WHAT IS MAPPALUJO?


CHAPTER 23

Between a flyover and a disused railway line, an old decaying fairground rises from a brownfield dump. A sign that reads Apparition Park. A twisted tower of glass; rolling surfaces, bevelled edges, still intact shards. A woman in white escaping…

You used to address me with your best machines.

The woman staggers away from the hall of mirrors. Her silk train dragging in the dirt, her veil clasped to her chest. A dark red bloom staining her dress. She has such doleful eyes…

You only fix me with your unwanted desires.

A burnt-out Ford is suspended on four piles of bricks. A crow sits on the shit-smeared roof. The back right-hand door of the vehicle is open. The woman climbs inside, clutching her stomach. Blood soaks the upholstery…

My shrines are barely improvised from your accident scenes.

A pack of ragged teenage mutants crouch beneath the flyover. They sniff the wind and pick out their quarry with high-pitched flutings and complex hand signals. They clamber over the rubble towards the car…

My votaries are selected from your reject offerings.

The woman is watching herself in the rear-view mirror. Slowly, through a mist, her face is changing, reverting to its former state. The mask falls away…

You forget our most solemn anniversaries.

Mister Teardrop turns away from the mirror. The eyes turn dark and then close. The stale aroma of Jean Paul Gaultier aftershave lingers in the air. Death of a Princess, take two…

You turn my passing into a joke.


The mutants gather round the wreckage of the Ford and its occupant. The bravest one of them plunges inside and gleefully returns with a nylon scalp between his teeth. The pack begins to divide the spoils…

You just don't love me any more.

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WHAT IS MAPPALUJO?