Between the Pages
No. 48: Getting So Much Better All the Time
Comic No. 48
M. Doyle – 7/29/19

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Argenta speaks:
My city is changing. Ever since the stranger, the cat, arrived (arrived, and then slunk away again into the darkness), it feels different. I walk down streets made strange, with unfamiliar names. Sometimes, I reach a dead-end where the street markings are painted as if to continue on. Other times, past the "Dead End" signs, a familiar cul-de-sac broadens into a boulevard. A wrought-iron gate leads to an empty parking lot, while across the street vehicles are parked in neat little rows on grass and trampled bushes.

The buildings themselves shift about. Here, a shop that no-one has ever seen has been there since anyone can remember. Statues project half-way out the sides of buildings, and make for maniacal floor plans indoors. Other buildings are a crazy mashup of styles and materials. Several are smoke-blackened, and when I ask what happened, no-one knows.

The train is gone, and no-one remembers it. I don’t even remember it, except I find myself staring at tracks that exit a brick wall, cross a street, and disappear into a glass facade; twin rails glinting in the streetlights that run from nowhere to nowhere, and think “Something must have run on these."

This is the cat’s fault, somehow. He’s been lurking in the darkness outside the city the whole time, making things different, for unimaginable reasons of his own. I should never have believed his lies of a surface world, of "sharks" and "rabbits" and what-have-you.

I will not think, in my caution, the thought that I share with not even my closest advisers: if the buildings are constantly shifting – what about us? What about me? No. I am as I h’ve always been, ’n always will be. Magistrix ’n Leader. Th’ people look t’ me t’ guide them through these confusing times, and fer them, I wull b’strong, ’n – I will be strong – and harbor no doubts.

This time, when the cat and I speak again, I will be on my guard, and ready.

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M Doyle, writer

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