And so, ‘bring out your dead’ they cried, and came seeking and came finding those dead and those alive also, despite the seemingly specific nature of the advertising. Flushing the streets and those places of rest, salvation and ill-repute of those they deemed enemies of the entity, defilers and defiers of the grace of God, or just plain ruffian scum. Cries of ‘bring out your dead’ and the heavy tread of government issued boots caused howls of fear making friends with protest to ripple and sweep through the boroughs and dens of inequity. This followed also by a general crawling and a running and slithering away as the fearful and/or guilty sought solution and refuge, the sweet embrace of secure walls and locked doors. This while the likes of I, proud card carrying member of Ruffian Scum local 898, lay stone drunk in a pool of self manufactured spittle and brine, clinging to a whiskey tree and ashtray as one would two lovers of extreme and equal talent. Out of mind and blind with sleep, lost to the cries of ‘bring out your dead’ until the hard tread of government issued boots made introduction uncomfortably to my very personal ribs and spleen.
And so they caught me, bound me, raged me, dragged me. I, Union Goon Second Class and humble narrator! What ignominy, ruin, disgrace. Dragged free and away from the asylum of my whiskey tree. My cries of ‘I ent dead’ largely ignored, the source of mirth and much pleasure. Yes, caught, dragged, found and bound like a hare soon for the pot. And I said through lips daubed rouge: ‘But sirs and enemies, I en't dead so much as I know.’ They laughed and spit: ‘Soon to be corrected.’
Desolately drawn, kicked, prodded shoved through the streets, trailing an assortment of fluids, clear or red or green/yellow, thick, thin or viscous. Other’s poor fortune turns to my luck as captors trot off, in pursuit of others, lessen in number. Through the streets roped up like a like a sacrificial dishonoured lover, like a broken bird of prey, like fear and like sin caught in the open day light. ‘Bring out your dead’ more cries of, and the wagon piled three deep with corpses and dust in my eyes making tears of mud and choke. Just hoping to survive the day and welcome the embrace of night. And then we are fewer even and falling behind, isolated and struggle and ropes made looser and reaching and a razor from my boot finds my hand and I am on him, I bite him, I bite him hard, in the knee and in the groin bringing him down and upon the other, said razor between teeth now kissing his neck slowly all the way across and more rouge flowing. ‘Bring out your dead’ he shall cry no more.
Now further freed and it tastes like copper. The velocity of escape. Soon to rest and sleep in the warmth of mud... But first to seek the source of a new and uncompromised whiskey tree.