L E V E L 1
Author: Blackbird

Chapter 1

Cold. That’s what it felt like sleeping on the side of the curb. But that’s all I felt. I didn’t feel the fear of being mugged, or the thought of being dead the next morning. Of course not. This was a safe place. No, real alleys didn’t have armed guards at every corner. They just turned up the air conditioning and put a few slabs of card board here and there so people could feel the experience of being homeless. People like me; who have nothing else good to do in this God forsaken place than pretend to be a street bum.

I brushed some old newspapers from my body and stalked towards the other end of the alley. One Mareen, or Man o’ War as I call them, cracked a sadistic grin when I walked past, fondling his firearms while doing so. How I hated them. These so called ‘protection’. Pests, would be an understatement for the Mareens. They’re like an irritating growth on the skin of the compound, always itching and burning like hell because there’s no way to get rid of it. An incurable disease on Sector 7.

I walked into the nearest elevator and pressed the buttons to my own neighborhood level. I looked at the clock mounted on the top of the whole steel compartment. 2:53 am. Mom was going to kill me. I started breathing deeply. I never liked the elevators. The freezing, steel box had a cold atmosphere and a sickening bleach odour that made me queasy. There was something disturbing, while sterile about the elevators, and the whole compound itself. Maybe it was because everything was kept so perfectly mundane. So absolute. So defectless. The building and everything in it was like a gold coin that fell beneath the floorboards hidden away from the real world, unable to show it’s value or be exposed to wear and decay.

The bell sounded. Level Neigh.BI7070W67. The metal doors slid open and I stepped out, glad being once again in the open. Even though, it wasn’t really open. The night sky was sprinkled with stars, and a crescent moon was out. But it was all fake. They just turned off the Sun, and projected the stars and moon from the ground. Everything was artificial. I turned into the driveway of my house and opened the door. My mother was waiting for me on the plush futon. Tired, and weary with a gin tonic in one hand, and a finger held high and erect in the other.


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