Manuel’s nervous and working by the harsh glare of the light in his hallway, the naked bulb throwing harsh shadows against the cracked and peeling walls. The floor around him is littered with a forest of offcuts; shredded wine casks and torn removal boxes grating dryly underfoot. The night air is close, heavy with the combined scent of torn cardboard and Clag.

A lot has gone into this. Boxes from two moves, a bus ticket. Three half-torn elves from a cereal packet stare out at him – the old symbols still count for something these days. Down near the base of it is his house key, nestled in the packaging of an oven bake chicken kiev.

Manuel’s almost finished when outside, a slight scraping makes him start, his eyes flicking wildly to the door at the end of the hall. Fear numbs his fingers as he claws and scrabbles at the copy of his lease stuffed in one pocket and the lighter in another. He curses and pleads desperately to everyone and everything as he thumbs the wheel of the lighter, rewarded with nothing but sparks. Finally a soft yellow glow emerges as a loud thud echoes from the door.

His eyes dart back to the door for a moment before Manuel puts the lease to torch and tosses it aside. The flame blooms, momentarily fed by the cheap paper before collapsing into ash. Another thud and a crunch come from his left as Manuel opens and dives through his creation – a door to the Cardboard Kingdom.

N.B. This was inspired by something I read once, about a place you could go by sacrificing your existing home, which I thought was a pretty neat idea.


~ by Electro-mechanical Man on September 11, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: