So long as he sleeps, he feels safe. He dreams of nothing. Nothing, at least, that he can recall afterwards. When eventually he wakes, it will be with a wrench so painful, to a world so loud and bright that he will gasp at the shock of it. When he wakes, it will be to a place so confused and delirious as to be indistinguishable from a dream. The city rolls out before him, bizarre and disorienting. Nothing he sees there will make any sense to him. It is a place straight out of a nightmare or a horror story. A place without logic or reason that defies his senses and leaves his head spinning. A bewildering place, indeed.
Everyone who comes to the city arrives innocent and blameless, they say. They don’t stay that way for long. And nobody the city has use for ever leaves, so they say. Such are the stories told about the city by the people who know of it and study it. It is a place of rumour and myth, only half believed in even by the few who have heard of it and never forgotten by anyone who has ever seen it, no matter how hard they might wish to.
A shadow hangs over this region. A dark fog that infects the soul of every living creature it touches. They cannot see it, but they can feel it. It covers their hands and lives inside their lungs, pushing and leading them for every step they take. It has a plan for every one of them. Everyone who comes to the city has a role to play in the story it is spinning and whether they realise it or not, whether they wish to follow or not, makes no difference whatsoever.
(This is a short extract taken from a longer story. To read the full version for free, please visit us here. Thanks for reading.)
‘The Shorecliff Horror and other stories’ is Chapbook number three of four volumes forthcoming from the Olgada Press during 2015.