New York City.

The Big Apple.

The City That Never Sleeps.

A sprawling labyrinth of concrete and steel that serves as both prison and stone-faced warden to the human cattle who shuffle aimlessly through their island terrarium. What is it about this lifeless maze of buildings that drains from humanity the very will to stand up to it, or even to flee from it?

In nature, there are two choices for when faced with an enemy: Fight or Flight. Humanity has been known for their performances of both actions, and especially when the other would prove more beneficial. But this place, this “city”, what is it that causes man to ignore both options and curl himself into a ball, and give up; to turn him into a lifeless husk before this man-made colossus? Perhaps it is a sign of man’s own devolution? To have built the very slaughterhouse in which he now resides, now to prostrate himself on the cutting board while a new dominant species is elected by nature to stand in his wake?

Or perhaps it is a sign of something even darker…

This is the place in which you have found yourself. Through your own conscious decision for whatever reason, or some unknown hand guiding your footsteps to the place where your destiny will unveil itself instead of dancing before you, a dark-eyed seductress in the crowded bar slowly leading you to a place more secluded.

For whatever reason you have come, and for however long you have been here, whether you be man or beast, you have felt it. A disquiet in this place. A sickness calling up from the very ground, and the very walls. It is claustrophobic. The sky remains the only feeling of hope, and the only sign of potential escape from this force which drives the souls from the once humans around you, and turns them into mindless corpses with beating hearts, or leaves their humanity so caged inside that it expends it’s final energies to escape, with violent results.

Gang activity numbers have been on the rise in recent months. Many fear to leave their homes, but the call of the city is too strong for them to remain indoors. The police have doubled their efforts and gone on a hiring spree to help quell the spike in the gangs, a superficial bandaid when so many encounters leave dead on both sides of the law. Careful observers will find suicides are on the rise as well, before those incidents are swept under the rug and the numbers become attributed to the victims of gang violence. Are these outbursts and deaths the manifestations of a city gone mad, or the basic, animalistic, survival urges of those people still clinging to their humanity? Fight or Flight?

More and more cases spring as time passes now. More spots of red on the canvas of the Apple. Can the city that never sleeps be sated before it becomes nothing but a crimson splotch on the globe?

The Heart of a Monster

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