Queen Street Mall, Myer Feather
You’re outside Myer, and there is a metal feather floating overhead, and above it are several balconies decorated with iron filigree.
An ibis, walking across the mall, considers you with its dark eyes. It comes in a little closer. You wonder if this is one of the famous Avian Pomps, birds that Death can use as eyes and messengers, when a phone won’t do.
“Go away, bird,” Lissa says. It honks, grumpily, and launches into flight.
“Some of my Avians are far too familiar,” she says.
You look up at the feather it glitters in the light. All around you people walk, oblivious to you and your Tutor.
“Oh, and here we go again. Look above you.”
There are a dozen blue and gold lights, sinking from the heavens, down past old facades and new. Then there are a hundred, and thousand. You start to see forms take shape within the lights, vaguely human. Several stand on the iron feather, peering down at you.
The rest are gyring in soft circles just above the shoppers, a curious dance. You can hear a rising, gentle music. Is that a harp playing?
“Who are they?” you ask.
“We call them Tourists. Used to be all the visitors we had were limited to Stirrers, and they’re bad enough, but now… These ones have come through cracks in the skin between the Underworld and here. Cracks formed during the war on Queen St Mall. That god we fought made a mess of things. These ones are benign, just sneaking back in because they can. Thing is, every time it happens it makes things even thinner.”
“What are they doing?”
“Shopping, of course.”
She claps her hands loudly. And the figures turn towards her, a sharp single movement. “Go away!” she yells.
“You know who I am. Now, go away. Begone. Scat!”
And all at once the air above the mall is empty, and you feel kind of sad. The dance is done, you think, the dancers gone. Part of you wishes you could go and join them. But that’s ridiculous, right?
No-one else has even blinked. “How can they not notice?” you say.
Lissa looks at you and smiles. “No-one knows we’re here or what we’re doing. Or that the soul we are after is right among them. Look around you. What do you see?”
People everywhere, walking into the Myer Centre or the many other shops, strolling to Milanos or the library back at Reddacliff Place. It’s a typically bustling Queen St Mall crowd. And none of them pay you a second glance.
“Look closer,” she points down the mall. And then you see it.
One of the shoppers is glowing blue.
“Yes,” Lissa says, “the dead glow blue.”
You take a step towards the dead soul, and it sees you and yelps.
“Well,” Lissa says. “You better go after him, he’s heading to the centre of the mall, or.” She turns her head. “Damn, something dangerous is building over in South Bank. Maybe we need to get to Victoria Bridge.” She looks at her watch, it’s a Mickey Mouse model. Its arms are pointing in both directions. “We have time. I think. Either way, you better run!”
Queen Street Mall – Central Square: Chase the soul down the mall to the crossroads of Albert and Queen St Mall? Remember Crossroads are dangerous places! You’ll find your self at the base of the south east corner post.
Victoria Bridge, CBD Side: Head back to Victoria Bridge near George Street footpath across from the Casino, but watch for traffic? You don’t want your first day to be your last.