Splitting Image – 1

This is an illustrated, speculative and auto-fictional, short story! I hope you’ll like it! All the pictures were taken a year ago by Marco Vinagre in Kings Cross, London but coincidentally, my hair looks nearly the same colour today 🙂

Splitting Image – 1

I put my mask on, crawl carefully through the torn, cobwebbed chicken wire and step in a new world. Ivy is growing on crumbling walls and what looks like a giant Ferris wheel lays flat and motionless nearby. This must have been a fun park, now lost and desolate, even under the clear spring sky. A mildewed digital ticket booth seems eerily empty, especially as it seems to have been optimised for large queues.

Yet I am the only one inside. It’s amazing. I had wanted to come back to Urbex – urban exploration – for a while, and this is already a highlight. I can’t believe I found it by chance, as I was walking by it after a photoshoot in a remote neighbourhood. I couldn’t resist its appeal.

I walk in front of a dirty grey building that claims to be a shop, only containing empty shelves. I feel the urge to take a picture, but my phone seems off. That’s odd, as I thought I had enough battery. Never mind. I can still have a good look around and come back later.

A big poster on the “shop” entrance explains that the “Technomagic theme park” has been closed because it violated some health and safety regulations. 

I promise myself I will be careful, but I really doubt this abandoned park can be that dangerous. The issue probably came from malfunctioning machines, which have now clearly stopped.

I wander deeper in the park and find an overgrown area full of broken mirrors. I avoid the shards carefully, and reach a well kept building. The wallpaper is a patchwork of pictures showing focusing people, bent spoons, and flying furniture. A flyer, abandoned in a corner, boasts that you are supposed to glimpse other people’s thoughts in this room. If it really worked, maybe that’s why it closed, I chuckle inwardly. There’s nobody to help me test it, anyway, and I go back outside, briefly blinded by the natural light.

I step over vines and twigs and marvel at the huge wheel, which has destroyed an entire building when it fell. It’s sleek and strange. Nearby, I manage to read a text carved in a small platform. Apparently, the wheel was using magnetic levitation to stay upwards! This is incredible, but it makes me uneasy at the same time. I hope that no one was in the building when the so-called amusement ride fell.

I walk around it for a whole minute, when I see an amphitheatre, curiously looking unscathed. The stone steps aren’t chipped, and the outgrown plants are so stylish that they could belong to a posh garden in the city center. Below, in the arena itself, I can see the entrance to a dark tunnel. Intrigued, I venture down. 

A metal sheet saying “Splitting Image” is nailed next to the tunnel. I pick up a broken smart tablet and illegible paper flyers on the ground. What were probably explanations or instructions have been erased by rain and time. I stare at the entrance. It’s not pitch black like I first thought it was. The surface in front of me is sparkly and shimmery, and buzzes with a strange sound, half crackling electricity, half static noise. 

I take a pen from my purse and risk it in the opening. Nothing happens. I risk a banana, and nothing happens either. I decide that if the banana is safe, then I can enter.



Pictures by Marco Vinagre

Model, writing: me

Dress from a charity shop

Mask: gift from 10 years ago

Make up: Kat Von D beauty

Luna Boots: Disturbia

Hoodie: Cyberdog

Jacket: Twistxturn from Topshop

Harness: Alien Baby Co

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