Thursday, April 9, 2009

Looking out across this vast urbanscape, reminiscent of São Paulo, concrete high rises as far as the eye can see, I wonder how it's come to this. I'm very high up, on the open-sided top floor of a building undergoing further construction to make it taller still. In fact a good number of the buildings seem to be undergoing similar upward construction, evidenced by the huge cranes on top that swing around dropping steel girders into place with a clang. A fierce wind blows, giving me the sensation that if I don't retreat into the lower, finished section of the building, I'll blow right off the top.

I'm inside now, but a more imminent danger threatens. I'm on the hit list of some sinister agency that's hunting down dissenters and "disappearing" them. This, it turns out, is part of the purpose of the cranes on top of the buildings - the crane arms swing around and pluck dissenters out of the buildings, then deliver them to the head of the agency, a shadowy figure who inhabits one of the buildings.

A dark-haired woman in a white blouse and gray skirt comes rushing in. She speaks to me in Portuguese, telling me to come quickly. I follow her to another floor below that has no windows. It is dark, damp-smelling, and apparently safe, at least for now. She tells me to wait here, then rushes out as quickly as she appeared. I wait quietly in the dark, my heart pounding. The only sound now is that of my own breathing. I awaken here, and the sense of menace slowly dissipates.

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