• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 10

The Decapitation

“Bloody hell,” says Red “Surely as the smallest I should be on top ” A plaintive query her companions have no care for “What about me ” Grey tries to shift his weary bulk “Merely a filling stuffed in the centre of this ramshackle sandwich ” “Why are we here ” demands Pink Her colour may have dulled, but her voice holds strong “We’re ART” White emphasises the word in his usual proud manner “Art” A chorus of disbelief echoes across the pale blue sky “A monument to Despair and Faded Dreams” White stubbornly clings to a note of self-importance, as if life’s cruel abandonment of hope is worthy of such hubris “Oh,” Blue mutters, as the weight of despondency spasms in her engine A memory hovers How her owner plugged her exhaust pipe The sock is there still “Did someone fart” Red sniffs, attempting to edge away from the odour’s foul reach Despite herself, Blue giggles “Guys, I don’t think my brake is on” Pink rolls forward, and the others struggle to maintain their balance “Settle down” White commands “We’re being watched” A slender woman in jeans assesses the wobbling totem Misery shrouds her stooped frame and sunlight glistens on the sparkling rattle clenched in her hand as she weeps for the wasted life that never played with it Beside her, broken-hearted, a young man squints up at the teetering pile Despite the passage of time, grief’s sharp claws still hold him prisoner Arid dust ripples where people gather, its twist aided by the angry, stomping teenager An elderly grandfather who survived a war but lost nearly everyone he loved bows his head Unable to summon the energy to stand, a self-loathing middle-aged woman mourning her wasted life sits on the ground and brushes a strand of hair from her anguished features Grey begins to leak, unsure whether it’s oil or tears “I’m dizzy,” Pink complains “I’m going to puke,” Red moans “Who’s idea was this” Grey asks, peering around to see if anyone has the


The Decapitation

answer “His” White finally replies Standing away from the growing crowd is a tall man in his early thirties Slim, with tousled black hair, even the jagged scar down the side of his face cannot disguise his good looks He gazes at his creation, his eyes bleak and filled with suffering “He was mine,” White confesses All pride has fled his speech now Only sorrow remains in his barely audible whisper “Before he crashed me into a wall” His comrades glance up, noticing for the first time the mangled dash that blights his otherwise pristine appearance “He thought he couldn’t cope” A reverend hush descends After all, it’s why they’re here An unused baby seat withers in Red’s boot Grey couldn’t save the children that were dragged from the river with him Only when an aggravated proclamation tears through the quietude is their reverie interrupted “I don’t know what you lot ...