It all started and ended in the City of Towers: dancing stones and limbs of air rooted in the flow of credit which was desire which was my food, my flesh and my mind. I was the princess of stones and the prince of silicates; my words, my gestures, my teeth were so delicately accurate. No longer a grub born out of empty sleeping shells — indeed, I leaked flaming blue yearning through never-healed wounds after having died and been resurrected seven times — I knew the glory of simpler days was already gone and so were the times of toiling with foot and bone and eating from unused ashtrays.

I walked through sticky streets covered in secretions and secrets. Crests made out of the hive mind’s unconscious circled the powerful Towers that gazed at and into us. They knew everything and yet did nothing besides send out gentle wisps of furry smoke that littered the air in spring time. Seeds of dreams, these tendrils were still empty of wishes and their taste was not dissimilar to that of the unformed words we all ate before ever allowing them to be uttered and grow. To myself and those like me, whose veins were bloated with coins and thus more vulnerable to market fluctuations, these were soothing velvety balms which offered a deliciously hard-to-find mindfulness. Now that my body lies broken and hangs stretched out from the metal poles that pepper the dead City centre, I wish I could once more taste these appetising slivers of understanding, to dream one last time before I fade away into the nothingness of the invisible hands that cradle the world.

I felt the hum and the stir of lightning snails and insulated frogs; the voices of agendered memories that walked hand in hand on the streets of the great metropolis; the melting songs of lovely creatures no one could ever see; and the screeching produced by my fans and lovers, a multi-faceted multitude of tasty individuality followed by their own stars with legs. Some were content to look at me, whilst others, braver than the average, collected the coins I left on my wake, hoping to share some of the burden entrusted to me, the Dancer, princess of stones and prince of silicates. “We are the world’s fat wallets,” said the Poet once, “and our phlegm is what keeps our lords, the Towers, in their hallowed immobility.” Amen, amen, amen, my dear undeparted friend. Though I will not miss the dreaded rulers of our City, I will long for your succulent thoughts and the serendipitous times when we would meet by chance during our daily toil.

After hours of walking, I lay down on the ground and prepared for a dance. My followers formed a circle around me and crafted a holy seriousness with their buzzing attachments. Pheromones whirred in the air and left chemical trails of love, limbs were raised to the skies, bated breaths stared at me, a tremor rustled below us, but when a feeling between dizziness and the sublime took over my mind and my movements, my consciousness melted within the market flows that powered myself and the City. I became many beings at the same time and saw their existences, their smells and their values in arbitrary, unrelatable scales. One in particular shone brightest in the manifold diamond of my mind: a spiritual creature, living in infinite existence, immeasurable in time and space, wishing for a greater being’s forgiveness when that forgiveness — and the crime to be forgiven — were inside the creature itself all along. Covered in a pale brown sheen, with gangly limbs and dotted white spheres in one of its extremities, it seemed frail and unstable, a body that changed, agitated by many winds. I could see the faint lines of desire that flowed within and without its sickly frame, inviting spirits and souls to run through it with violence and kindness, kissing it as they stole valuable, life-giving silicates. What a life this creature led! I could read its emotions and memories: I saw it surrounded by alien structures, locked inside crystal palaces bathed in cold light, drinking poisons that nevertheless sustained its life and prevented its brown coating from becoming brittle and wrinkly. Most of all, I saw how the air vibrated around it, making ripples that stretched out to realms far away in immemorial futures and pasts.

Were my movements savoury or sweet or sour? Was the ground wobbling to the rhythm of my tongue? Was I becoming too dark? Or too bright? I was ignorant to all that happened outside myself, enraptured by this curious creature. Likewise, I did not notice the fear bubbling up on those who watched me dance nor did I realise that the Towers, usually motionless, began producing a furious rain of gentle larvae centred on my dancing physical body. My attention was focussed on that heavenly being of guilt and shame. Though I still somehow believed this creature was just a story told with limbs and stones, it seemed to become aware of me: its white spheres bled golden phlegm as it screeched a terrifying odour in my direction. I was paralysed, shaking in a horror so deep coins fell out of every pore that covered my smooth surface. The creature smiled and slithered between its world and ours; I watched in awe as it ate the money that I could not help producing. It gobbled mountains of my coins in lustful wet strokes dripping a viscous transparent liquid. Even if half-severed from reality, I could still hear the invisible hands of the market that created me trying to break our bonds in an attempt to safeguard themselves from the holy terror I had unwittingly summoned into our glorious City. The creature drew closer, insatiable in its hunger for the warm fuzzy money I, the Dancer, princess of stones and prince of silicates, was both cursed and blessed to produce forever more. My mind shook in violent spasms, jingling into the nothingness of the approaching alien creature’s maw.

I shall spare you the grisly details, the non-important cruelties and ferocities that were visited upon my self; it is enough to say that the wounds I carried from my past lives reopened, sizzling with hot currency streams that would have imbalanced desire flows within the whole City, weakening its underlying currency through devaluation and overabundance. Whether the creature was aware of that or not, I shall never know; just as I begged it for mercy, the Towers, in their disturbed but still hallowed immobility, ordered the larvae that had rained upon me to pupate and hatch; with their new wings, the little saviours carried me and the creature away, into the City centre, and dropped us into the Derivative Fields. The tidal forces ripped us apart almost instantly; the creature silently evaporated whilst I was disemboweled and finally exploded in a cloud of gold and green and grey. Once prince of silicates and princess of stones, I became a currency saint, martyr of free floating markets, hung out to dry in metallic poles until the banknotes and coins produced by my corpse entombed me. I wished only that the blade of resurrection would spare me this time, granting me everlasting release from my duties as the Dancer. Please, higher beings, allow me the mercy of never again seeing the Towers of Gain.