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  • Writer's pictureEli Allison

Sour Fruit, The Black Quay

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

A cheeky sneaky peek at my debut novel

A totally fabulous sneak peek into the world of Kingston; the setting for my dark dystopian novel; Sour Fruit. Set in northern Britain. Kingston is a rotting scrap yard of misery, a river city in a country plagued by floods. The story follows Onion as she tries to escape.

Grab your knicks... it's a gunna get twisted.

Each artwork (I've done three so far, show off) is a district of Kingston, and as I drew and painted and swore, the areas came to life, with stories all of their own.

Keywords at the bottom because it's not sci-fi without a bunch of impossible-to-pronounce- massively-unnecessary-capricious fucking lingo.

The teller of this story isn't Onion but someone else, someone who you meet in the first novel, but who you really get to know in the second.

The Black Quay

The young family banged and then screamed and then scratched to get out, but no one could hear them. They'd picked a quiet day on the port to do their dying.

Not so much a port anymore, since nothing but misery passes through now. A dead dockyard that deals in mould and rust and lost souls.

Cut in the very edge of the Humber, a scab unhealed The Black Quay reflects the city with its endless stretch of river, and flooded load bays. Even in the height of summer, dark puddles still stain the concrete, stray cats quenching their thirst, at these filthy waterholes but only cats. Harder to catch, less meat for the effort, dogs on the other hand...

Mazes of piled high containers, metal giants that block the sun. People scurry through the gaps, ants in this new world, trying to find the new routes.

The Black Quay a place to be avoided for all but the most desperate of times, but no one told the young family that. Stripped of everything they owed, bar a suitcase and each other they were forced as so many others into Kingston. A sprawling refugee camp, with no money, and no friends. They saw the empty containers down by the river and feeling the hard winter at their backs thought it smart to make their home inside a giant. Perhaps they had a few good days, a few hopeful days where they were warm and felt safe. But they weren't safe.

The winter flood came as it always does, and the family panicked sealing themselves inside, away from the rising black waters. The scream of rain on metal, hour after hour hoping that the container would stay dry, but that's not what they should have worried about. The surge shifts.

They fell asleep and woke up dry, the rain had stopped. The storm had gone. Maybe they wiped the crust from their eyes and gave thanks, hugged each other, drank a little, ate a little, or maybe they had felt it and knew all alone the mistake they had made.

The container had moved, as all the containers do during the floods, during the surge. They were trapped inside the door had become wedged shut against something or other.

No one heard them banging, screaming, scratching to get out. It was only during the spring flood, and the containers shifted again that things began to float out. A trail of truth. A backpack, a sock, a picked clean femur.

As I said, Kingston is a dog-less city; man has no best friends here.


(So you know what the hell I’m on about.)


A fictional city set in the future near an old port. (On the edge of the Humber. ) It regularly floods due to the damaged flood defence from a few years ago. The locals (VOID’s) have found creative ways to survive this problem.

My debut novel is out now, find out more.


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