THE  SPIRE             
  
  ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE WAS A     
   BENEVOLENT SPIRE, TOWERING WELL  
  ABOVE  OUR TALLEST TREES. IT WAS  
  CLAD IN WHITE SCALES, AND SHAPED  
        LIKED  A   MUSHROOM.        
       WE  LOVED  IT  DEARLY.       
  
  IT PREDATED US BY  MANY  YEARS,   
  AND WE DID NOT KNOW ITS ORIGINAL  
   BUILDERS.  THEY  HAD USED  ITS   
   HOLLOW  BODY  FOR MANY  STRANGE  
   PURPOSES - A  WOMBLIKE PLACE OF  
   GESTATION, A STORAGE  OF STRAGE  
  FLUIDS, A TEMPLE TO SOME KIND OF  
     ARCANE   DEITY.                
  
    WE  WERE  GRATEFUL  FOR   ITS   
  PRESENCE, AND  HONORED  IT  THE   
   ONLY  WAY  WE   KNEW  HOW:  BY   
         BREAKING       IN.         
  
                                          
                                          
  
  THIS PLACE WE CALLED  OUR CITY:   
  WAVY AND  FRACTURED,  WITH  EACH  
  COURTYARD ON A DIFFERENT HEIGHT,  
   ROADS BECOMING ROOFS  BECOMING   
  DRAINS. AND  SOME PLACES,  LIKE   
  THE SPIRE,  NOBODY HAD ACCESSED   
  FOR  MANY  YEARS. ONCE ITS WALLS  
   ARE  JUST TOO  HIGH,  AND  THE   
  INTERNAL ROUTES TO LABYRINTHINE,  
  A  PLACE AMONG  OTHERS IS EASILY  
            OVERLOOKED.             
  
  SO, BASICALLY, THAT SUMMER  THE   
  FOUR OF US SNUCK AND CLIMBED AND  
  CRAWLED FOR WEEKS, SEARCHING FOR  
  A SECLUDED PLACE TO DO DRUGS AND  
   PLAY  MUSIC  ON OUR HANDHELDS.   
   INSTEAD  WE  FOUND  VAST LUNGS   
   DRAINED   OF  THEIR  CATALYST    
  SLUDGE,  AND A BIRDS-EYE VIEW TO  
  MAKE SENSE  OF OUR  ROAMINGS FOR  
          YEARS   TO  COME.         
  
  A  CENTRAL  SPINE,  A  STAIRCASE  
  AROUND IT,  THE  SEVEN TOROIDAL   
  LUNGS STACKED OUTSIDE,  AND  THE  
  CONTROL ROOM ON TOP. THE SOCKETS  
  FOR ITS EYES. THE SMALLER SPIRES  
   FOR  RADIATING   CONSCIOUSNESS   
            INVITATIONS.            
  
                                          
  
  IN TWENTY FOURTEEN, THE TOWER IS  
  TOPPLED AND EATEN BY  MACHINES.   
   AFTER A WHILE, SOMETHING NEW IS  
   CONJURED IN ITS  PLACE.  IT'S A  
  TINY MAW  AT FIRST, SHORTER THAN  
   US, AND  WE  LET  IT  BE.  OUR   
   JOURNEYS STILL END AT ITS FEET.  
  
  BUT THEN WE ARE  BETRAYED.  THE   
  NEW TOWER  EATS US. OTHERS  ARE   
  SUCKED INSIDE. NEW BUILDINGS ARE  
   MANIFESTED  OVERNIGHT, ONLY TO   
  DISAPPEAR IN THE  EVENING  FOG.   
  FOR A  WHILE  ITS SOME  KIND  OF  
  TIMESHARE SCAM. GOONS ARE PLACED  
  OUTSIDE, AND WE GET BEATEN  UP A  
   FEW  TIMES,  AND  STOP  GOING.   
  
  IIRC  IT'S CURRENTLY  OWNED  BY   
  SOME ENERGY DRINK BARON WHO USES  
  IT TO HOLD ALL HIS FOURTY  EIGHT  
             CARS.....