• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 12
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This Place is Mine

So I woke up one morning to my own house changed around me, to find the soot fallen in the fallen down chimney, a set of tiny feline bones on what had been the rug, and now was nothing but a mouldered scrap but I felt so rested, so glorious. It was the light you see. It's always the light that buoys us. No matter the damp papers, the rot in the heart of the books. There are stories that lash themselves to us without words. There are stories that travel down every line of light.

I went to pick up the phone, and the cord came away in my hand, and the hall stand it was on collapsed with the sudden movement. No words for me. I laughed until my throat burned. The sound of pigeons fluttering like pinwheels drew me up into the attic. I knew before looking that there was no glass in the windows, or in any of the windows on the street. It is funny how much you laugh when you know you are doomed, but the manner of your damnation turns out to be so calm, so precisely your own. I stood on a rusty nail, and pulled it out just as easily.

What they would tell me later is that I had slept. They would try to tell me more of it, and every time I'd put my hand up, laughing, until they stopped talking, and listened to me. Their dirty, thin, modern faces turned up to mine. I was the old world and its disgraces. I was the thing to be seen and marvelled at, to project my understanding of what was lost. No more recording every moment now - all cameras broken, all blood red batteries leached to spitting shells.

I had no reason to feel ashamed. I carried my ruination out of that house as I had brought it, primly indoors. Each day I left the sleepers to their rest - I never would again - and sat light and watchful over camp and the now distant blue-shadowed city stuffed with leathered bones and rust, and searched until I saw my old house, an eyeless mirror, set just so.