Saturday, 6 June 2020

'The Rights to the City' by Farhana Khalique

The foxes have taken over the city. They started from underneath backyard sheds, had shoes thrown at them. Then, they ate from pizza boxes at nine o’clock in the morning, staring back at the bin men. Later, they went to schools and libraries, stepping over the abandoned books, digging up parks and vegetable gardens at will. They’ve now moved into the new luxury apartment blocks, where they trot along yawning corridors and ignore the view. No queues at the doctors’ for them, and first class on the trains. No delays or cancellations. They even go for a dip in the lido, then spread themselves on slices of terraced roofs missing solar panels. No longer wraith-like and blinking, these are plump and devouring, as bold as fake tan.
But the foxes know that there are still people outside the centre, in the forest and in the mountain. Curled up, dreaming. Waiting to come back, to live together again, and not fight over scraps.

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'The Rights to the City' was first published in Things Left and Found by the Side of the Road: Bath Flash Fiction Volume Three in 2018.

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