The City Is Mostly Bones

He’s hacking through the jungle with something that he thinks was used, once, to cut paper. He’s stepping over the kind of flat, black-soil patch amidst the cracked asphalt that makes him think of mass graves.

The vines reach out from lampposts and the artificial vines of old cables still strung across the street. Stiff-stalked weeds jut up between tectonic plates of pavement, maybe growing out of piles of skulls in piles of dirt. The jungle is full of bones. He can make out Big Ben through the leaves, looking like a toy beyond the heather-buried roofs. He stops for a second, thinks of that bloke who got electrocuted in Islington, when he chopped a live conduit.

That sound again—drumming, like someone under headphones and oblivious—so he presses on. Two steps, two hacks, and he’s tumbling down an unseen flight of steps, into the Underground, onto copper pipes, snapped and sharpened into pikes. One hit his hip, glancing, and now he’s hanging from it, sideways, on a loop of flesh. The jungle’s full of bones.

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