Pitch black smothers all. The cars switch and turn about, their momentum spiteful, evil. A shrivelled figure in a pirate hat laughs and something skeletal pats me on the head. I shut my eyes tight, a barrier against this junction of horrors. This is a seaside ride, but I’m convinced we are going to hell.
Rubble in a basement–they have workmen down there digging, so they can bury the evidence, a three hundred page dossier used as bungeroosh. The old public library will be sold to a London oligarch. Graceful arches will soar over his bespoke swimming pool–at one end, a bust of the owner in obsidian, Roman style. Floating in the pool, torn pages from old books. Stubborn as pond weed, his servants cannot rake them out. This place is cursed.
They call it a cultural hub, this cramped Victorian villa. A bouncy castle of hot air slowly deflates on an unkempt lawn. A vampire walks the length of the tiled roof, the chastened spirit of a long-dead councillor, eternally assessing the cost of repairs. Inside there is an array of expensive shelves, mostly bare. Tawdry knick-knacks, some knitted, passing as exhibits. Books have been forgotten here, but there are a few sodden ones left out the back in a wheelbarrow, next to the portakabin, if you care to look. There is a tea room of sorts, or rather a slot machine for coffee and a few stackable chairs. You will have to unstack them yourself, as the eager volunteers have already clocked off.