An excerpt from The Tatter-Golem’s Tale: A City to be Pitied

~ Prologue ~


      The conduits inside her stretched for miles, twisting and turning in all directions. They filled the walls and ceilings forming her body, all the spaces between masonry and drywall. She felt the anguish of alien technology; arteries and veins swapped for plastic sheathing. Now, cables and filament were the lifelines nourishing her – from a power plant, not a heart, red corpuscles were replaced by white-hot electricity.

      Although he’d allowed her access to the sky – her steel and glass towers, piercing the ever-present cloud cover – concrete and rebar ensured she was firmly anchored to the asphalt below. Her long beautiful legs, once free to dance on buttercup and clover, now sunk deep into the sewer systems. Soft toes became lead pipes; coldly uncoiled, they reached down through the lightless depths of dank urban tunnels.

     Once again, as night devours day, all grows dim in the city. Tiny fingers scrabble in the darkness, feeling along the wall’s surface – along her skin. With a quick flick of a switch there’s light, electricity flows and those within are satisfied. But even though there‘s silence – even though she no longer has a voice, she who is the city…screams.