• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 07

The Cage

Through the iron bars on the cellar window I can see people’s feet. The sky and the ground are merged. There’s some commotion upstairs.

I examine the skin on my arms. It’s turned pale, almost translucent. Most of the hairs have fallen off. The flesh feels flabby to the touch. The hairline and eyebrows are receding. The first strike of lightning disperses the birds. I use the pole to open the window and crisp wet air bursts into the basement. It’s strange that I’ve never thought of opening it before. I breathe in the freshness and with it all the cut grass in the area. People’s feet are moving faster in tune with the rain. The rhythm gets me into a trance.

The first drip drip drip of water through the window. It’s forming a pool by the wall and I stand closer to it. Blue ink trickles from my fingertips. I take off my shoes and stand in the puddle as it’s getting bigger. The stream cascading down the wall turns into a waterfall. Employees shout and run down the stairs towards the ground floor. Their sounds make me feel calm and at home. The sight of papers floating past pleases me, same as the cold sensation moving up my legs and reaching my knees and thighs. Something is unfurling inside me, as the old me is dissolving into this office cellar, into its grimy walls and the filing cabinets.

A torrent pushes its way through the window and knocks me off my feet. Jets of water are spurting out of the cracks in the window frame. The basement fills up quick. The footsteps and voices above have stopped.

I push off a desk, propel myself up to the window and squeeze between the bars with great ease. The flood level is high and the gale is picking up. I swim to the entrance around parked cars and tree trunks.


The Cage

The front doors have been forced off the hinges. Emergency lights are flashing in reception. It’s empty and so is every one of the windows. The crack in the asphalt is growing deeper. It crawls up the car park wall and reaches the back wall of the office block. I watch from the water as the first bricks begin to crumble away and the force of the ocean tears the building into two.