The Departed (an excerpt) | Teen Ink

The Departed (an excerpt)

October 26, 2008
By Daniel Blumin PLATINUM, Tenafly, New Jersey
Daniel Blumin PLATINUM, Tenafly, New Jersey
38 articles 0 photos 1 comment

The city was somewhat deserted, and the massive giant pillars of stone, long abandoned by humans, swayed silently in the wind. Nearing the river, the strong blue current of water that flowed through out the metropolis, stood banking the complex buildings of men, in a utter maze, a stone jungle, yet no people flourished, and that fact in itself gave an eerie feeling to the city. But, as much as there was an absence of humans, there was not an absence of life. Bees fluttered around their hives, their wings beating a solemn whispering rhythm into the quiet air of the used to be populated city. Thousands of birds flew through the desolate jungle, a vast whirlwind of colors, laid out into an beautiful array of light. The piercing chirps of the birds cut into the silent rhythms of the bees, and together, a vast symphony of natural instruments arose.
In all essence, animals thrived, where in the past humans had flourished, now began to house more and more species and a growing number of communities, quickly growing into ecosystem where the humans had left the city to erode into a pile of rubble. But maybe the question to be asked was not, why was life so grandeur in such a large absence? Maybe the question to be asked was where were the humans?
The river snaked lazily onward, and on the horizon, a small bridge loomed, rusted from the many torrents of pounding rain, and the way the river lapped at it’s steel foundations. Across the bridge appeared a sight that was nearly as unexpected as the bridge, a lone factory resting upon an artificial island made by man. Nearly as old as the bridge itself, the factory was a sight for sore eyes, covered in rust, and eroded brick inlay, that formed small piles of rubble along the flanks of the wall. It was easy to see that the factory was simply in shambles, much to the relief of the fish, who had endured the terrible chemicals seeping into their skin for as long as any school could remember. The massive pillars of orange brick formed rough and crude looking points for giving off excess steam, and releasing pollution into the now clean air. Steel beams and twisted supports could be seen in the cracks of the eroded walls, which on the factory there were many, snaking all along the corpus of the building itself. In all essence, it was a steel mill, a cold hearted processing plant.
The entrance to the factory was uninviting, two heavy, metal doors, charred by decay and erosion, and yet compared to the proportion of the building, they were miniscule, and that fact alone took away a small amount from the overall ferocity of the building. The doors, were ajar, and nothing could be seen inside, and entering the factory, was as easy as stepping into a monsters den.
Once inside, the crude interior of the factory opened up like a screen. The building was old, and as proof of that, most of the gleaming metal cross hairs and supports had turned a crisp shade of bright orange, and were leopard spotted with brown blotches. The bricks that were the main decoration in the building had already fallen to pieces, and chunks of stone lay embedded in steel supports. Cracks crept all around the building like a giant spider web, and black oily tendrils of blackened walls showed through the microscopic openings in the bricks. A mass of giant pipes of all contrasts and sizes littered the walls, and opened up on the ceilings, pipes that used to carry water. Large tubes jutted out of walls, and at faulty joints emitted many bursts of pneumatic steam. Angled doors led to rooms with vast varieties of metal working machines, and many conveyors used to carry on parts, but now they stood motionless. Not even filled with the artificial life they once had. They were dead.

Maybe the oddest parts of the factory were the many wires and chains that hung from the blackened ceiling. Many chains were movable, and hanging, and they all came in a variety of different shapes and sizes, snaking all over the walls. A giant cylinder used to hold many gallons of molten metal hung on a pulley system suspended by three chain links. Wires hung of the walls like mangled strips of spaghetti, jerking and emitting a casual amount of sparks every so often at severed ends. Moving steadily from the door way, a large balcony came into view, hanging over a bottomless drop into the unknown abyss below. This is the point, where many realize, there is more to this excuse for a factory then meets the eye. This was only the first floor. Leaning over the rusted thick rails of the protected balcony, a view came into sight. A view over a large drop into the sewer below. Yeah, the factory was connected to a sewage canal.
Underneath the balcony, large tunnels crisscrossed their ways across the bottom of the factory. Sewage spewed out of metal grates, and it drained off into the maze of massive tunnels below. A pool of greenish liquid formed at the bottom of the pit, and it could be seen draining off into a behemoth tunnel, that was at least 20 feet in diameter, and from the spot on the balcony, it looked like a barrel of a gun. A very large gun. Heading back away from the balcony, swerving to the massive looming entrance, another path lead in the opposite direction, and when turning the corner, another balcony showed up, and below another picture appeared. A large platform, with a wide open space, loomed out in the distance. The platform was surrounded by walls of the upper floor, and was almost a courtyard, if t hadn’t been for the last wall to not be there. The view, off the platform, was off into the same sewer observed by the balcony, and apparently the architect had ran out of fresh ideas, and decided to create this dull open wide space. Large pillars held up from the floor to the ceiling, to support the base of the first floor, and apparently that was the use f this wide open platform. Large bars locked away the perilous plummet into the churning sewage below, and giant ventilators and fans littered the ceiling, as if to show that the smell from the sewage was that bad.
Out of the darkness, a pair of eyes blinked. They were in the small part of the balcony, and were the only thing that could be seen of the shallow creature wielding them. They blinked ever so softly, and it was observed that the eyes were a magnificent shade of chestnut. The creature batted its eye lashes, and the white light in the eyes went out for a split second. In that moment, those eyes didn’t belong to a creature, they belonged to a human. The city wasn’t abandoned after all.

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