(With thanks to The Antipodean)
I still remember the unique smell of Longlake, a gentle musk that carried on the breeze and wrapped itself around you like a comfortable old coat. It blew down from the power station on the hill, swooping over the rendering plant and through the sewage works before bringing its complex odour to the main street and the children’s playground.
Ah, the playground. Many happy hours I spent in that glorious fenced-off paradise, digging through the damp woodchips beneath my feet and searching for treasure – a glinting shard of broken glass here, a mysterious used hypodermic needle there. I still remember the time I found a strange-shaped balloon with a tiny reservoir of cloudy liquid in it. That was what Longlake was like – full of mystery and hidden wonder, from the burnt-out warehouse on the edge of town to the constant screech of brakes and occasional crunches of impact that came from the section of road the locals called “decapitation corner.”
How I long to go back there, even now. They tell me that the sinkhole swallowed everything from the pawn shop to the prison, but maybe one day I’ll head back to ol’ Longlake, just to see.