Friday, September 23, 2011

The Boxes Precinct, Pt 03

The interior of the building was an ecology of trash. Blanket trees dropped leaves of tattered quilts while bleached ribcages lay half-revealed in the dirt, like rocks uncovered beneath a mundane footpath. Blades of rusted scythes emerged from the ground like the fronds of a fern, and I recognized them as the toenails of the scarecrow from the alley. At the end of the hallway, the wall was made of up reeds growing up from the ground and down from the ceiling that intertwined into a broken web of a basket that never was.

The scarecrows we encountered were either incapable of speech or unhelpfully talkative, taking up issues with me far outside the jurisdiction of a Boxes detective in their rattling voices, mostly complaining about the colorless company they were forced to keep. After the third time, I limited my interactions to the piles of ambulatory junk that seemed capable of flight.

We reached the roof without finding one. From the edge of the roof was a wide view of The Gilded Rows. Even through the haze of Scarecrow Alley, the gleaming areas of copper and silver made a dazzling, metallic blanket from wall to wall. The default half-night of the The Boxes made this the brightest of my home’s rows. The rest of the roof was comprised of stick trees, growing dry twigs and broken branches from its own strong limbs.

Looked at the myr again, not expecting anything new and not being disappointed at being right. It waved its arms and limped aimlessly through the hanging ‘fruits’ of the trees, brushing aside the bones of whatever creature he was looking for. Then, he started circling one of the hanging twigs.

Winds are common across the Boxes when things are dramatic enough, and they picked up now. While they failed to disperse the mists that clung to everything around us, the haze retreated, allowing reflected light onto the roof. I glanced at the horizon line of lid and wall before turning back to examine the myr’s stick. The sticks swung back with each gust, then pendulously forward again, repeating the process until they hung motionless again, or another wind came through. The Myr’s stick didn’t though; the vine it hung from wasn’t a withered, brittle string like the others, but a flexible stem. When the trees shuddered, a clatter of crossing, clashing, dead wood rose up, then tapered off as they stampeded back, then forth again. This one swung easily enough in the winds, but once they subsided, it didn’t fall back as much as it…unswung as the myr dance-limped excitedly around it.


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