Was there ever anything more invigorating?
You race along swaying rope bridges and leap between the leering maws of gargoyles. The air up here is clear and cold, and you hear snippets rising up from a hundred conversations far below. The ways of the Flit are open to you, and the residents only curse mildly as you thunder past.
I ran The Flit for the first time today.
Oh, I had been there before in the course of my progress toward the Marvellous and other work for the various ministries. The Topsy King is there, after all, and if one wishes to speak to him, one must venture to where he is. This time I was chasing down that d—able Stuttering Fence for betraying me to the Constables over that execrable iron box (which has inexplicably ended up in my townhouse!) when I paused, just for a moment. I paused from a rope bridge to take in what was below me, the lights of the city flickering far below, the flickering phosphorescence amid the stalactites above, the inky black waters of the Unterzee stretching beyond where my eyes could see. Something filled me from the inside, thundering up and out until I could no longer hold it in. Laughing uproariously, I began to run.
I don’t know how long I ran or how far. All I do know is that I let nothing stop my forward motion. Where a bridge ended, I leapt. Where a wall intruded, I vaulted it, or climbed it, or somehow surmounted it. I leap-frogged over gargoyles, swan-diving to catch a dangling rope from somewhere above, swinging to land on a rooftop ledge, rolling and tumbling to my feet, spurred ever forward, ever onward…
Dear Theodor would probably term it “reckless” and no doubt — no doubt — it was, in a way. But even when I missed, or fell, or took a spill I came to no harm. All I could do was laugh harder, pick myself up, and start running again. I only stopped when my limbs absolutely refused to move any more and laughter had given way to great heaving gasping breaths. I was stretched out atop a peaked roof with naught but the cold air and the squabbling of the urchins and from somewhere, a bit of ale-house music threading up as if through chimney pipes.
It was glorious. Liberating. Invigorating. And I can hardly wait to do it again.
I suspect that, if any of you wish to find me, starting at The Flit might be the thing to do. At least until the route to the Marvellous clears again.