World-Plex: Slab City – Chapter 3

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The following is a small portion of chapter 2 from the sci-fi adventure novel: World-Plex

 

Slab City – Chapter 3

 

A grid of cement slabs sparkled in the crisp sunlight along a roaring ocean of dead water. Men and woman laid on their individual concrete resting places and their children who mainly wore old ripped t-shirts and shorts could be seen

crouching next to their mothers.

 

The concrete living spaces were rectangular and rested longwise against the ocean. Each slab was the same length and width regardless of the size of the person allotted to it and all who were granted a slab were allowed to lie in the hot sun until their last days.

 

This settlement of poor was often visited by council charity workers who would walk around attending to those in desperate need of food. Some were visited by ordinary people, who wanted to help, but their good will was often not enough as most were not expected to survive longer than a few years.

 

The once sandy paradise, now a cement shore, was often met with poisonous dead fish from the polluted water which surrounded it. This was the new, and perhaps the last, welfare scheme introduced for the disadvantaged.

 

Unlike the days of bath towels and umbrellas, today the concrete slabs were home to thousands of unfortunates who could barely gather the strength to stand. These were known as the ‘slabbers’ who occupied ‘slab city’, a new name, given to an old beach.

 

‘Do you know what day it is?’ A tall gangly looking fellow asked a slabber lying on a slab of concrete. Gary was 6ft tall and wore a plain green shirt and black jeans. His nose was long and pointed and he always seemed to hold a constant grin. This was no doubt helped along by his thin wide lips and high cheek bones

 

Borgus accompanied him. He was of a stocky build and stood at 5ft and 8 inches. He had a short black beard and moustache and his eyes were blue. Borgus was wearing his typical government attire, which was a grey button up shirt and black tie, grey trousers and black shoes. Unlike Gary, ‘Borgus’ tried to maintain a professional look wherever he went.

 

The two walked through the grid of cement, stepping around people, being mindful not to disturb those who were sleeping.

 

Borgus looked down at a frail man sitting with his head between his knees on a sunbathed concrete slab. The man’s hair was long and grey and had a moustache which was brown and curly and poked from the sides. His skin was wrinkled, and his eyes were closed.

 

‘Borgus,’ Gary said with a strained voice. ‘They refuse to communicate with us.’

 

‘Of course, you idiot’ Borgus said calmly. ‘Wouldn’t you find it hard to talk if you were starving and in their condition?’

 

‘I suppose I would,’ Gary replied soberly.

 

Borgus put his hand into one pocket and returned with what looked like a dispenser of some sort. He pressed the top of it and from it he retrieved a large grey pill.

 

‘Here,’ Borgus said to the man crouched in front of him. He bent down and lifted the man’s head up by his grey hair and pulled his head back.

 

‘Open your mouth,’ Borgus ordered. The man’s eyes rolled to the back of his head, and his jaw fell open. Borgus threw the pill down his throat and rubbed the man’s throat like an animal forced to take medicine.

 

‘Now, what?’ Gary snickered.

 

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