You should know -- but I'll tell you anyways -- that Literville is more than just a city. Just look at how big it is! Hold on, don't just float around up there in the clouds like you're looking at Google Maps; come on down! Go to ground level. Don't be afraid to get dirty. Get in these streets, walk through some alleys, buy a Coke at a liquor store if you want (or whatever you like, it's on me). But please, don't act like that! Like what? Like a tourist! Don't you know what they do to newbies? Well, she's got lots of little blocks I can drop you off in. Hmm, today let's take a walk in a nice borough they call "Bridge."
Up in Bridge, there’s a place where people go to get flipped over on their heads. For a man like Gabril, so bold and timid all at once, the chill of his first encounter with an angel teases his future like a dancing monkey within a gypsy’s crystal ball. Gabril is waking up this morning in a sewer. It’s dark and cold, and he can hear the drops of water sweating off the thick pipes all around his head. He is chained to one of these pipes, swinging from his feet like a topsy-turvy hangman. This leaves his arms dangling and his nerves believing there's an army of invisible ants marching up his hands.
Up in Bridge, you’ll see, there are millions of people. Gabril is one of those “off the boat” suckers looking for a new life, but he has ended up … where are we exactly? You could be in a lawn chair on your lawn, I don’t know, but Gabril is busy getting snapped at by rats and amphibious insects cheering on for his savory sweat to fall into their wide mouths ... mandibles. Most of it freezes before dripping off of his astroturf chin. This side of town -- well, on the surface side, of course -- has a lot of esteem these days. He’s come to Bridge from far away to find love, or at least someone he found on an app for love.
Soon after he awakes he’s sleeping again, dreaming he's high or with a girl -- likely both -- somewhere magical with drugged honey and pixies buzzing around their heads. The only heat comes from the wet concrete and bustling city surrounding him. When he awakes again, now in deep darkness, he notices a gangster guy winding up to hit him across his middle with a baseball bat. Inspiration sparks the man, and a change of heart directs his aim at Gabril's knee. WUDDAH, WUDDAH, and the hits keep coming. Remember I told you not to look like a tourist? This is what they do to new faces ... or knees. Eventually, the knee dislocates and, upon seeing this, the man seems to suddenly realize he’s not at a home-run derby.
The lady, his muse that has brought him this far, inserts into his mind now. He recalls giddily their conversations over months of in-app chatting. She was telling him once about a time that she (not asked) told her professor she wasn’t going to take an exam. The fireball then said that he’d be better off balling the paper up so he could attach it to his retarded tie and gag himself on it. Interestingly enough, she said something similar to a census surveyor, or maybe a door-to-door evangelist; I don’t quite remember. This fiery attitude is apparently what Gabril is excited about.
He hasn’t screamed for help this whole time in the sewer, not even uttered an "ouch," and he’s the one being beaten on!
Gabril finally watches a new hench-guy appear, now without a bat. The fuzzy silhouette cuts him down from his chains and lets his teeth bite the reeking floor; a few roaches scamper up to welcome him with kisses and smells. He notices that the ice around his mouth tastes vaguely of piss. His leg is numb having given up on signaling its pain to him, but he lifts himself aglow with a new passion.
“Hey man, looket. You pass' the test,” the now sharp silhouette man says to him.
“Izat all? I-- Can I jus go?”
“Of course you can. I mean, fine for me. Welcome to Bridge.”
He does the broke-leg shuffle past a netherworld market through heaps of cattle and mules, sick beggars, and rich merchants, getting his first glimpse of the slimy sewers bustling under a massive city. He goes all the way to a storm drain where he catches a face-full of tasteless slush. A piece of frozen urine slides off his mustache, and he decides to toss it down to treat a lucky rat friend. Reaching out of the drain like a hangry clown, he awkwardly pulls himself onto a major commercial street in middle Bridge.
Merci pour la lecture!