Slab City

Long strands of hair etch creases across the morning. A subtle scent of burning tires, an orb of broken memories and tired dreams. A collection of bottlecaps nest neatly next to a display of discarded televisions. They are evenly stacked. A wall made of wires and moulded plastic and thin glass. Each screen has been painted with some esoteric musing. Drown yourself here. Your God, my Death. Release yourself. I can feel that vague sense of emptiness ripple again.

A woman walks out of a tent made of stripped canvas. Her face is covered in dust and sand, and the desert wind washes across her skin. A bale of papers scrunched in her hands. There is blood on her hands and they have seeped upon the paper. Read my dreams. Read my dreams, girl. I reach out to her and take the papers from her hand. The pages are sticky, like some invisible sap has coated the parchment. Read. I unravel the pages and look at the handwriting. It is almost illegible, and only short fragments are coherent. The woman stares at me. They’re fading away. Her eyes are cold and withered and grey.

 

When I was a little girl, I would spend my days with father picking strawberries on our family farm. It was a quiet time. I loved my father very much. He had this strength, like nothing could touch him. And he would always pick me up and put me on his shoulder and he would help me pick the best strawberries and we’d sit under trees and eat those strawberries, hiding from the sun and talk and laugh and it was good. It felt good. Strolling through those strawberry fields was pleasant.

 

I hand the pages back to the woman. She appears upset. They are fading away. She turns around and returns to her tent. The canvas whips in the wind as she pulls back the skin and disappears.

Small round stones rustle beneath my feet. They splinter into my skin and edge around the muscle and bone. With each step forward, another sharp pain wriggles through my body. Behind the wall of televisions is a pillar of cement, with an array of tubular tumblers, beakers and bottles half-sunken. Dazed. It is a vortex colour, surreal pigments and harlequin dreams. Glass tainted, jade misshaped and misplaced, before stacked and coddled. Discarded dreams, drunk down the hope. A mote of reason, mime of music. Fused. Asked for season of summer to last. Distortion eclipsing the soft evening. Shards of grey matter splitting amongst the noise of cylindrical blackholes. Curiously capturing the quaint and mellow sea adrift, minds amidst the makeshift strings and tunes.

It is a distortion.

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