By Mark Perry
There's a pie in the middle of the road. It sits boldly on the dotted white line unfazed by the passing traffic. No foil dish weakling, it demands respect. This is an "Alpha" pie. Given antlers it would rut with the best of them.
Driving home from work you pass the pie. It intrigues you. You wonder how it got there: how it positioned itself so perfectly. You pull your car over to the side of the road and get out. As with all pies its contents remain hidden; imprisoned behind thick pastry walls and sealed shut with a rugged golden crust. You stand on the kerb trying to visualise what's inside. Nothing fancy, probably something traditional given its rustic good looks.
As you cross to the middle the sunlight intensifies. It reflects off the pie's glazed surface causing you to shield your eyes. You feel reverential, as if approaching a holy artefact.
You bend and try to pick up the pie but it's too heavy. Perhaps it's someone's idea of a joke: fixing it to the road. But if that was the case you should at least be able to tear the crust and sides away. You strain some more but eventually give up. Steam rises from two slits cut into the pastry top. You kneel down and inhale but the pie is odourless.
Drivers honk horns and shout obscenities at you as they speed past. You realise you're on all fours in the middle of a busy road, nose pressed against the pie crust. Embarrassed, you try to stand but can't lift your head. You're briefly aware of an astonishing gravitational force before you're sucked face first through the two small slits and into the centre of the pie. Your body is shredded. Only pink pulp remains.
The pie now has its filling. It walks to the other side of the road and waits to be picked up by a supermarket delivery van.
Mark Perry lives and works in Manchester
Tuesday, March 11
By Mark Perry
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