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Brisneyland by Night – Part Two

by Angela Slatter

‘Why didn’t we come here first?’

Our last stop: a house in Ascot that I didn’t remember seeing before.

He shrugged. ‘Always the last place you look. It’s glamoured.’

He was right – I had to concentrate to see it properly. It got easier, but still the building seemed, well, slippery.

The house was set far back from the road, in the middle of an overgrown garden. Trees led up the driveway, grown so tall and close they formed a canopy overhead. Flying foxes squeaked, dark patches against the lightening sky.

I got out of the cab. ‘You’re not going anywhere, right?’

‘You paid me yet?’


‘I ain’t going nowhere.’

I wanted to go to bed. I’d spent the whole night picking through deserted houses. In West End, I’d nearly been spitted on the umbrella of an especially grumpy old lady whose wings unfurled in shock when she found me in her squat. That was fun.

West End’s filled with Weyrd. Everyone thinks it’s just students, drunks, artists, writers, a few yuppies waiting for an upgrade, junkies and the Saturday markets for cheap fruit and vegies. There’s also a metric butt-load of Weyrd, who do their best to blend in. In suburbs with a pretty strange human population, they generally succeed. The smart ones use glamours to hide what they are.

But this was Ascot; so upmarket that house prices could give you a nosebleed

I pushed hard on the doorbell. If anyone answered I’d ask if they were interested in a pyramid-selling scheme. People invariably backed away then, like you had an eye in your forehead.

No one came.

Through the front windows I couldn’t see too much: dark tidy rooms, some expensive pieces of furniture, a chandelier catching strays streaks of dawn light.

Out the back, steps lead down to a sunken garden. From the vantage of the veranda I could see it was set out as a maze, about five feet high; you might lose track of your path if you were short or a young kid.

Empty house. Why the glamour? I might have given up but that was the kicker. Something was amiss. Where do you hide a whole bunch of kids? Twenty-five kids in four weeks; all from unhappy homes so it looks like they’ve run away.

How do you make them disappear without a trace? A glamour.


Fun stuff!

Posted by: Aidan | March 6, 2009 11:07 PM

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