Perpetual Street

rain singClacking along the dismal cobbled pavements, engrossed in spots of orange and darkness, Ordinary Agnes felt an overwhelming desire to just stop.

To stop and consume the towering blocks of grey that huddled and fought for space over her. The sky was barely visible through their cracks where they touched noses and frost clawed and bit at their stern and slender waists, reminiscent of painful years of neglect. Their windows bore corroded curtains in a variety of offensive bleached neon, hanging crookedly and faded from the sun. Occasionally, a gaunt face would appear, but with a flicker they’d vanish from drawing their curtains closed and devouring themselves in darkness. Diagonally, odd windows spilled dim light onto the street below from the flashing grey and blare of a television set, whilst others glowed a tinny sort of yellow from a singular bulb, exposed and swinging endlessly from the ceiling.  Others were just boarded up with cardboard or fluttering sheets that gracefully battered against the lamp posts in the wind, curving and enticing down its shadowed alleys.

Memories filled and swelled at Agnes’s eyes, elegantly dripping and blurring her vision as Ordinary Agnes realised she’d stumbled upon the street of her birth-place from many moons ago. In her drunken stupor, her hazy feet had led her out of the lost and back to her home once more. A child again, the darkness her long and forgotten friend.

She shouldn’t still be walking, but her shoes kept clacking and her eyes kept streaming as she felt along the pebbled walls, from wall to wall and pipe to pipe she swung down the street throughout the night. Tearing off her camel gloves, she let herself dance in circles, her hands stretched wide and free. Gliding from curb to curb, she grew more confident in her everlasting glee. She clung and swung round lamp post’s, her body curving its shape and kicking lavishly, until she let go in the final throw, spinning endless into the middle of the street and lying back, surrendering to the cold concrete in her final act, the show’s collapsing curtain. With her arms stretched wide, she kicked one final kick towards the sky as a plane roared over her head. Panting with a gentle rise and fall, a laugh began  gradual in her chest. It was slow at first, but now she couldn’t stop. Ordinary Agnes rolled about amidst the shattered glass and crumpled plastic, cackling in delight.

She’d never walk this street again. The plane now was vanishing out of sight, and Agnes sat to watch it pass. “Tomorrow,” she said aloud, to confirm her shock. Tomorrow, she said, she was going to leave. Tomorrow meant she’d never come back here again. Tomorrow was full of new and promising things, a foreign land where nobody knew she was Ordinary Agnes and nobody knew she was Kissing Candice. Tomorrow, she was leaving forever. Tomorrow, she’d be Juliette. Magnifique Juliette. Tomorrow. And that was that.

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