During the production of the Sinking City, Frogwares commissioned six art pieces from Astor Alexander in which the illustrator should mix Edward Hopper’s style art but with a Lovecraftian twist. Docks is a short story inspired by this artwork.
She’d got outta work early.
This very morning, after she’d quietly wait for him to leave the flat, she had put on her favourite dress and some wonderful shoes. She’d even put on some kinky undergarment (not that she would admit it, though). This wasn’t a special day, the time frame had nothing to do with her efforts.
It was just… It was just that he’d become so distant. With every trip he made to sea, he became more lost and translucent. She wouldn’t have known how to describe it. She tried once, though, to Sheila, before retaining every words of her confession, every feeling which could make her seem weak to her colleague.
This was the first time; her workplace seemed a dangerous place to her. Somewhere you would have to hide your scars and lick them silently, patiently. And so, she did.
Luckily, one day while she was coming home late, her mind filled with stupid remorse like: how would Howard fix himself a hot meal?; she stumbled upon a magazine asking her:
Is your husband distant?
Far behind the bold letter, a vamp was staring at her with black dead eyes, with cold contempt. Thing is, it was kind of a good question, and so she bought the tabloid, with her own money, she thought shyly.
Before she was home, she’d already read the whole things. Learning a few facts along the way. Did you know a press magnate tried to kill Chaplin on a yacht over a promiscuity issue? Neither did she! ‘fore she opened the damn book.
Under a grey sky, walking home, she could picture herself amongst those rich white folks, both hidden and shining. A silent star radiating oh-so-slightly. She wondered what she would have done, seeing someone (her close friend, the oh-so-dear Mr Hearst) brandishing a gun and aiming it at… At Mr Chaplin. In her mind, she pictured herself raising her hands. Trying to push the weapon away. Of course, Howard wasn’t there.
She realised this coming back to her, in front of the big wooden door which led to the stairs which led to her flat which led to their flat. She realised that, but she also knew how she could get him back.
And so, it came that she got off her work early. And she was now standing on the dock. Her feet hurting (My god, did she dislike those shoes, she would never have worn such a thing but the gal in the newspaper had written that men liked heels, and so she tried, and may the Lord have mercy). Standing not-so-still, in her bright dress, with the sun disappearing slowly over the tides as if the sea was just another hungry monster. A long-lost parent of her city, a concrete leviathan which sucked men dry ’til all they had were torn shoes and a bottle of gin.
She thought of Howard, of his strange behaviour. She thought of the long moments he now spent alone in the bathroom, while she heard dripping and wetness from the other side of the door.
She pictured the last time they’d been… Intimate to one another. And she wanted to cry, so damn much.
But she wouldn’t do such a thing, not in public anyway, not while something could still be done.
And it was those tears which, at first, prevented her from noticing the summit of the large black rocks which emerged slowly from the running tides. But then she squinted, as if to reassure herself that some colossal dark claw was actually coming up from the sea floor.
Part of her sighed, thinking well, somebody actually had to erase this city from the world and it turns out it might be Poseidon himself, crushing the sin and the lust and the filth (and the alcohol, Margaret, don’t forget the alcohol) inside the weedy palm of his hand.
The sharp coal fingers, they rose oh-so-slowly from the waves and soon, they obscured all the port, all of the sea.
That’s when she heard the clamour all around. People screaming and shouting. Cars cashing against one another. Glass shattering with the tune of raindrop over the distant sea, oh-so-kind, oh-so-free.
Jagged, crooked teeth were now appearing all over the town, locking them all inside of the megalopolis’ dark belly. With a smile, in between the low buzz of the city muffled cries, she realised Howard might not be coming back tonight. Or ever.
She took off her heels.
If you ended up here, I really do hope you liked what you read and even if you don’t, please feel free to say it in the comment down below. If you liked this piece, please follow, clap ( ’cause that’s what we do in here !), you can also comment, I take good and bad criticism.
With this being said, if you’re interested with the process which led me to write about an artwork I saw online, I talk about my process HERE.
EDIT : You can read the following story HERE.