I wake into a world sheathed in bronze. Bronze bed and bronze walls and bronze house to hold them in. I walk out into the yard, stepping carefully. The grassblades are steel and keen as razors. The streets have become cold iron, the trees worked aluminum. Everything gleams dully with angle and vertice and daggerlike point. The taste and scent of copper is on the breeze, like blood.
As I step onto the road to find someone— anyone— to explain what has happened, it creaks and shifts beneath my feet. I step back quickly. The road is a hundred sheets of corrugated iron, bolted and jointed like the armor of a battleship, but something— rain, perhaps, if it could rain in this world of metal?— has rusted straight through the bolts of this sheet. I stand at its edge, work my fingers in the crack. Rust flakes away brown and orange on my fingers. It is immense, unbearably heavy. I heave at it, teeth clenched, arms vibrating with the strain, and then it comes away suddenly. I fall backwards. Lay for a moment on the iron. I can see that there is a gap beyond. I crawl to the edge and look down.
A vast twilight. As my eyes adjust to the dimness I see a network of girders, reaching infinitely down, down, into the center of the earth, like the bones of a skyscraper, endless and spiderlike, down to the core of absolute distance, ultimate vertigo, where I see the insides of my closed eyes, the reddish blush of dawn light, and I open my eyes, and I’m in bed and it’s morning.