December 1st (i)Mature

This is a work in progress. Under the working title of DragonGlass, I am basically hoping to workshop my story. I'd love to know what you think.

A steady cacophony of laughter and market hullaballoo spilled from the vertex of the multi-story. A Morse code blink of torch light stabbed through the fog from below; an all clear; a request for consent. Minutes passed awaiting a response. A further series of beacons blinked in a staccato vernacular; the message was buoyed from one corner of the concrete tower to the next.

The moon shone, feathered, through intermittent cloud-cover, providing a shifting blanket of ghostly white atop the canvas roofing of market stalls and open-sided vans. Beneath was sold a variety of dreck and detritus amidst black market ware – opioids, knives and mushrooms, guns and supposed supernatural artefacts. The sweet stench of weed was rife amongst the occasional waft of mulled cider. A soft breeze ferried the secretive sounds and scents in waterfall motion over the plateau and into the deep umber below. The flittering lights persisted.

The car park had emptied of shoppers shortly after night fall, that’s when the Dartham Market moved in. The shifting swarm of vagrants, gypsies and deviants descended, unauthorised, upon the crumbling concrete structure, swiftly and in vast numbers. Despite the elusive nature of the shifting market, its presence was not subtle. Fire glow and commotion flowed in waves from the roof top car park and across the London suburb of Brickbank.

Anarchic cries, drunken shouts and search lights, lasers and the heavy bass beat of High Street Friday night post pop retorted, masking the shifting market’s beacon of light and noise. Only those in the know approached Dartham. Only those who had sought it for months would find it.

Dartham Market, a shelter for the heretical, the anomalous, the perverse. The wayward children of distant lands would gather, even in spite of conventional physics; Dartham was a recognized refuge for those that had lost their way.

One of the leviathan security guards that blocked the entrance to the stair well leading to the market looked up and flashed his torch impatiently. A flicker of lights responded. A second guard gave a salacious laugh. The first nudged him angrily with his elbow and clicked a further succession of flashes. Another response. Another laugh. The guard with the torch pressed a finger to his temple and exhaled. He eyed the girl in front of him.

Talli Reamer suddenly realised that he was staring at her. She straightened up and pursed her lips, stuck her thumbs in her jean pockets and made eye contact. She was growing irritable.

‘Well? What did he say?’ She nodded upwards.

‘He asked if you were fit.’ The second guard smiled obscenely.

‘And?’

‘You’ll make the cut. Go up.’ The first waved Talli in over the threshold and into the stair well. She gave a snide smile as she passed.

In accordance with an apparent nationwide convention, the multi-story staircase fittingly smelt of piss. Talli scaled the stairs, consciously reminding herself not to touch the handrail. Discoloured fluorescents flickered. Graffiti was grafted to the skin of the building; Technicolor gang tags were tattooed to the crumbling pock marks of concrete, growing in frequency the higher Talli ascended. Couples groped at each other on the final landing. Talli rolled her eyes.

The End

8 comments about this story Feed