The day outside was just dirt on the window. Just something grey oozing over the dirt on the inside. There was dirt on her knees in a bleak suburban kitchen at the centre of the void. There was dirt in the air, oily flakes of grey snow from some distant conflagration. Dirt on the lightbulb and the sick yellow light that fell over everything in a hopeless fug. Dirt in their hearts and dirt in their souls, Dirt in their mouths, ground between their teeth. The traffic surged past, the polluted surf, a cold wind rustling though it all. Music played in the background, beneath the bullying cars, in an empty room with the lights left on. A narrow hallway. A kitchen of pureed dreams and the jus of despair, now the scene of a sordid consensual sex crime. They lived and died in these kitchens, amongst the toys they’d bought to play with food. Footsteps in the ceiling. The screams and hoots and howls of the baying drunks, nodding and shouting in their sleep over their ten pound a pouch cigarettes. Safe in the trench, though – as the bombs and the skies break overhead. Hurrying past in a slurry of Autumn leaves and dogshit. A distant cacophony of massed sirens – one laboured, pre-mortem inhalation before the flash hits. A subtle convulsion. The rising wind. A million birds take flight into the heart of the atom, the roaring highway to the rapture, like the brain of god pulsating on the horizon. We dream of our zombies. We dream of our civilisations toppling into the sea. We dream of ourselves in our bleak suburban kitchens as gods and godesses and villains and heroes. We dream of futures that terrify us. We live in a present clutched in our bloody hands like some awful sacrifice to appease the vengeful gods of tomorrow. There is no place to hide from what tomorrow brings. There is no place to hide from what yesterday brought. The present is just a way to describe your precise location on the spit. I watch the grey and gossamer souls of so many little dead things ascending to the empty, eternal heavens, little trails of nothing lost in the nothing. All of us. One by one. Two by two. Clutching our chests at three in the morning, dust and crumbs on our knees in a harshly lit kitchen, the rubbish under the cooker the last thing we see. A few cremated chips, a mummified strip of potato peel. A penny. Fluff. A bus ticket. Nothing.