Celia and Sam where sitting in the moonlight on a hill over looking the Greater South London Dump. They where watching as the rubbish companies helicopters sprayed the sections of the dump that were to be stripped mined the next day with a dense, orange cloud of chemicals. The lights of the ‘copters shone down onto the dump making the chemicals glow. As they flew low spraying the rubbish they left dim orange trails, which at the next pass would expand ahead of the copter as the down draft blew the settling chemicals up into the air again.
Sam looked down noting where the chemicals settled and where the best place to scavenge tomorrow would be. Celia looked on as the coloured lights of the copters performed their strange dance with the brightly coloured clouds. Both equally mesmerised by the scene.
Finally the copters vented the last of their chemicals and they circled up and disappeared into the clouds above.
“It’s a complex chemical compound,” Sam explained to Celia. “That starts to break down the rubbish so that the ruckers can process it better in the morning.” He put his arm around her shoulder. “And it kills off all the vermin, so it’s safer for us to scavenge along the tracks that have been sprayed. That is until the ruckers come.”
She leant against him.
“Because the ruckers stop for nothing,” he tightened his grip around her. “If you get in their path they will just scoop you up with the rubbish and by the time they’re finished processing you there’s no way to tell what you used to be.”
Celia shivered at the thought and Sam squeezed her a bit closer.
“Come on,” Sam stood up and held out his hand to Celia. “The show here is over. Now we go onto the next part of the night’s ritual.”
Celia took his hand and stood.
He picked up the bundle of firewood that they had been sitting on and led the way off the hill. At the bottom they turned left towards a brightly lit tarmac road.
“It’s not safe to walk through the shanty at night,” Sam explained to Celia as they walked from pool to pool of light. “So we follow this road until we get to the slum and then follow the main road down to forth street.”
The sound of a car came from the distance. Sam pulled Celia off the road and into the dark shadow midway between two lights. They crouched there as the car zoomed up and sped past them. The noise fading as the lights disappeared around a corner. Sam led Celia back onto the road.
“You sometimes get weirdos driving along here,” Sam explained to Celia. “Its best to hide or they might attack you.”
Celia looked around.
Sam smiled. “It’s O.K. They’re usually rich people who drive down here looking for people like us. That way they can drive off quickly when they are finished.”
Celia looked enquiringly at Sam.
“They do all sorts of things,” Sam shrugged. “Sometimes they just run you off the road. Once a car came down and shot at people with a gun.”
He looked at Celia, “But in your case, as you are so nice looking, they would probably want to molest you.”
Celia looked blankly back at him.
“You know,” Sam started to get embarrassed. “Do things to you.”
Celia shook her head.
“They’d hurt you, for their own pleasure,” Sam gestured vaguely into the night.
Celia saw that Sam was embarrassed so she nodded to show that she understood.
Sam paused a moment. He put his hand to the side of Celia’s face, “You know if that ever did happen to you, it’s best if you don’t put up to much of a fight.” He looked her straight in the eye. “They only hurt you more if you fight back. It’s best if you let them do whatever they want to do and run away the first chance you get.”
Celia smiled at him and nodded that she understood.
Sam smiled back and stood looking at her for a moment. Then turned and led the way along the road again.
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