The Barcelona simulation wasn’t the same the next day, it was greyer, a forensic shade of purple, with cops at certain corners, hawkers, non-descript, nebulous tanned whiteness, whispering threats that would’ve been Hungarian if he’d gotten close enough
and it took a further hour walking around the Museum of Modern Art for Tak to realise he couldn’t stay
not if he wanted to keep his mind on the right track
distant from the claws of Count Otius.
He bought his ticket openly this time and sat down on one of the benches, looking at La Vanguardia online.
Made it four lines before he had to reach for his dictionary and as he searched
the demon girl floated back into his brain
telling him she was still there
still on the beach
so why didn’t he come and say hi?
Tak repeated the usual phrase in five different languages, struggling on the Japanese version even though he’d always thought it was his best one
then went back to the news.
He read all the stories he was interested in and hissed at the business section, then went back to the dictionary and double-checked the headline words
blocked the demon girl speaking to him
again and again
blocked that fucking Dahli too
buffering in the background
halfway out of the sea in a seaweed smoking jacket.Continue reading