This one was so odd, so disjointed, and so very vivid... I just had to write it up.
Mark looked out of the window of the train. The section of track they were travelling along was at least four lines wide here. On the furthest line an experimental locomotive was running. It was little more than a cylinder, a connecting rod and a chassis. Mark was just wondering where the boiler was on this strange looking contraption when he looked further up the track to see a giant version of the strange machine. It was as if his vision was a camera and while focusing on the smaller locomotive there and been no clues as to scale until he had turned his head, 'panned' he thought, bringing the enormous machine into frame.
The railway became the roller coaster. The carriages now open top. His fellow passengers were in Victorian costume. An old gentleman a few carriages in front was standing up talking to his fellow passengers. He had his back to the engine. Mark wanted to call out to him. They were at the zenith of the start hill and about to plunge head long into the ride its self. Before Mark could open his mouth the old gentleman was flung onto his back Mark wondered why there wasn't any seat belts.
Mark is walking down a wide spiral staircase... The steps are slightly inclined downwards allowing him to slide. He begins to surf the steps down. It is as if he stands on an invisible board, if he adjusts his weight slightly he can weave from side to side as he speeds downwards. The friction of his shoes prevents him from speeding up too much. He skims across the steps deftly dodging past some American teenagers who are being more cautious. From the brief snatch of their conversation Mark ascertains they have written about the ride in a school assignment but never been to England let alone ridden the staircase.
He was back in his apartment. Mark double checked he had the password correct. If he was to be able to move freely in the city today he would need the password. The alpha numeric code flashed up on the screen once again. He was having difficulty just remembering the first 3 letters. He could not right the code down... well he could but that would cause suspicion at the many checkpoints that had sprung up around the city in the last few months.
He was leaving the compound around his apartment block. Two security men stand by hastily erected crowed control barriers, guarding the only exit . He is handed an identity sticker. He tries to give the password but they aren't interested. He looks at the sticker, it's an old photograph of him, from when he was thinner and had shorter hair. He worries how anyone in authority will recognise him from this old image.
He arrives at the hospital. Steep steps rise up towards the floor he needs. The steps are about 10 feet wide and extend up above his field of view. There are many people perched on the steps, just sitting. He meets Colin climbing carefully down towards him. Colin explains that it is a long climb to the floor Mark needs, so he will raise the ladder the the floor. The steps rise higher and Mark holds on until he is able to step off the rung in to a reception area. There are many receptionists and Mark doesn't know which one to go to. He looks in vain for his doctor's name above each desk. eventually one receptionist takes pity and calls him over. She tells him she doesn't have him down on her list. But even reading the list upside down Mark can see his name "Mark Rymmel", OK close but no coconut he thinks. He points to the name. "OK you can go down if you think that's you" she says "gate 4".
There are many gates all unnumbered. Mark tries to construct a number system counting from the nearest gate. "no that's gate 3" the receptionist calls in a tone that suggests she has to tell people this dozens of times a day. "you don't want to go down gate number 3". Each gate is wrought iron and set into a low wall on sand coloured slabs. They look very 70s suburban, and for some reason, they remind him of his Uncle and Aunt's old garden in Shepperton. He finds gate 4 walks through and descends the stairs. The room he enters is crowded with armchairs and sofas, there are various areas some dimly lit in these he can see tables and chairs. He looks around for somewhere to sit. Nearly every seat is occupied. As he moves around the room, the occupants are becoming restless and clearly distressed by his presence. He decides to sit in the first available seat. Next to a very old man. The old man mumbles something to him then reaches over and places his wrinkled hand on Mark's thigh. Mark quickly slides out of reach. Across from him an intense debate is raging. Mark realises they are talking about Che Guevara. It is clear these people arguing are very intelligent and very psychotic. The most intense, and therefore most psychotic Mark reasons, leans over and tries to draw him into the argument. "If you were about to shoot a man" Mark is transfixed by the unblinking stare of the speaker. He can see every pore on his unshaven face. The man points two fingers at Mark, in the manner a child would to represent a gun in play. "You are about to fire, he is already wounded but he betrayed you" he explains and still he doesn't blink, it is as if blinking will prevent him seeing some reaction that will be of vital importance to him. He continues explaining the scenario "as you pull back the hammer on the gun" he cocks the imaginary gun by pulling his thumb towards him with the edge of his other hand, Mark can almost hear the click of a real pistol cocking. "you aim at his belly, he is a traitor and you don't want this to be a quick death. as you squeeze the trigger he says something to make you realise he was not the traitor you suspected him of being" he pauses for effect "what do you do?" Mark's inquisitor stairs at him expectantly, all eyes are now on him.
"I wouldn't be in that position in the first place." It sounds lame and he knows it won't satisfy this crazy guy.
"not an option. You're there, you have a gun pointing at an Innocent man and the hammer is falling towards the cartridge that will send a bullet deep into his innards. I repeat.." he lowers his voice "what are you going to do?"
Mark thinks and says each word as they come to mind "if I move the gun away I will only have time to change the location of the wound by a fraction of an inch."
"A fraction of a millimeter" interjects the inquisitor. But he seems satisfied and he relaxes and with him so does the rest of the room. Mark thinks he has just avoided real violence by the skin of his teeth.
A woman walks into the room she is not in uniform but her well groomed appearance gives her the air of staff and not patient. Mark approaches her and asks if he is in the correct room to see the doctor. She looks puzzled. "you can't see the Doctor" there is something clearly wrong here Mark is now more apprehensive. And explains that he was told to come here to see the specialist by his GP. "no you will not see the doctor, you are here for neurosurgery" Mark wants to explain there's been a mistake but knows that will be probably what all the more lucid patients here would say. He pretends to be satisfied by her explanation and decides to be compliant... until she is out of sight, as soon as she is he tries to find the stairs back up to reception but can only find a fire escape 'that will do' he thinks and obviously down is the way out. He walks down many flights until he pushes through a set of double doors out into the daylight. Many of the staff are leaving so he slips amongst the crowd and follows the path that winds its way through a garden towards the street and freedom.