We have been held captive here for years....

Author's note

The sequel to ‘AshWays’

1. PART 1

If you are reading this, then I guess its already too late. We have been cast aside into the shadows of the city; a place where 'euphoria' presides over the 'sky scraping' buildings, but the irony is buried six feet up into the atmosphere of this treacherous place. Only this wasn't how it always was. This city is a corpse of what it used to be, an echo into the radiant past that it once possessed. Now, all whats left are the bitter remains of a broken urbanised area, free of laws, but full of outlaws. The annual parade proved to be a mass murder; slaughtering two teenage boys who bought the elements of true happiness in its purest form; something this city and its inhabitants have been starved of. Their bodies and blood create a beautiful mosaic of tragedy in memory of the traumatic events that occurred many years ago. However, the aftermath is still relevant. Wherever you go, the soft crunch of the blackened ‘ash’ roads will alarm the people of your presence. The people here are disgusting; to the North reside inhabitants that are drowned in the obsession of lust and sex, their obscene behaviours is what labels their sector of land as the ‘root’ of fornication and prostitution.  The eastern sector is home to  the military camps, where the only practise of violence and defence is a gambling matter between life and death. The southern roads belong to the homeless; who are experts in trading illegal goods, which only offer a few moments of mental freedom when burned and smoked. The rest of the intoxicants mix into the atmosphere of an already sinister and unhealthy air. The West side of the city is no better. Nestled in the untamed foliage that keeps them captive; the people who reside there are no strangers to the event of a civil battle. Each sector of the city is personalised with each distinct characteristic. Be careful. Human blood has a dangerous tendency to spill at even the slightest of cuts. Your only bet of getting out of here; is by getting through it; otherwise you will find yourself imprisoned just like the rest of us. By the time you've read this, they would've already learned of your presence. If I had a choice, I would have sent you off into the desert of golden sand  that surrounds us; and left you to helplessly die of disease, thirst and hunger, which would have been a much more peaceful way to die rather than face the consequences of being here. But I don’t have a choice. Once again; you’re here in the AshWays...




The sight of flickering lights of the tall buildings was what I first noticed as my Luke warm eyes  took in the visual attributes of my surroundings.  Unmoving air surrounded me;  to my skin it felt hot and sticky, carrying the dreadful perfumes of human sweat and blood, whilst possessing a metallic taste of bitter lust and sweet desires. The roads were bustling with activity as the sun saluted her final farewell and gave way to a blissfully beautiful darkness which complemented a contrast to the bright beacons of colour. A dirge of human chatter filled what would have been a silent night; screeches of laughter mixed with the voices of the inhabitants of this place. There are some here that I love. Some who fear me. Some who want me dead. I didn’t ask for this. No one ever does. Being held captive; I am one of them. Only I’m not. The disturbing nature of these people is hard to ignore. Feasting on any source of satisfaction they can access; each night is full of the exploitation of bodies, being haplessly thrown into a sinister portal of casual sex. With such an extreme disregard to simple human decency, you would expect that there would be consequences for their actions. If you did expect that; you’ve forgotten where we are. We are in the AshWays- and this is how everyone thrives. They find an artificial source of temporary distractions that last moments before being tossed aside and forgotten about. If you’re weak- you won’t survive. I’m a survivor. But tomorrow I could lose that title. In a city so unpredictable, anything can happen. It’s a paradox. The city is organised in the most frenzied ways imaginable. No laws, no government and no figure of authority; the people have taken it upon themselves and chosen the lives they wish to live; consequently resulting in their impulsive behaviours. Naked bodies joined together in the corners of buildings, caressing one another in an animalistic fashion. Their skin glowed under the city’s distinct illumination of neon purple, orange, pink and blue colours that birthed from every building, every door, every window, and from the top of every skyscraper. Passers by would record, take photographs or join themselves inti the chain of sexual activity. It was seen as strange not to. My legs moved me forwards as I turned onto a narrow street, away from the main roads. My eyes had been scarred enough already. The stretch of land was relatively dark. I could make out the shape of the cluster of brick buildings that sat despondently on either side of the cobbled street, and instead of the sharp beacons that stabbed the impression of a darkened night, there was the presence of a gentle and welcoming glow that was emitted from each building- not too bright. In fact, they would turn off for a few moments before reviving, reflecting their delicacy. 


The wind decided to play her unfamiliar melodies, mixing the sounds of her flute amongst the lyrics of sexual chaos that was erupting on the main road. I looked back. They were drunk. An alcohol of what they thought was exuberance. A canvas of skin, teeth, skin, tongues and sweat, all hiding under the the ironic secrecy of the blazing lights. My eyes focused back onto the sinister street that directed away from the frenzied energies of AshWays’s inhabitants. The blood red glow of the flickering lights spilled out from the bottom windows of each building, and progressively dimmed with the correlation of the buildings’ height, to the point of which only darkness was present at the top third portions. This street was clearly different. The sky above was a velvety carpet of black, the only stretch of air that was not touched by exotic colours of artificial brightness. Despite the relative gloom, my pupils could catch every detail of the cluster of edifices defending each side of the street. Fallen pieces of glass presented themselves as a matting of tender pain, along with the dusty presence of sawdust which coated the floor. The occasional gust of wind would toss a handful of the debris into my face, leaving me coughing and spluttering like a child suffering from his first cold. Markings of white paint seemed as though they had lost the battle to the weathering, and were evidently eroding out of vision- indicating no one had considered to resuscitate them. Or maybe no one had noticed. I could only conclude that this individual segment of land had been abandoned and forgotten about, due to its inability to hold masses of people, as its narrow width was its most distinct feature. The poor structures of the  deserted houses, shops and rejected buildings informed me that indeed, not a single soul resided in this area anymore. Their swords of splinters, broken wood and pieces of metal stuck out aggressively, poking their way out of any crack that they could find. And there were plenty. Holes infested each building like a plague of maggots, adding to their breaking beauty. 


I saw movement. At first I thought it were an illusion. But I saw it again. A few metres to the left side if the road, someone was watching me. They were cowering near a rotting door to what used to be a small hostel- as the sign above it read. ‘Dustpath Hostel’ to be exact. The person was of a healthy figure and around my height. They wore a cape of black and a hood that covered their facial features. The only skin that was visible were their hands. Pale hands and brightly painted nails. Neon blue and turquoise. I assumed it was a woman. Having no idea why she was alone, I decided to slowly approach her. The sounds of cracking glass and debris filled the silence between us, until one of us broke it.


“ Follow me” . Her voice was female. She waited for no response, and dashed into the abandoned Hostel, disappearing and becoming one with the shadows...

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