‘They weren’t grates,’ says my supervisor when I ask. ‘They were part of a cage. You weren’t meant to see.’
I remember the furry thing and my mind recoils. I do not want to know. Santana is a huge man with hairy, tattooed arms wearing a red velvet tunic. He laughs a lot but each time he opens his mouth I am treated to the overpowering stench of his foetid breath. His wrists are bleeding from where he has recently slashed himself. Peter Obsidian starts to tell me about the wounds but Santana kicks the smaller man in the crotch and makes an obscure reference to untimely death. Peter is a black man with white paint on his skin, but with a layer of charcoal dust on his face simulating a white man blackening his face to look like a black man. Maximum Franchise considers himself the only approved idol for under-fives. He says this dripping pus from his ears, those massive ears which frighten me even more than the silence of the clown does.
The clown offers me the opportunity to be born again. She says it will take twelve hours tops. She will have to fracture my skull in several places so that the bones shift over one another to fit the canal.
She is not very convincing.