Signposts

Mind flickers fluorescent. On. Off. On. Off. The snap of plastic, sharp in the air. Soiled. Another broken picture show. Another broken streetlight. Another broken stranger. We catch water in a paper cup from the segregated graveyard. Where are the signposts in this land? We break. We crawl. We stand. We fall. We crawl. We break.

‘It’s not so bad,’ whispers legion, ‘not so bad here.’

A peeling poster grips the floor. Gravity always has its own agenda.

 

Cut along the L. ‘Is that my name?’

‘Mr Tuesday?’ The door shut over her voice, but she waits anyway. There is no Mr Tuesday here. Camouflaged in the bamboo of shadow, she calls out again, ‘Mr Tuesday?’

No one wants this name. It’s a nice name. Perhaps it could be our name? Snatching twists punctuation into the neat little row of 17 green chairs, ‘I’ll have it!’

Her smile is, cold, alone, ‘Have you returned all the pens, Mr Tuesday?’

‘Is this my jacket?’ we are feeling for pockets that might be there, ‘I don’t seem to know.’

She sighs like we have done this a thousand times, ‘Do you want me to check?’

A moth is circling the moon. Burn. Burn. Burn. I’ll have it,’ our lips are working her harmony around the words. No more signposts. In this land. Don’t tell.

‘They will just search your room again you know,’ she taps her foot tunelessly on peppered vinyl, ‘and that’s wasting everyone’s time.’

‘Can I have some tea?’

 

Cut along the O. ‘Is that my name?’

An old woman stares empty at the TV, clutching a teddy bear close to her chest. I was a person once, now legion breathe with my lungs. A piece of rubber stranded between the pale forest legs. It was a shoe once. Everything was something, once.

Rain on glass. Fallen leaves on fairy lights. There were signposts… once, we remember, ‘Can I have some tea?’ we ask the blue overall, ‘Can I have some tea?’

‘You had your tea 10 minutes ago.’

The fluorescent flickers, ‘….Can I have some tea?’

 

Cut along the S. ‘Is that my name?’

‘Do you remember me?’ she is pleading for an answer with her pretty eyes, ‘Do you remember?’

‘Yes,’ we remember, ‘I have returned all the pens.’

She smiles, warm, searching, ‘Dad, I miss you so much.’

Dad? The moon burns down to the wick. Black smoke….  …. I remember… There are fairy lights. Hidden in the cellar. Don’t tell. About the signposts.

 

Cut along the T. ‘Is that my name?’

Blinds run sideways, keeping the dark out. Necklaces strung like fairy lights……. She is crying…. Don’t tell…….I….. I…………. There are fairy lights. Legion say. In the cellar.

 

Legion say, ‘But don’t tell about signposts……….  or we will all be lost.’

‘Is that my name?’