I walk up the street and the darkness of the early hours surrounds me. Flickering street lights hum among bare tree branches. Silhouettes dance across shuttered shop fronts. A fox lurks behind a phone box and noses through discarded food wrappers.
The low drone of occasional traffic ceases. For a few moments, no cars pass. Only the steady rhythm of my footsteps breaks the silence. Darkened windows gaze down upon me. Could I be the only living person left?
London briefly raises her veil and I see her true face. Centuries of history dance in her eyes, a knowing smile playing about her lips. The blood, sweat and tears of millions roll down her pock-marked face. The city is mine.
A motorbike roars past and tears open the night as it scatters fallen leaves in its noisy wake. Their dry whispering tries to tell me something, but the illusion is broken.
I am just another citizen walking home at 4am.
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