• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 10
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Self propelled

The machines, too, decide to leave the suburbs, seek a better life in the country. The smaller machines protest the price of petrol, leave the four-wheel-drives to sleep with the pop-top campervans. The lawnmower packs a camouflage backpack with spare spark plugs and boards a train. Doesn’t validate a ticket. Sets intentions on the end of the line, unaware it will have to make its way to the appropriate carriage to access the platform there.

The platform at the end of the line is desolate. The rain washed abandoned cigarette butts and face masks between the tracks, then disappeared. The lawnmower doesn’t know the elevator here groaned its doors closed and declared itself out of service. There could be anything inside, no one would know, no one misses a vacuum cleaner, an angle grinder or a leaf blower. Sometimes you hear murmurings about where the rechargeable screwdriver got to…perhaps the lawnmower would have had a better life as a drill. The lawnmower doesn’t know, and doesn’t know about stairs.

The train rocks the lawnmower onto dreams of abundant hayfields, clovered pastures and gently sunlit slopes. The pleasant, sleepy scent of chamomile and lavender beneath its blades. The lawnmower is still idling when the ladder comes striding down the aisle, shouting “tickets, please!”