held the shared ticket insisted on holding hands like a daisy chain and formed an explosion of yellow that blinded the woman waiting behind.

She had nothing to lose and asked to go anyway. She hid her face with her hands but was invisible to the others even if she hadn't done so. Despite her request she refused to jump. She refused to be pushed. Her solution was accepted by those remaining. Her role would be to push those left behind.

The old man at the ticket booth saw all of this and berated his young assistant for not following his one in one out policy more strictly. He shredded the tickets, pulled down the shutter and drained the pool.