The City of the Dead / Tristan Foster

The family puts photographs of the Dead Man up around the house. They do it in a hurry, late one night, as though the task is a necessary evil. Scenes of his school years, his boyhood, as if he never made it to his teens, never wrote bad poetry, fell in love, left school and took a job, kicked that stray dog sniffing his ankles at the beach. Maybe in the minds of his father and mother, he, the Dead Man, old or young, alive or dead, will always be a grinning school boy.

*

As the Dead Man wanders around the City of the Dead, where every building is a skyscraper and the clouds are the colour of fire, he realises that the only time he ever thought of death, where it occurred to him that death would one day come for him, too, him, was in a dawntime nightmare. He remembers the dream because he was pulled from it by the cries of hungry cats outside his window, their calls like a chorus of madness.

There are no cars or traffic lights in the City of the Dead, only swallows nesting in rafters and holes in the ground where snakes sometimes live.



Tristan Foster is a writer from Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Letter to the Author of the Letter to the Father and 926 Years, co-authored with Kyle Coma-Thompson.

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