excerpt: civility place

Breakfast is last night’s leftovers.

You leave your plate in the sink and splash water over it. You brush your teeth. You rub gel between your palms, work it through your hair, and use a comb to arrange a neat side part. You cut Friday’s dry-cleaning tags off your suit. You straighten your tie. You pick up your bag, sling it over your shoulder and walk to the train station.

Thirty seconds after you arrive on the platform and walk to the point where you know the first door of the first carriage will open, the train arrives.

You’re on your way to work.


The entrance to the tower is comprised of six revolving glass doors. Their action reminds you of hand-cranked egg beaters, or one of those spy films where the hero is stuck in a tunnel in his battered suit, pitted against wind and gravity and tonnes of water that are bearing down on him and forcing him closer and closer to a giant fan with rotating blades.

You can feel the egg beater fans sucking you in.

Whump, whump, whump.

You look up for a second at the tower looming above you. It’s so tall that you can’t see where it stops and the sky begins.

You steel yourself and walk in, preparing to be served as suggested – beaten or chopped.



Read the rest of this short story in The Sleepers Almanac No. 9, Sleepers Publishing, Melbourne, 2014. 

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