The Primark Invasion

‘Thomas: you, Dave and Mike grab these stands and put them in front of all the doors and all along the windows. Don’t forget the other side, the Market Street entrance,’ You pause for breath, super-speed cogs working overtime. ‘Me and Gemma and Lucy and Tim will strip the clothes off the hangars. Too flammable, they can’t be used as part of the barricade.’

You turn to me. Your hand releases from mine and lands, instead, upon my chest.

‘Take the others, build a hiding place in the middle of the room with whatever you can find. Mannequins, wheely hangers, whatever; we should stick together for now until we know what direction they’re coming from.’ No-one argues, least of all me. ‘And be quiet everyone, no need to attract more attention.’

I leave your side to do as you say. The other members of our band have vacant looks pasted across their faces. They gave up with thought long ago, obeying orders until the inevitable end. I try to pep up my lot, but I don’t really have your performing skills.

The soldier’s radios crackle as they rearrange your barricade the way they need it and take up positions, guns mounted.

We wheel together some menswear stands to create a five-walled structure that backs against the central swimwear wall. I lie some of the mannequins over the top to create a roof and we shuffle inside. You make some adjustments when you rejoin us.

‘It needs to look like a pile of rubbish. If they get in here, hopefully they will just pass over it.’

One of the soldiers shouts something over to us. We take it as a cue to hustle into the makeshift shelter. You back yourself into me and I wrap my arms around your waist. I glance around at the group as they bustle in.

I can’t help but assess the character of our band of survivors; who is strong, who weak. Who is unhinged, who is a potential government spy, which of us inadvertently attracted the aliens down with some misguided and highly illegal radio transmission. In the dark corner, I allow myself to smile. We were readers of newspapers, eaters of chicken, watchers of blockbusters, not the characters from them. At times of catastrophe, no matter how wild, it’s the normality you recognise.

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3 Responses to “The Primark Invasion”

  1. January 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm, Tweets that mention Rainy City Stories - The Primark Invasion -- said:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Isabel Joely Black, Martin, Daniel Carpenter, Bad Language, Bad Language and others. Bad Language said: The brilliant @lonlonranch has this he also features in our second anthology […]

  2. February 01, 2011 at 11:09 am, Benjamin Judge said:

    Brilliant stuff.

  3. February 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm, richard owain roberts said:

    i lived in manchester, england and they said ‘prImark’.

    i live in cardiff, wales and they say ‘prEEmark’.

    ‘s all good yo.


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