The Primark Invasion
By Dave Hartley
Location: Primark, Piccadilly Gardens
We hear the robot bug aliens are following the tram lines to the city centre, minutes away from Piccadilly Gardens, so the soldiers point to Primark and beckon to retreat inside. And yes; there, as we push against the fractured glass, the sounds of explosions from the heat rays can be heard in the distance and we look upon this clustered realm of synthetics and special offers as our last venue of hope, our potential graveyard.
I used to hate you for dragging me in here on a Sunday, shopping day, for your cheap basics, socks, hats, necklaces. I would remind you of the slave kids and you would point to the various labels on my current clothes and ask if I thought the other shops were all that different. But I only complained because this place bewilders me. A warehouse of fabrics that has been slightly organised ready for the hungry hordes to pillage and pilfer in basket filling frenzy. It’s the feeling of literally having my clothes ripped from my back that puts me off.
It all seems so disgusting now, at 3am, stalking into the abandoned space like a room from an unfinished computer game. Now that our very existence is threatened, the life of Western luxury is not something we want on our conscience at the pearly gates.
Never mind, soldier on. Survival instincts have long taken over, morals left behind in the idyll of three days ago, and I love you more than ever as you keep a firm clasp of my frightened hand and you draw breath to take nominal leadership again.
‘Right, we need to build a barricade,’ you say, mostly to me but also so that the others can hear and the only thing you don’t realise is how proud of you the geek inside me has become. Alien invasions is supposed to be my area, but I have been floundering like a dying fish.
The soldiers, of course, have begun this task already, but they are periphery, technical authorities and glad of an organiser such as you to take control of their brief; we sixteen, the hapless band of cinemagoers whom they found camped down in screen 14 of the Odeon six hours ago. We had stuck together, feasting on popcorn and slushies for two nights, not daring to venture further than the foyer as one by one our mobiles slowly died.