Writers' Relay 1 (Instalment 2) - Joshua Elliot - Theme: "One Guy's Dystopia In A Seemingly Peaceful World"

This post is the second of four instalments for the story 'One Guy's Dystopia In A Seemingly Peaceful World'. See the first instalment to this story here.




....... of eight formed in the black sky, a lone string of stars twisting into two knotted eyes. She was back.


The cold gravel felt Dean pressed against it. The wall curled its brick lip. The streetlights watched him walk beneath them. The wet, tearing tarmac took one upward look at Dean and turned to hot sticky liquid, clinging to the soles of his feet. Dean started to limp/run through the crowds and the Christmas shopping, losing his phone in the crush. She had control over everything; the city was hers. The pavement was on her side; widening the cracks between its separate slabs, snapping at his heels. The walls too; shifting, making a maze of streets Dean once knew. Windows spat glass at him as he ran and a streetlamp sprung like a scorpion tail, narrowly missing his back. Every inanimate part of the city was a means for his murder. She had turned Birmingham against him, causing it to fold in on itself and collapse around Dean. The eyes in the night sky twinkled in sadistic delight.


‘Impossible’ thought Dean.


The shifting streets had led him back to the toy shop, to the crowd of Christmas shoppers and the boiling, aqueous road. What struck Dean first was the silence… then the crowd turned to face him, unanimous. In every socket in every head there was a black night sky and in every black night sky there was a star in the place of a pupil; every one of them trained on Dean. Now, not only were the material parts of the city against him but the crowd too, their eyes replaced with Hers. The bags dropped from their hands, already outstretching towards him. The Bullring followed suit, the scaled back of Selfridges rising and writhing as the architecture of the city continued its crawl towards Dean.


He thought of Mom again and ran into the nearest phone box. He dialed the number he knew off by heart. Again the machine answered for her.


‘You have reached the voicemail service for – ’


‘Mom. Mom, it’s me. It’s Dean again. Don’t go outside. Whatever you do, don’t go outside. Forget the shopping. Forget Christmas. Don’t. Go. Out –’


Dean screamed; blood filled his ear. He ripped the phone handset from the side of his face, its newly-formed teeth snapping. The cord of the telephone writhed, wrapping around him like a snake. The glass panels of the phone box shattered as its walls closed in on Dean. The accumulated sounds of the city seemed to bubble over into a prolonged, diabolical giggle. She looked down on Dean and…......



Writers' Relay 1 | Post 2

Writer: Joshua Elliot

Profile: Joshua Elliott has an undergraduate degree in English and Theatre Studies from the University of Warwick and is currently a student on the M.Res Playwriting Studies programme at the University of Birmingham, for which he was awarded the AHRC/BGP Professional Preparation Masters Award in Dance, Drama and Theatre Arts. He has had his work performed in the West Midlands and Warwickshire and is a recent graduate of the Lyric Hammersmith’s Writers’ Programme.

In addition to his work for the theatre, Joshua has scripted treatments and screenplays for organizations venturing to use film to affect social change. In this capacity, Joshua’s clients have included registered domestic violence charities Tender and Respect, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the UK government’s Department of Health.


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