Ghostified City 3.3: The story of the child

Only a week ago I hadn’t even been in contact with another human in years or heard about the fundless. Neither had I seen a kid in all of my adult life, or heard about the possibility of a world outside of the City. And all I had known about religion had been death and darkness. Now I was drinking ‘outsider tea’ in a hidden room in a squat with a fundless kid and my new friends Evelith and Leste, and a levitating AI monk who seemed to be following a new religion of life and light of his own making. Strange enough all of this even seemed to make sense somehow.

We would never have been able to find this secret meeting room without the help of little Vi, the shy but very smart girl that couldn’t older than nine or so. She had nonetheless been living alone in this building for almost two months now. The whole building clearly held no secrets for her at all, and she even seemed to know a lot more about it even than the adults of her gang had. Which is probably how she had been able to escape the violent preachers, whoever they were, and their followers who had taken over the gang she had lived with in the past years, and survive her on her own for all this time without much trouble.

The room wasn’t big, and cramped with stuff. There were no windows but the girl had installed tiny diode-lamps on eternal batteries scattered everywhere which lighted up the place in different colours. We sat on wooden boxes and ancient chairs and we drank our tea from china teacups that seemed to belong in a museum. It must have been a secret hoarding place for generations of smugglers, but the tea itself was made from actual dried leaves that must have come from trade with the outsiders relatively recently. She shared it generously with us, even though it was undoubtedly expensive on the black market. She was probably was too small to understand the significance of such things though.

It had taken a while to convince the poor Little Vi that we would not harm her, and that not all ‘fundslaves’ as she kept calling us were evil monsters out to destroy her and the ‘free people’. She still didn’t seem to trust San YaoYao much though, but the holographic monk didn’t really mind being the only one that was not getting tea from her, being an anorganic being anyway. No-one could blame her: the fundless generally had a deep mistrust of AI already, and the girl had had a very bad experience with religion recently.

“You stayed with the Xando gang until they left the building because of the preachers?”

“Yes, because Xando took care of Little Vi. But the others were not very friendly. Except for Zap and her husband Argon. They were angry most of the time. I don’t know what for. And when we came to this place again the bad preachers were here. They preached about death and hate and the dark god Fhanfhelos. And then they suddenly tried to kill Xando. He ran away. Zap and Argon too. They caught Mongi and beat him up, but he also ran away. And after a day they went away to the new temple of Fhanfhelos.”

“A temple of Fhanfhelos?” San YaoYao hadn’t spoken yet but his AI voice sounded quite concerned now. “What temple?” Little Vi looked at him, and hesitated to answer. “Little Vi don’t know. It’s a City fundslave religion, so it’s bad and evil. The preachers always sound mean and angry. They speak about death for unbelievers, and about hell. And they want to go to nirvana or something. If you die for death you get seventytwo bottles in nirvana or something like that. Fhanfhelos is ugly and evil. Little Vi seen pictures of him.”
“This is worse than I thought.” The monk mumbled, more to himself.

“This is not good indeed.” Affirmed Evelith. “So there are indeed enemies rising, another dark religion. We could do without that.”And she turned to the little Vi. “They could come back here anytime. This is not a safe place for you. You can’t stay here.” The child protested wildly.

– “Little Vi can’t go anywhere else. Little Vi is safe here in this room.”
– “Safe against humans, but not the killerbots. You know they can scan through walls.”
– “They haven’t come inside yet.”
– “They might. You come with us. We find Xando.”
– “You promise that no-one will hurt Little Vi? They always told Little Vi the fundslaves would try to catch Little Vi and lock Little Vi up.”
– “We’re not slaves. And we’ll protect you. No-one will lock you up. I promise. On my little pinky.”
-“But Little Vi don’t have funds. Little Vi cannot live in the fundworld.”
– “We have a building without fundlocks, even though it’s an official building. You can stay in my room if you want. And you can use the unused concert hall if you want.”

Suddenly I looked at my screenphone. Terrified I said to the others. “I have to run, can’t miss my shift.”
Ghostified City: introduction and index

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Ghostified City 3.2: The almost empty squat

The composition of our group was rather unusual: a boring-looking working man in grey clothes, a long-haired semi-outcast dressed like it still was the late 20th century, a casually dressed woman with long black hair, and a levitating self-projected AI monk. No-one seemed to have noticed us though. This might have meant that either all the people here were replaced by AI’s on autopilot, or maybe that the humans that were still walking around were in the same trance that I had been in for years.

The building that had been referred to as ‘the squat’ was even older than the Ecstasy Nirvana, and in even worse state. There was a broken fundlock by the wooden door, with a weathered paper taped next to it. ‘Danger’ it said in big capital letters, that were hand-written with a thick marker and illustrated with a roughly drawn pirate skull. The others didn’t seem to mind this warning and just walked in, so I followed without letting my fear show.

Inside the building wasn’t just dusty, but it was also strangely alive with organisms like insects and fungi. I even saw spiderwebs as in an old-fashioned horror-holofilm. I almost expected a ghost or otherworldly entity to suddenly appear in front of us yelling ‘Booo’, but nothing bigger than a tiny black spider appeared. “So, who lives here?” I asked Leste. “No-one in particular. Maybe no-one at all at the moment. The fundless are nomads without a fixed place to live. We have to check out any of their hideouts that we can find, and this is as good as starting place as any other one. Most others are further away, if we even know where they are. And this building is also a neutral zone where they sometimes meet up with, eh, regular people who want to trade something. Not that that happens very often. And…” Leste seemed to be the biggest expert here, but he was interrupted by Evelith.

“Shht. There is something here. Or someone.”

We all were silent now, looking in the direction of her pointing finger. Something vague, much bigger than a spider moved in the twilight of a corner, and then hid behind a pile of boxes and empty cans of food.

“That’s not an animal.”

“Stay here, I will go looking” Evelith said, switching her screenphone to lamp mode. “Won’t it be dangerous?” I asked? “I don’t think so.” She replied to me, following up with “Hey, hello, little one.” to a tiny human caught in the light of her phone. Huge blue eyes beamed with fear in a small face that seemed almost pale orange in this light, with messy hair of almost the same colour in all directions, a bit like Lestes dreadlocks. She wore strange clothes in all kinds of colours that had seen better times, and seemed to see a great danger in us.

“Don’t hurt me! Please don’t kill little Vi!”

Evelith turned off the lamp. “We won’t hurt you, little Vi. Why would anyone hurt you? Why would anyone kill you?” The child didn’t answer and stared from her to me to San Yaoyao and then to Leste. “Are you alone here? Where are the others?” Evelith asked. The child was silent for a while, and then said one little sentence, so silent it could almost not be heard.

“There are no others.”

I looked at Evelith. I heard Leste utter a silent curse. “What do you mean, no others? You’re only a small kid. You can’t be living alone here.” The girl nodded to her. “Little Vi been living here for eight octoweeks, there’s enough food and other stuff here for much longer. The gang left this place when the radical preachers came. No-one left a phone here and Little Vi don’t have a hackphone myself, so Little Vi couldn’t reach anyone. Little Vi tried to find Zap and Argon but she don’t know her way here. But they were not in the other squat here. And there are killerbots around outside. Little Vi saw them.”

This was a lot of information to process, but for now we had to focus on the child herself.

“So did you check the other squats?” Evelith asked her. “Little Vi wanted to, but she only found that other one, and there was nothing there. So I’ve been staying here ever since. And Little Vi been afraid of the fundslaves. They told Vi that fundslaves are dangerous. Are you people not fundslaves? Aren’t you enemies of the free people?”

Evelith nodded. “We are fund-users but not slaves to anyone. And we’re not enemies to the fundless. We are looking for them actually” The girl was visibly relieved but seemed still suspicious nonetheless. “I’ve heard the names of Zap and Argon before.” Leste interrupted. “They were together with Xando last time I heard news from the fundless. Are you from the Xando gang?”

“Y… Yes! Little Vi was with his gang. They where the grown-ups who took care of me. But radical preachers came, and everyone went crazy. They wanted to kill Xando; He left, and only Zap and Argon followed him methinks. Little Vi hid, and the rest of the group went with the preachers. They seemed to have forgotten Little Vi, and she’s been all alone ever since.”

Ghostified City: introduction and index

Bewaren

Ghostified City 3.1: Moving to Nirvana Ecstasy

If someone would have told me a week ago that I’d be packing my stuff to move into a tiny room above an ancient bar in the light district, I’d probably have laughed very hard and dismissed the idea as utterly ridiculous. Well, in the hypothetical case that anyone at all would have talked to me a week ago that is, since I didn’t really have much contact with anyone at all at that point in my life. But over the course of this last week the whole world had changed and here I stood, with my clothes and some other stuff ready to move.

Velia the old janitor had found a rusty metal key and opened the door to an unused studio apartment above the Nirvana Ecstacy, and Leste and Evelith had thrown some furniture together that seemed to belong in a museum. There was no real bed but some kind of couch that could be transformed into one, and the chairs and table looked as if they had moved in together from completely different worlds. My new co-housers even had brought in a tiny potted plant, ‘to help me see the reality of nonhuman life’. Or probably just because it was possible. A stem with dark green succulent leaves came crawling out of the brown dirt, and I needed to make sure that it would stay alive by giving it light and water. It felt like an ancient responsibility to me.

It felt strange to close off the apartment where I had lived most of my adult life and go to a new place to call ‘home’. I could still go back now, but the moment I’d miss one payment the fundlock would completely block me out, and the room would be sealed off to remain empty for Amaya-knew-how-long. It might not get opened again until the time in which The City itself would crumble because nature had taken over its remains in a far future… It was a very strange idea to finally realise that most of the residential buildings in The City were completely empty, that almost none of the apartments around here really had people living in them, and might never be used again in the future. I’d never paid attention to it, but I hadn’t really seen any other people in this building in years.

On the issue of the rent of my new apartment Velia, Evelith and the others had been clear: As a working person it was my mission to bring as much of my funds as I could into the Nirvana Ecstasy by consuming food and drinks and giving tips, and if I did that I’d have to pay no rent. I’d be better for now to keep my apartment a a backup. It felt wrong to even just be there now though; being the place where I’d lived a lie in a system of quiet human extinction.

My new apartment was a bit smaller than Eveliths. It was just one room with a table and the couch, with even a tiny kitchen in one corner, and then a small bathroom. I had a big window looking out of the city though, through which I could even see the chimney of the factory where I worked faraway. Here in my old apartment I could only see a corner of the city with nondescript grey residential buildings. And yet I saw a flying dot that indicated bird life, something I’d never noticed while living here, probably because it didn’t fit in my worldview. It was as I had never really lived at all in the years that I spent here. When I was younger all I had cared about were the things on the screens and in Virtual Reality, but I had gradually lost my interest, just as I had gradually lost my contact with all humans and in the end even my AI conversation partners.

A beep indicated a message on my screenphone. “We’re going to the squat tomorrow, meet us at the cross of AZ13 avenue and T896 street.” I texted a positive answer back and checked whether the place mentioned was indeed the location of the building that I had in mind. I knew it could as well be empty, but the story of the fundless had made me wonder about those people who lived off the grid of our economy and electronic financial systems. How did they live? How did they get their basic need met? What kind of work did they do? Why had I never even heard of them?

*

I had dropped of all my stuff in the morning before going to work, and when my working day was over I went home to the bar. Evelith was,’t back in her room yet since she still had to work downstairs. I didn’t feel like going to all that noise and to all the people, so I stayed in her room, watching out over the city while being deep in though. Slowly I watched the light of day made way for the artificial colourless twilight of night, and so I slipped away until I was sound asleep.

Evelith must have found me asleep without waking me, because the next morning I woke up from my alarm on her couch again, sleeping under her old blanket. She was still asleep, but there was a breakfast ready for me, which I ate before I went to the factory for my early shift. Afterwards we would go check out the squat and look if it would be indeed that easy to find the fundless. Something told me that that might not be the case though.

Ghostified City: introduction and index

Ghostified City 2.15: Dream sequence #2

I slept in my own bed, probably for the last time ever. I hadn’t even had the energy to return to the bar after sorting out stuff in my apartment after my late shift, so I’d sent Evelith a message that I wouldn’t see her that night. It was strange to use my phone for actual communication with humans, but I’d probably get used to it again. I was rather exhausted so after a minute or so I was asleep  already,  plagued by weird and confusing dreams again.

The first things I saw were screens from educomputer and school-programs, just like I had seen them as a kid, but now I could see they were blatantly telling me nonsense. Diagrams and meaningless words flowed into each others and blended together, and merged with the background to form a kaleidoscopic vortex. I closed my eyes but the patterns were still there behind my eyelids.

When the psychedelic chaos had cleared up, I stood in some kind of alien temple or  maybetown hall, surrounded by ancient robots who were getting me ready for my wedding. A robopriest in black had two rings, one for me and my bride, which wasn’t even a robo-wife  but an oldfashioned semi-humanoid metal shape. ‘She’ hardly had a face and was much less human than Ol-H1-AZ even, but held my hand tight with 3 cold metal fingers and somehow expressed a scary hungry desire through ‘her’ LED-eyes. No words came out of my mouth when I tried to scream. I could hardly breathe the air of this in-between world, and certainly not fill my lungs with it. But willpower is a much more powerful thing than most people realise, so air or no air I screamed nonetheless when her face came closer to mine to ‘kiss’ me.

The robots completely ignored my scream and went on with the ceremony, while I called out from the top of my almost empty lungs to anyone who might be able to help me: Evelith, Leste, and even Berla, but nothing happened while the robot brought her face to mine, but everything dissolved and I found myself in a bar, dancing with Elati who was almost naked and also tried to kiss me. Again I screamed no!

She started mocking me for my refusal. I released myself from her arms, pushed her away and started running. The music in the background changed into a faster version of Lestes post-drum’n bass that completely made me go crazy. Could I use any of these doors? All signs here were written in a completely alien alphabet, so I had no idea what they said. The door I tried turned to be some kind of a portal, and there I found myself running through The City for endless ages. There was a soft rain, and everything was black and white, and sometimes even blurred by low-resolution snow as in an ancient TV. Every now and then the whole background flickered. I didn’t know anymore where I was going, or even what I was running from but I had to run on.

After lifetimes of running I bumped into the wall. An enormous wall that was higher than the highest building that I’d ever seen, with a strong force field blocking even the flow of air above it. I clearly couldn’t go further, but I just had to run, because ‘they’ would get me. This blocked my brain. Something was closing in on my and I couldn’t go anywhere. The city flickered, and my view changed several times from black and white to shades of grey and flashy colours, and suddenly I realised that I wasn’t alone. And that it was way too late to run now.

There she stood. The goddess Amaya herself, Acosmias sister, and exactly as portrayed in the statues. A naked inorganic body, black as empty space, armed with the spear that had just killed the personification of ‘the world of illusions’ in her left hand. She beckoned me with eyes that seemed to have black holes in the pupils. “Come and see the light. There is nothing!” she whispered telepathically in my head without moving her lips.

I was both utterly terrified and deadly annoyed with this new development. What was up with all those stupid naked women in my dreams lately? And why did people even portray such a dark idea with a naked woman? Oh yes, I surely understood that people liked the female figure if they were attracted to women. But the entity in front of me didn’t look like like someone one could be attracted to in a sexual way. To embrace her would be to surrender to a fate worse than dead, you could see that in her eyes. And yet the original statue of the form that had materialised here in front of me had clearly been made by someone with a lot of interest in female bodies who expected his viewers to do likewise. And she knew that, and even tried to use it on me somehow. I felt the sucking energy that tried to envelop me. I closed my eyes.

“Life is Reality! You are the lie!”.

My desperate scream rang hollow in this fake world. She came closer with a mocking look in her eyes, her arms open to embrace me; but for some reason stopped. I looked away from her, trying to think of something to do next but nothing came. She flickered a bit, and then we both stood in an empty space with no background, and she was gond and suddenly Evelith stood next to me in a place that looked like the backspace of the Nirvana ecstasy. She wore a long red dress, and looked rather concerned. “You’re flickering and almost fading. You need to recharge!”. I fell into her arms, and wanted to cry that I was a human, but the world vanished before she could answer me and instead of sinking in her arms I sank into unpronounced dimensions of nothingness.

I opened my eyes and was not in my bed, but in another dreamworld. Grey aliens were dancing with the killerbots around a fire, but I could see silhouettes of trees in the background. A group of children came from behind the trees and zapped away all of the killerbots with some remote control device. The aliens ran away while the children took over the dance. They wore strange clothes, and had real flowers in their hair, both the girls and the boys. They made a circle around me and the fire.

‘Kalmose! Kalmose’
‘Kalmose dirko!’
‘Vitlon jab vitlon jab elah.’
‘Mado far elahi, Mado jad elah-on’

‘Kame dirko, kame dirko’
‘elahi jab la, elahi jab la’
‘Vitlon jab vitlon jab la’
‘la-el mus vitlon! la-el mus wul vitlon’

I had no idea what they were singing, but it felt like their dance cleansed the place of all the negative energy. The leader of the children, a girl with long dark hair in a green dress, seemed familiar to me, and suddenly I realised that I had seen her in another dream, as the eldest kid of Berla. She looked at me and almost pierced me with her stare, and seemed to invite me to join the dance.

Their dance became wilder and wilder until I wanted to join them, but I was already fading away like a shadow in the intensifying light. Everything flickered around me until it went black.

Ghostified City: introduction and index

Bewaren

Bewaren

Ghostified City 2.14 Dreams and other worlds

gc-cover-ver-1-spookyEvelith and Leste stared at me, both bewildered by the sudden change of subject. “Dream? What dream are you talking about?” The sudden change of subject had completely changed the atmosphere. “Well, a dream I had that first night on your couch*.” I told them what I had seen, omitting the parts about a lack of clothes on certain persons and the detail that I’d seen Evelith herself too. I almost never remember my dreams, so it was strange how I could bring the whole thing back completely and describe it in details.

They didn’t seem to know how to react, but at least neither of them laughed it away, and it was up to me to break the uneasy silence. “Is there really a wall then? Is there a outside to this city” I asked, haven never heard such things addressed on the infoscreen broadcasts in all my life. “Surely there is, the City certainly doesn’t span all of the world. There is a wall around it, strengthened by a strong force field. There’s also the oceans too for example. And we’ve long wondered whether there were any humans outside of the city worth connecting to. But even the fundless didn’t want to answer that question until now.” Les clarified. “So who is she?” Evelith looked very serious now. “ Berla? Well, you could say my only attempt at a relationship I’ve ever had. But I broke it off because of work and stuff… If I’m honest I had completely forgotten about her.”

Evelith didn’t say a word but her eyes told me she was angered. “Hey, that was the old me. And if my dream is true, she’s not only a married woman now but also a mother. At least she is not furthering extinction and getting a baby once in a while like you want humans to do… And anyway… She’s much better off without me. She’d always have been.” I could see in her eyes that she didn’t seem to be convinced.  “You disappeared into your job and left her. So you just did a light-version to her of going to the thanatorium. She wasn’t worth sharing a life with at all. And for what? Work and screentime?”

She was both furious and serious now.

I defended myself: “The past is the past. I’m different now.” “Barely. And that’s only because I stopped you from leaving the bar a few days ago. Otherwise you’d still have been Mr. Roboman on autopilot, being lived by his job, until you’d be worn out and sent to the thanatorium as discarded garbage goes to a recycle bin.” I felt an uneasy feeling in my throat now. “Don’t you see what you’ve done? Work and screens as the opiate of the people. You’ve been drugged by them and had your life sucked out of you. And she had no choice bot to accept you were a dead man walking and leave you behind. I know how she must have felt”

“Evelith, please.”

Leste stared at her, and then at me, unable to say anything. This was’t a comfortabl subject for him. I didn’t know what to say either, with Evelith so triggered and suddenly having lost her usual rational outlook and intuitive optimism.

A sudden voice broke the tension and brought the conversation back on topic.  “The dream was probably right. It might have been a message even. We must try to reach the community behind the wall, and even fight the feral killerbots if needed. At least that part is indeed known to be true.” San Yaoyao the artificial monk said suddenly. No one had seen him arrive as he had made no sound at all.

“Do you know more about a community behind the wall then?” Evelith looked at the flying holograph.”Les always says that even the fundless won’t ever say anything about the outsiders, if they exist at all.” The projected entity looked from her to Leste and back. “Not much indeed. If the fundless know something they keep it silent. There was some whispering about those things on the networks years ago, before they fell silent. I know that there are indeed people outside of the wall, and at least one tribe of them that has been in contact with people in the City through a place called Lahkap.” I saw Leste nod “So Lahkap exists? It’s not a myth?” The monk nodded. “No, it must exist, but no-one knows where except for those who hide it on both sides on the wall. Most fundless have no clue either as far as my data can tell…” Leste looked a bit disappointed, but San Yaoyao wen on. “But there is more to the dream: there also is a unit of police-bots that is said to roam outside the City. And the Wall is endless and virtually impossible to get through though. Behind it there is a wilderness.”

“Where do the pigeons and that raven come from then? And the plants? Aren’t these from the wilderness” “There might be a hole indeed, somewhere, that lets those lifeforms in indeed. But it might just be a hole in the force field, somewhere high in the sky. And that can’t be how your friend ended up on the other side. She probably has found the house of Lahkap then, or another way through it. I suppose that your friend had more luck than my informants in finding it.”

Leste drank the last bit of beer in his glass. “So what do we do now?” “What can we do? Not much more than what we were doing already… Just try to find and unite all humans and sentient beings that are left over, and try to not just connect with the fundless along the way, but also with the outsiders… But for now, let’s just drink one more beer…”

* See also Ghostified City X: dream sequence #1
Ghostified City: introduction and index

 

Bewaren

Ghostified City 2.13 Anticonception and human extinction

gc-cover-ver-1-spookyA few days had passed since the visit to the temple of Acosmia, and I was getting as used as possible to my new life with other people around me. That day I had planned to go home after my early shift to get some of my stuff to bring it back to the bar, where I would be staying for the night again. I just wasn’t able any more to live my life at the place where I had living a lifeless lie for all of my adult life before last week. And since I did pass the light district on the way home I could as well have a drink first in the bar too, not? So I walked into an almost empty bar, bathing in daylight. There were no live dancers and the volume of the projections was lower than at night. Evelith looked rather colourful in yet another flowery shirt, and was sharing a table with a man I’d never seen before. She also was visibly annoyed by him. He didn’t seem to notice though, clearly doing his best to impress her as if it was very probably that he’d be able to seduce her.

I walked up to her to greet her. “Hi Ev.” She suddenly smiled when she heard my voice, as if I was a saving angel, and took my hand to hold on to it. “Hi Ad.” The stranger gave me a very dirty look. “So that’s why she doesn’t want me? You two are a couple or what?” He mumbled at me. “How oldfashioned, and that here in the light district even. I though people like you had died out long ago in these enlightened times. Isn’t this a place of rock’n roll.”  Evelith nodded at the stage. “You just saw Elvis Presley himself, the King of rock’n roll. Vintage 20th century. Not rock’n roll enough for you Mr.-I-am-entitled-to-get-any-woman-I-want-no-matter-what-her-opinion-is? You can look nextdoor for sex if you have funds, or otherwise try the one-night-stand bar if Vezlena doesn’t have something better to do tonight, and the drugs are in the squat at 73th avenue.” She turned her eyes to me. “And no, we’re not actually a couple. He’s just a friend. But I have the full right to reject any idiot I don’t want, even without anyone in my life as a lover.”

He grinned at me. “Well, you win, dude. It’s always the woman who chooses whom she takes into her bed anyway. As long as one of you has taken AC42 it’s okay, isn’t it?” With his last words he made an obscene gesture.

Evelith seemed to have reached her boiling point. She stood up straight, in a very defensive pose while holding on to my hand. “So what if we actually were a couple and we didn’t take your freaking AC42? What if we didn’t want to further human extinction? What if someone would get a baby once in a while so Homo sapiens gets a new generation to replace even a tiny bit of the masses who disappear in the Thanatoria?” I stared at her, rather uncomfortably with the whole topic. Why was she holding my hand? “But no. I’m not talking about myself now. Don’t worry Ad.” She had turned to me and lowered her volume with that last sentence.

“I never though of having children at all.” I mumbled. But suddenly a picture arose in my head of children, and someone I had known well, long ago.

“You crazy bitch.” He said, and he added some harsher words of insult that I hadn’t realised were still in use, and that would not be fit for print. “If that’s what the evolution of mankind has been leading up to… Conservative family values.” He spat on the floor and walked out. Evelith kept staring at the door for a while after he had gone and mumbled something about ‘no evolution without procreation, moron’ to no-one in particular. Meanwhile my attention turned to the music. The holographic projection went mad, with weird metallic humanoids and a climax of complex numbing rhythms that almost stamped out all of my thoughts. Evelith seemed to realise something,and suddenly let go of my hand. “Sorry for that.” She stammered. “No problem.” I mumbled. “I think…”

Suddenly Leste joined the table, a beer already in his hand. Evelith protested: “Les, What in hell is this noise?” He shrugged his shoulders. “Ah, I thought some late 21st neo-drum’n bass would be a good moodkiller for random guys hitting on you.” Fire seemed to emanate from her eyes and I could feel tension rising. “I can take care of my own business, Les, thank you very well!” He just smiled sheepishly. As soon as the noise was over she luckily lightened up a bit and told Les what the guy had said. Leste looks suspiciously at me. “And all the while you were holding HIS hand to make that creep jealous? I saw that, you know!” I saw anger flickering in his eyes. “Don’t you dare using him too while in the end completely friendzoning him.” Her eyes shot fire at him. “Come on, friendship is what he needs. He’s just brought back to humanity.”

I didn’t answer while they went on without having my attention at all. The whole conversation should probably have been rather important to me to say the least, but instead of even following it I was trying to get back to a picture in my head that seemed just out of reach. It was only when I heard Leste mention AC42 and children that I suddenly yelled out loud.

“My dream!”

Ghostified City: introduction and index

Bewaren

Bewaren