Blinding Vision

See that man in front of us? The one with the long purple coat and shiny hat. That one, there, moving like a pinball through the crowd. That’s him, follow him! We launch like silver metal balls jolting through the morning crowd and into underground walkway. There he is, next to the newsagency, the bakery, the shoe-shiner, there! We bolt past a lady in red who yells as her coffee splashes but the sound fades into the blur as we zip through, weaving through small gaps – pin-striped suits, blue shirts, brown shoes, red ties. He’s getting away. His coat flares as he jumps the turnstile and we do the same, leaping the gates without a ticket. By the time the railway guards react we’re gliding down the stairs towards the platform. We slip through the congestion and close in. A round woman with a triangular hand-bag pops out in front us and for a moment we split, shooting to either side. The man springs off the platform and all of his purple blackens as he disappears into the railway tunnel. We race after him into the heavy air which breathes like a neglected basement. Wooden sleepers bend our shoes as we run between the tracks, further into the darkness. As we round the bend the tunnel roars and we see his coat flapping, sailing and falling to the ground. He scales a ladder and pushes through a man-hole in the ceiling. A circle of light sprays over him and we see the finish on all his garments – his pants, shoes, hat, gloves and even his belt – all purple and gleaming. The walls in the tunnel shudder and screech and we dash up the ladder in chase. At the top we see him shrinking into the sky. The wind dries our eyes and cools our cheeks as we accelerate upwards after him. We stretch out to streamline and the world below us shrinks. We’re gaining on him. He stops at a wooden bridge, suspended in mid-air, and we wonder if we are still suspended in disbelief. He races across the bridge and we follow but the planks give way under our feet and we fall. We’re dropping fast and our suspension of disbelief  slips out from under us. We land back in our chair at the edge of the story.