The apparition climbed onto his back and whispered ‘GAME OVER’. He thought he heard a short 16-bit tune accompanying those words. The effect of the overdose was more severe than he was willing to settle for. All his senses were blocked by the mystery mix injected into his veins. He had been roughed up before, this time was a bit worse, he was left for dead in the local dumpster with the discretion an armed goon affords. The phantasm displayed a random range of colors before his unfocused eyes. The unwelcome hues slowly assembled into a long abandoned memory.
A sickly child teetered out of the sandbox following her friend. In the grey backdrop a newly constructed building stood crooked. In the distance, ants that looked like children made their way to the building. “Nick! Wait for me!” The boy called Nick turned to reply. “Hurry up; you’ll make us late for lunch!”
“You know I get tired easily.” Nick did not reply, instead he waited for her and then returned indoors with her at her pace. At the door Father Connelly greeted them. “Children, come along inside, he food will get cold.” His warm smile made their lives that little bit more bearable. And so they ate, in a room with a long table and many other children like them. The food was unappealing, spinach with spaghetti. “Ugh, I don’t want to eat this, hey, Angela, I’m gonna put this food under the table look that no one’s watching.”
“Nick! No! You always do something like this and get into trouble.”
“Don’t worry.” He assured Angela and, with what might be considered finesse to an 8-year old, emptied his plate to a neutral area on the floor. Once the children were done with lunch they were herded to the playroom indoors by towering nuns clad in black.
A rugged man scoured the dark, narrow alleyway, pushing a broken trolley loaded with recyclable garbage and cheap liquor. He stopped by each rusty silver bucket for search of treasure or less. Nearing a dead end, he paused to have another swig of unlabeled thirst-quenching poison. A half-hearted thump echoed from the large container beside him. A clearly drugged man emerged only to crash to the ground face first. After some time the failed corpse half-crawled, half-stumbled its way towards the street muttering something about ‘Angela’. Downing another mouthful the scavenger disdainfully muttered, “Bums.”
Not too far off, wisps of sewer steam collected to form a vague figure with a familiar aura. The apparition wrapped itself around a dying man’s neck and spoke, “Just watch. Don’t do anything.” And as though it had just said the funniest thing, the apparition laughed. “Ha-ha-ha.”
When he came to, the cruel mocking laughter hadn’t stopped. “Ha-ha-ha.” It dawned on him that the source of his annoyance was the co-incidental rhythm of the steam making its way around in the rusty pipes. He was only alive now because the greedy underling had injected him with the impure product which they sold rather than the wholesome heroin they kept for themselves. Just how much of this was a hallucination? “Angela,” he sighed and the pipes once again reverberated, “Ha-ha-ha.”
[Okay, I have no excuse so if you're pissed swear at me on our lonely Fagbook page]