The town square, a pernickety, delicate blend of Renaissance and Art Deco construction yet at its centre an ill at ease belfry atop a Romanesque steeple within which a bell chamber housed nought but hibernating bats, muddled moths and the occasional drifter with no fear of great heights. No bells for deaf ears. Down below, the diligent inhuman propagandists had been hard at work, persuasion and motivation their singular goal. Save for incidental windows and shop fascia signs there were darkest manipulative posters appended all about. Eye-catching ugly posters, both textual and graphic all containing a single message, that message serving to ramp up the rhetoric and rally floating sleeper’s opinion in support of the avowed conviction that the alleged demise of Nod was all down to the ill doings of an impure breed of Sweet Dreamers. Ever since Prezidanto La Sandmano and his disciples seized power, Zealotry Nightmares had been in the ascendency.
In a far corner of the imposing square, sat outside an unconscious street café, once the chosen permissive haunt of impassioned lovers, heroic deadbeats and gifted, godly harlots, notwithstanding the late hour, a nippy Eve, hiding under a black beret and behind illusionary shades, sips upon double Expresso, feasts on nicotine and visualizes an Eden already forever lost. Tarmac, ash heaps and fearsome blockheads in pretentious uniforms who habitually saluted eccentric salutes at one another had seen to that. One such fellow sat with likeminded chums at a table nearby proffered such a signature hand gesture in Eve’s direction. For the sake of her own preservation she swallowed hard, aped his lamentable sign language and forced a fraudulent smile. As she waits for the witching hour her concern over the plight of hedgehogs and sparrows in a world without shrubbery plays on her mind. Then she remembers the rushed note she discovered after they had taken her darling away, his last words asking of her if he might one day be the busy bumble bee and she the unguarded wild flower in the meadow of shameless passion. A romantic touch not lost on her. “Oh, that he were with me now.”
Come the midnight call to slumber, come the bonfire, come a harmony of innocent winged sweet dreams as see-through bubbles floating on thin air. This hour had always belonged to them. Duplicitous flames illuminate the square. Untrained dancing, prancing shadows of malice come to life. Disciples on stilts armed with butterfly nets appear from nothingness, their mission to eradicate sweetest dreams before they nest in the imaginations of sleepers, by means of fiery evaporation. Eve had heard on the grape vine that this abomination would come to pass. Gazing forth at the mayhem, in palpable hatred she gently easies the pin from the grenade. Her aim is good. Her heartache that the infant nightmare she bestows upon the corrupt might be stillborn, without foundation.