Time passes differently here. It’s dark, and the tables heave with the weight of fine food and drink; strange liquids in strange colours, red haunches, exotic sweets. Do not eat or drink anything. The city is full of fey. Familiar foxes cross the streets as a cabal of three shriek past in a black carriage. The horses are sweating on their plinths, and beautiful kelpies beckon youth from dark doorways, their teeth pointed and appetites sharp. Any prince you kiss tonight may wake up a frog tomorrow morning, but that will be the least of your worries. In dark parts, poisoned princes pummel raw head and bloody bones. Heroines light spoons, sending changeling children chasing up chimneys. A vast dragon sighs underground, sending warm air up through tube lines, while bogeymen bellow ‘Brownie! Brownie!’ at night cleaners, and bearded fauns wallow melancholic on the last bus home.
By tomorrow morning, all this will be nothing but broken pumpkins and rats. But time passes differently here, and there are no breadcrumbs to be found that lead away from heavy iron doors, slamming shut in the night.
Kyle Cooper reads, writes, walks. He has recently completed a Masters in Literature and Modernity and has been scribbling for some years now. He has been published in The Cadaverine, Ink Sweat and Tears and Brittle Star, and he reviews for Lunar Poetry.