The Caitiff – Paragraph Extract #4

The advertisements seemed to breed, and grew to occupy an even greater stretch of the city, with great banners tumbling from the taller buildings; huge things of heavy plastic sheeting and blinding colours. Half-naked women and smart-looking men stared down into the streets with gently mocking expressions of superiority. I am here, they seemed to say, because you are uglier than I, because I am an ideal to strive towards, a goal; they were Britain’s answer to the American Dream, tuxedoed conservatives with oily black hair and perfect teeth, slim women with lingerie clinging to their bodies like badly-painted tumours and pale children with spotless shirts and knitted jumpers, smiling severely at their parents, any innocence replaced by a knowledge of manipulation. Above it all, in the white clouds of a summer skyline severed with man-made intersections, the pale hand of the Money-God stirred the breeze; that such banners would flutter against the buildings to which they were tied. They were sails, I thought once, like Manchester was the next Ark and the disciples of Money were the chosen passengers.

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