Thursday, 16 July 2015


From here, I can see the whole city spread out before me like an ant’s nest stamped open by an angry boot. 

Tiny figures scutter to and fro below – hungry for power, thirsty for revenge, or just trying to reach the end of their day in one piece. Some happy, some hungry, some in despair, some plotting - and all utterly unaware of my existence.

From my position high above the Square, I watch them, observe them, feed off them.

It’s what I - and my kind - have always done.

Once, our grinning grimaces could only be found high on the spires of churches – supposedly as a momento mori that the wages of sin were death, and worse in the ever after. But we’re living in an increasingly secular world, so we had to branch out to get our sustenance.  

Now, we grace the citadels of capitalism and churches devoted to greed and consumption. The pickings are much richer.

From my spot atop the city’s most exclusive hotel, I survey the big house where lawmakers talk endlessly, stage petty theatrics and issue edicts that most of them will never obey. 

The building itself is of no interest to me. Its energy is dulled by a miasma of damp, flaccid words floating over its roof.

But the Square in front of it, that’s a different matter. Emotion bounces off it like a manic pinball machine, like the ones I spent hours playing during my misspent youth. Before I became.

Sometimes, when music or laughter fills the air, my clawed feet shrink back and connect with the ground, like they did back them, long decades ago. Other times, the red mist of outrage takes my transformation one step further.

Last night was a good night. Anger was already buzzing in the air as the Square filled with the disillusioned carrying home-made banners and chanting their frustration like a mantra. I licked my stiffening lips in anticipation.

A rush of excitement as a group of black-clad men with flags on suspiciously thick flagpoles marched in. A shift in the air, like a haze of hate, hit me from the street below, bringing with it the metallic scent of violence. My nostrils twitched, and I felt a flutter beneath my bent-over shoulder blades.

A new scent joined the cocktail. A blaze of light and heat exploded at the feet of armoured police snaking their way across the Square.  My spirits soared as the fires of hostility burned brightly and angrily. And although their flames and anger dissipated after a while, it was not before I had drunk my fill and grown stronger than before.

Yes, last night had been a good night. I had fed well. 

A few more nights like that, and I could finally be strong enough to spread my leathery wings, release my grip on the marble precipice and break free.

Just a few more nights…

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