the middle distance

The boy hangs suspended on the wall, floating above a sea of upraised arms, splashed in purples and blues. Rising to the sky across from Chicken Castle, this baffling design shows itself at a dark time, when the others are away, leaving silent halls to wander and empty alcoves that beckon or repel.

I left and when I returned nothing was the same as before. The others, now present, were missing crucial parts. Like marionettes they moved with jerky motions on rigid circuits. Their wooden jaws clackity-clacked against each other but no words issued forth. I sat afraid in my alcove, groping for the switch in my broken mind.

What if the boy descended to the street. What if he stomped Chicken Castle into rubble. What if he crept quickly through the streets, his naked blueness a soundless blur. This giant blue child, drawn as a sign of hope, now metamorphosed to a destroyer.

I fortified my alcove as best I could, but further withdrawal was not possible. I heard the snapping of jaws as they rounded the corner to my disused hallway. Suddenly my screens went blank. The building shook and a crack split the floor, widening with fierce speed. From the corner I watched them fall with gaping maws, one by one into the depths.

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