Translated from the Cockroach

Six triangular arches form the bottom tier. I'd seen another row of similar arches on the first floor as I’d approached the construction and am now ensconced under one of the middle arches. It's a club with a dodgy looking character facing me, keeping an eye on me I suppose. I decide to back off - only I bump into some joker behind me. After I turn myself around he's still there with this dumb fixed grin on his face. Well, I'm not going through here, I think, and wander along the row until I get to the end. Another club, with an evident queen staring at me, bold as brass. Well, I'm as tolly as the next but I'm not having this. The whole area feels a bit unsafe to me. Not really where I want to be so I go back the way I came. Then I remember I've got the attention span of a gnat. Of course I can't go home that way, there's this bloody great sheer drop and there's no way home except through that edifice. I stare up at it again. It's taller than I remember, three more floors at least. My stiff neck (did I get that when I fell?) doesn't allow me to see any higher. I’m bored, hungry and knackered and I want to go home. I've no choice but to go on through. I choose the second arch. It looks a bit more salubrious at least, what with this diamond on display. Didn’t notice it before. Maybe the light’s changed. Is this arch a bit more upmarket or what? I must say, I do wonder about the choices we make. Just because I’ve put my feelers out and something looks quate nace doesn’t mean it’s any sodding safer does it? But I’ve nothing better to do (except eat) so I’ll just scuttle with purpose, as our lords and masters suggest. So I’m nearing this posh arch and have another look up. It is most definitely getting lighter and I can see a lot more. The first floor has only five arches, I can make it out now. And the second floor has four, the third three. The top floor, I can just see (my neck won’t comply so I can’t be absolutely sure) has just two arches. Or is this merely a trick of perspective? Well, I’m no architect and, interesting though this is, I’m still hungry and besides, that light’s really beginning to bother me. In fact it’s getting intolerably bright. I’m going for that arch now, it’s too much. At least there’s some shade under there and maybe I can stay there until it goes away. There’s a bit of a breeze and the ground also seems to be, oh I don’t know, palpating I suppose. Christ on a bike I’m not going to make that second arch. It’s so bright now I’ll have to go for the first before I can’t see where I’m going. And I just make it, any port in a storm. There was me with some doubtless latent homosexual anxiety about being solicited by that old queen and now I’m so ecstatic to here sharing an arch with ‘her’, being as ‘she’ hasn’t made any advances at all since it’s only a bloody poster. Oh my aching spiracles. You have to laugh don’t you? After what seems an age the brightness is still there but I’m still hungry so I can’t hang around here forever. I’ve got used to it, the light, anyway. The wind’s dropped, the ground’s stopped wobbling. I think I’ll risk it. Which way out? That way. Glad to see the back of that place, I take a last look. Five floors comprising twenty triangular cells constructed from fifty four slabs of some unfeasibly thin, I think, material. God knows how those things stay up. I might come back another day and study it further. Except there’s this rather odd whooshing. Seems to be an enormous white cylindrical thing with millions of black scratchy marks on it and it’s coming my way fast. Oh bug-

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