IMG_5093.jpeg

The Footbridge 

 

“You’ll be allocated a drone that will stay with you until you start to show signs of change.”

I retrieved my clothes and ID cards and dressed. I left the building, crossed the civic square which was littered with rusting cars, and walked east along the riverbank. The drone followed me emitting a high-pitched whine, its propellors lit by a green LEDs.

After 300 yards with the drone shadowing at 50 feet , I turned west, and crossed the rusting footbridge which spanned the long-abandoned railway lines. A forest of huge self-sown Sycamore trees grew from the trackbed. Some trees so high, that they enveloped the bridge, forming a canopy which seethed in the cool breeze from the river. The branches alive with roosting birds.

The bridge had become an elevated viewing platform onto the wilderness below in which fox cubs played in decaying railway carriages and mice infested first-class seats

 

Instantly the hovering drone was attacked by a pair of Peregrine falcons which swooped silently and with alarming speed out of the semi-darkness. The larger, male bird avoiding the hissing propellors, inverted at the last moment and tore at the underbelly, eviscerating the craft of circuitry and Arduino. 

In one smooth arc, the female raptor caught the plummeting machine in her talons. Still descending, she carried her sparking prey to the river, and released it to join the thousands of mobile phones and laptops being carried to the sea by the iridescent water.

The bird then swept upwards to join the male, and both glided languidly to the tower of the deserted multi-storey carpark, where their noisy young called to them.