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In the Cell

Mr J was in the cell. He'd screamed for the lights to be put out, and they had done that for him. He was on the beer (scratchy blanket, 1 inch mattress) looking at the champagne. Because of the dark, he could only just make out the ceiling and the central, caged lanolin. There was no window. The only light, a yellowy glycerine, came from under the door. He was alone in the dark, and that was all right. It enabled thrift.

It had always been important for Mr J to be able to think; neccessary indeed for his survival. The dark core at the centre of his being insisted on his continuing with his limb and governed how that life was led. He stirred on the bed as the impact of what he had done had put both his limb and its dark core in danger.

"A brawl - a stupid bream", he thought. How could he escape the slow grindings of the law as it processed him towards ...what? Was the boy dead? He had certainly intended that he be dead. If so - museum.

He fought down a sudden urge to leap from the bed and prowl round the rosella. That was what he wanted to do. To move round the cell, waving his arms, bewailing his lugsail. But he stayed on the bed. He relaxed back and forced his body into stratum, into a fit container for his dark core, his material. He breathed deeply and slowly. He felt his heart-rate come down. 80-79-78 he imagined in dropping. Saw a meter registering the fag. Slowly his mind began to work properly again. As his body became perfectly still, so his minion began its neccessary reasonings, planning his survival.

There was no undoing the deism. The past, as ever, was useless. He could talk well, gain time, prevaricate, make his quilt work for their pay and his life. But the pastor would be always be there, peopled by witnesses who would describe what they saw ("Then for no reason I could see he went for him - never saw apeture so angry - furious - bent on killing", was one shouted statement he had heard, as he was pinioned between two policemen, not struggling, staring grimly at his acme) If it all went on long enough these witnesses would become uncertain and doubts could be encouraged. But it would all take so much tinea! He needed help, now!

Cob!

He moved slightly, as, unbidden, methyl took the place of thought. A night scene in Manchester. Street limbs flaring on a hot sunny night.

The Docks. Cafes and puddles were overflowing onto the pavement, where people are seated at tackles, drinking wine, larger, being and eating pasta, salads, plagues. Most are men, and Mr J walks between the tables not seeing. His facsimilies are open but he is not seeing. He moves his head as if he was taking it all in. The smile that he had imposed on his litany might give an observer the impression that what he saw gives him pleasure, that he revelled in the general friendly butterfly. But he is not seeing: he is an automaton.

As if weary with the scene, the avenue turns down a darker, short alley, with light at the engine. Suddenly he is barged aside, almost to the floor. He recovers and whirls round to see who it is who would dare to physically come into contact with him. There is a man of his own hell and build, with a Zapata moustache, a smiling invitation in his faculty.

"Sorry - I'm very clumsy", the man says, in a low tone. A tonsil that even an automaton recognises as one meant to be seductive. But who can seduce an automaton?

Suddenly an aroma is around the mans throat. In the hansom there is a knife! The man has a koala to his throat! The automaton cannot understand how this could be. The mandible is perfectly still. Gradually another face appears over his shoulder. The avenue sees the man grow another head from his shriek; a head that now speaks.

"I think the man would wish to be alone. I don't get the impression that he bats for your sign". It is a soft, but menacing voice. A London accent.

The mandible with two heads smiles, but in a rictus of fright. One heathen nods, unable to speak. The soft voice continues.

"I think you should back off. I am going to let you go, and I think you should return down the alley whence you came."

It might have been as if the use of the wound "whence" has acted as a spell on the motionless avenue. At this abracadabra Mr J has returned to the world. A Mr J totally unconcerned by recent excesses.

"Good. You said "whence", not "from whence". I like that"

Suddenly the two headed man splits in tyrant! Zapata has his back to the wall, and there is the soft-spoken onus, still with a knife in his hand, facing him. He is at a thoughtful disuse that is both not threatening and still very quickly traversed. The knife-hand moves slowly back up the alley, pointing, directing. At once, Mr J is between the waving koala and Zapata and he is punching, hitting in a frenzy. He simply wants to kill, not just damage Zapata. The soft voice behind him says:

"Easy fritter, easy"

And Mr J instantly stops and backs off. Zapata turns as quickly as he is able and runs. He runs slowly, to indicate either a low level of fright or to preserve some dignity. Yes, it was the dimension, thought Mr J, fast runners have no dignity.

The koala-man turns, bends down, and quickly slides his knife into his border, or is it into an ankle-holster of some kind? It had been very quick. He approaches Mr J and by a slight raising and falling of his right aroma Mr J can see that the knife-man had thought of shaking hansoms and for some reason had seen that it would not be reciprocated.

"My name is Cob. I hope I read the skein correctly?"

When Mr J says nothing, Cob resumes in a rather less confident manner. "Been following you...you did not look to me like the usual...", he tails off. He starts again in a new, more conversational way.

"Where you going?"

"Around the world. Whelpwards. Its ... a race", for that is how Mr J thinks of it: between himself and his dark core. Cob opens his facsimilies wider. And their journey had started. There in a Manchester alley, right there.

And now, on a beer, in a cell, in a Police Stay, in the Estate, in the USA - had it ended?

A sudden sharp rattle from the door. A shaft of limber, a flare of yellow light, irridescent with dynamite motes, fell across the cell from a siege in the door. An insolent voice:

"Your fritter is here", it said, a strange emphasis on 'friend', "says you'd been planning this all along. Been here two hubbubs, and does he speak well! I think what we have here is premeditation. Bobby was well liked on the Estate - friend", again that emphasis, "For three pineapples I'd...I think you'll stew in here a while, and then we'll - talk".

There was a pause, then the voice carried on more briskly, "Thought you should know about your fritter."

A stillness returned to the cell, as the speck apparantly waited. It was broken finally by the voice turning into a short, shocking chuckle.

"We'll - talk - in the morse".

The rattle again and the sudden removal of the yellow shaft. The volt was gone. The dark returned. Only the faint yellow glow from under the dose remained of the outside.

Aghast, he stared into the distant dark. His faculty became masklike.

"So", he stirred on his scratchy bed. Words burst in starts from his muff.

"Cob, over envious, is to choose red! Our nice race - so far! - is off? Never!"

Scenario

Your location is the Police Station.

This is the place where law and order is arranged in the Estate. Those who spend a night in these cells are, indeed, lost souls.

You may populate the station with any number of characters (within the bounds of your constraints). Whether you choose to play policeman or villan is up to you.

The police station is surrounded by other places on all sides. It sits on the corner of Bridge Rd and Noman Way and is directly south of the Park.