The block is much akin to all the others. The few others, that is. Tall and concrete. A facsimile even, of the four others reaching up from the rubble. The area had been thriving. Community. Young families. Red brick terraces rolling off over the curvature. But no more. Not now. Levelled and re-begun. Stacked up above one another. We could look in any one of these, any one of the hutches inside and see the same thing. The same floral wallpaper. The same plastic wood effect adorning the gas heater. The same people trying not to notice the creeping damp running down behind said heater by the window. The pot bellied ceiling. The rancid tiles crawling from the bathroom floor half way up the walls. We could, but we haven’t yet populated the scene. Have we? And we will only be choosing one of these flats to peek in. And so you can apply the character, events and outcomes to every other one, in all five. Which in this is all the world. You must accept that which is depicted and roll it out across all the hutches, because it’s all I’m allowing you to know. And you have to fill the shadows with something, right? But more importantly a door slams.
- That bastard. That fucking bastard. I’m sick to death. Sick to death of all this. The least he can do is fix that bloody hole. The fucking cock end.
This voice is the voice of the protagonist. The fucking cock end is the antagonist. The bloody hole is the catalyst. Sick to death is the motivation.
He crosses the space between one wall and another, approaching the window. He reaches the window at the exact moment nine hundred and ninety-nine repetitions of him repeat this action. Looking out of their respective facsimiles. Hands on hips, head shaking side to side in lament. In every other visible window he does this too. The windows that are not visible have no protagonist to lament, and therefore with no character, are no setting, hold no antagonist, no catalyst, no motivation. And so the dark side of these buildings are voided. He looks out on to 2-D buildings in every one of these one thousand instances (for the towers are arranged in such a way that the image viewed from any of these thousand windows offers the same landscape), a ground which will never be dug, a sky that will never be breached. Because this is the only information that need exist in this world in order to conjure an illusory setting. We will never leave this room, and so unlike thrusting a knife through a canvas, we will never see the wall on which it is mounted.
He recedes from the window and so too does the pale yellow of his T-shirt from every window in the projected view. He gains an old brown padded chair centred in the middle of the vomit yellow carpet. The chair faces a party wall. One of the party walls. It must be assumed that all four walls, ceiling and floor partition him from him again at all angles. We have not yet ascertained whether the window wall is infact a window, or a projected image. The only way of finding out being to climb out, I believe our protagonist will accept it as stands. The door through which he entered too, it is unclear whether there is a door at all. And perhaps not just a large and disconcerting sound of doorways collapsing.
He looks up at the wall opposite him. Tutting. Screwing up his face and muttering obscenities under his breath. Up near the top, in the bud of a rotted sunflower sits a small black smudge. No bigger than a two pence piece. A dark mark which seems to reach out for the entire room.
- Tsssk… fucking… tchut… shit… bloody fucking hole… fuck.
He carries on like this for some time, barely audible oaths. Standing, he begins to pace the room. Back and forth. Up and Down. Choosing tangents at random at which to traipse. Always pausing when passing, the backrest of the chair. To stare at the black mark, before shaking his head, looking down and swearing at his feet.
Finally, he grasps the chair and threatens to throw it, but places it politely back in its place. He works up courage staring, straight ahead. Or rather loses understanding. Eyes blurring out of focus a little. Approaching the mark he reaches up and pushes his finger inside. Probing of the cavity offers no results. Other than the singular contemplation of the space’s lack of any considerable temperature. On his tip toes he hovers his eye around the general area. However the physical relation of his cranium to that in question blocks all light.
Returning to the chair and taking it in hand he re-approaches the mark, and now standing he places his ear to the surface around it. All he hears is the wide maw of sheer nothing which he mistakes for being taking breath. The deep slow inhalation of falling chasm. Sucking in deep and like hidden hands at a fruit stall, plucking out his hearing. He stands deaf and looks around the room. All sound gone. He screams, we may assume by the hollow his jaw has formed. He stops. He shouts. He stops. He makes a single collapsing judgement; and begins to rip at the wall paper. Sunflowers wilting in sputum.
The wall is bare underneath. A khaki colour. In places, brown. Mottled black. Presented with no clues he looks from wall to wall to wall to wall. Running, he rips the paper. Pries up the carpet silently. He finds nothing. Only a brown padded chair, and a dim light fixture. A broken gas heater, and a black smudge.
At a loss he returns to this smudge. Picking at the edges he manages to tear a larger space. Satisfied, he looks for a light switch. Finding none he takes the bulb from where it is embedded, and in the darkness gets accustomed to the lack of light. He pushes his head through the hole, searching for his ear drums. Presented with no results other than the singular contemplation of the complete lack of sensation in his skin. No hot, or cold. He falls through the darkness to return the light bulb to its position. Tripping over the chair he finds the fitting. Screwing the end in it reaches the point at which it may hang independent and yet offers the protagonist no light. He feels for it growing hot and senses nothing. He takes it out and puts it in again. He takes it out and puts it in again. He takes it out and puts it in again. He takes it out and puts it in again. Dropping it on the floor, where we assume it has smashed.
The air tastes stale, and something somewhere breeds an overwhelming sense of a tether-less end. Before, eventually, these sensations too are gone. We see no thing. We hear no thing. We feel nothing. Before a brief flash of white rips through us.
And for a moment, we see a padded brown chair at an unfamiliar angle. We hear a man gasping with effort. Shoulders hunched. And akin to thrusting a knife through a canvas, we see the wall on to which it is mounted. The khaki, brown. Mottled black; shattering. A sharp tempest running through the catalyst. our protagonist. Our antagonist. Our motivation. Us. And calming, eventually, returning everything to an unmoving, disconcerting lack of colouring. Rending us, him, everything and all away. And replacing this world with a featureless yawning expanse of whitest white.
more pretentious twaddle to come.