Image by Christine Renney
He leans over the rail and gazes down. The Precinct is big and it is flat and featureless and, if it wasn’t for the people, the paved areas, the walkways and the communal squares would be indistinguishable from the roofs of the buildings. It is a rough sketch, an idea at best. A still from a film, a panoramic view of nowhere.
The wind is trying its hardest to push him back, to keep him from the edge. But gripping the rail with both hands he holds firm. There is an old newspaper at his feet. He nudges at it with the toe of his boot. Wet from the rain, it is sodden and heavy. He tries to dislodge it from its resting place but the newspaper is stuck to the gravel and the felt. Holding onto the rail with one hand he crouches and, using the other, he works it free.
He stands and, nudging again with his foot, he slides the newspaper over the edge. But it doesn’t drop, doesn’t plummet as he thought it would, as he had hoped it would. Taken by the wind the newspaper erupts noisily above his head. He turns and, moving away from the rail, he watches its sheets flapping and flailing.