Circumnavigating Suburbia

(Draft 1) Circumnavigating Wallace Terrace

Wallace Terrace’s farmer’s market was unusually busy for the early hour that it was. For an observer, the behaviour of the civilians would also appear very peculiar. While busy public spaces usually resound with shouting, whistling and general bustle, there was none such ruckus here. Such a silence could surely mean nothing good.

In fact, the majority of civilians in Wallace Terrace that day practically crept from stall to stall. Some of the stallholders attempted conversation, but the most they got in return was a nervous start. It was almost as though those that busied the market weren’t there for shopping. Most peculiar indeed!

The cheery-mouthed Sally was the most notable exception to this rule. She skipped all about in red-spotty stockings and her laughter followed her, just a step behind, like a little child nagging at her skirts. There was a magnetism about her – literally. If one looked closely, it seemed that she led the current of market-goers along, as though the leader of some pack.

She turned a corner, and it was here that our observer might have glimpsed the face behind the strange production. Sally saw a gentleman hovering at the stall behind her, and called out. “Howard… fancy seeing you here. I found some of your books in the attic the other day. I’ll send them to your new address. Well… I’ll be going.”

Howard coughed, red-cheeked at being seen. In the stall behind him, a young woman frowned, and muttered something about ‘the disgustingly flirtatious ex’. The mutter seemed to be caught up, and brought along the whole line of pedestrians. The man behind her gave a wistful sigh, the man behind him, a murmur of near-formed vengeance.

Sally waltzed from Wallace Terrace, and the line of stalkers flowed on behind her.

(Draft 2) Circumnavigating Jarranup Museum

Jarranup Museum was unusually busy. For an observer, the behaviour of the civilians would also appear very peculiar. While busy public spaces usually resound with shouting, whistling and general bustle, there was none such ruckus here. Such a silence could surely mean nothing good.

In fact, the majority of civilians in Jarranup Museum that day practically crept from exhibit to exhibit. Few of them appeared even to be looking at the dinosaur bones and murals. It was almost as though those that busied the museum weren’t there for the artefacts. Most peculiar indeed!

The cheery-mouthed Sally was the most notable exception to this rule. She skipped all about in red-spotty stockings and her laughter followed her, just a step behind, like a little child nagging at her skirts. There was a magnetism about her – literally. If one looked closely, it seemed that she led the current of museum-enthusiasts along, as though the leader of some pack.

She turned a corner, and it was here that our observer might have glimpsed a change in Sally’s role. Sally saw a gentleman hovering at the cave-painting before her, and gazed at him as though struck. “What a delightfully handsome man.”

Following the path of his attention, she found that he was watching a woman who was in turn looking around the next corner. “Is she his wife?”

Needing to find out, she causally started to wander after him. The crowd casually began to wander after her, too. The young man muttered wrathfully as he observed Sally’s interest, and the mutter seemed to be caught up, and brought along the whole line of pedestrians.

At closing time, the administration was puzzled that it was still busy. One guard even said to another: “I’m sure I’ve seen that woman with the red-spotty stockings go past several times.”

But having forcibly removed one link from the chain of walkers, the others seemed to naturally drift out to, and it was no longer a problem.

(Draft 3) Circumnavigating Main Street Police Station

Main Street, despite being Main Street, was unusually busy for 3am in the morning. For an observer, the behaviour of the civilians would also appear very peculiar. While busy public spaces usually resound with shouting, whistling and general bustle, there was none such ruckus here. Such a silence could surely mean nothing good.

In fact, the majority of streetwalkers on Main Street that morning practically crept from light pole to light pole. They could be seen flitting like moths through each pool of white. And their dawdling did not appear consistent with most people’s desire to remain on a cold urban street at that hour. Most peculiar indeed!

The two policemen lounging against a wall, watching the oddness warily, were the most notable exception to this rule. The junior of the two was questioning the other about it. “Say, they all seem awfully suspicious. I just cannot work out what law they could be breaking. They’re just walking in the wrong way…”

The senior grinned. “It is a problem, really. It’s happening more and more, since certain social medias had layouts that encouraged such behaviour. I’ve not seen one this large scale for ages. There’s no leader to this one, either – I think they came full circle. Hilarious!”

“But… what exactly…”

“A line of stalkers.”

“How do we clear ‘em off here?” The junior asked.

“It’s easy. They circumnavigate each other. We just have to arrest one.”

Poor Howard was embarrassed again. Soon, the street cleared. As people were rounded into the lobby, many awkward reunions ensured. It was practically an exes’ convention, alongside the blushing unrequited lovers, the nervous plotters, and common oddities. A general charge was announced, and slowly but surely, the realisation came over the crowd.

Sally’s handsome man murmured an expletive, and the mutter seemed to be caught up, reaching an uproar amongst those gathered. Soon, it became a laugh. A howl. They looked positively merry in the absurdity of their humiliation.

“Oh, alright.” The senior said. “But if I see any of you guys again, it’s the courtroom for you.”

Sally waltzed out first, and the line of Facebookers dispersed behind her.