“There is only one island though there must be more. Six stood at the roof-edge and waited for The Factory to give in as did the rest of the world around them. It hasn’t rained since.
Forests mowed by qualmed feet, treading the ground like grape. Through two-faced flowers on a disputed back-lawn border, the hairless and the hopeful, the hopeless and the hateful, the newborns and the dudbloods. The smell came in a chorus like a boxer’s sweat, up the nose and out through the eyes. The sea’s sweep was staggered but with enough goes, efforts aside, it would eventually be perfect. Its tempo was drunk, but it clearly loved something, and the truths it tried to tell were sober. Any skins which did survive soaked so long they had lost their sense of touch. No longer would they linger under sun, in seas, nor rattle fingertip across scaffold or goosebump. He heard another phone battery die. The Remaining began to realise they were breathing the earliest air of an age, air yet to meet the consequences of its definition, air which still contained the death of something.
Only a tectonic hiccup could have left this patch around The Factory dry and almost exactly as it was. He imagined a girl wearing black on a Sunday morning, in a garden now, surrounded by twelve to fifteen family and friends. They plant a new tree and the girl wraps its roots around a sentimental ashtray. One day it shards - so any future bark waterproofed. Or a vial of grandmother’s special-recipe-soup containing the chemistry to clitch a current. Maybe it slipped and bravely sewered itself, piping a socket to the end of layers only estimated in textbooks before diverted a deep-end machine. Maraudered mistakes in the code, compounded by flawsters in-ode. Discoveries like gravity just not yet noticed, sitting on tables like coffee does.”
P.1 of The Binman and His Last Remaining Wife, the prologue to If You Had To.