Friday, 22 August 2008

On Brocking Avenue

A strange street it was, but in the dusky light it seemed to ghost in and out of existence. A cold trail of cloud hung upon its bushes and fences, the street lights flickered and pulsed with strange energy.
Harry had been living in his new apartment for two weeks when he spotted the girl wandering down the centre of the street. She roamed in strange snake-like curves, veering toward the cars and then the curb on the other side of the road.
She must have been drunk, that was the assumption you would have made. But Harry was transfixed, amazed at her movement: so smooth, like she skated upon the tarmac, effortlessly dancing down the street.
Then, as she neared the mid-point of Brocking Avenue, this girl leaned to the right, almost as though she would tip over, and wheeled at high speed first through a fence and then the wall of a house.
When she was gone Harry looked away. He turned and supported himself against the grey-beige of the paint-peeling wall. He'd seen a ghost.
Slowly turning to peep out the window again he saw that an upstairs light in the house had come on. He watched in wide-eyed minutes, imagining horrors unfolding in that poor house. But, as suddenly as the girl had veered right through the brick of the house, off flicked the light and the street was quiet once more. Vacuum hours passed, with only traffic to watch, and then sleep.
The next evening though, this evening, Harry's curtains will part once more as he begins another vigil. Silent Harry, waiting there at his window, waiting for the night to creep and come and perhaps impart a few more of its secrets.
A strange, spectral sight he would be, no doubt, to any who would look up from the street below and spy him there.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

The Sentinels

The four towers stretch high into the air above the city of Lacroix. Upon the summit of each stares down a forefather of the city, keeping watch forever over his citizens.
And far below in the city there is rarely unrest because the children know that their fathers are always watching them, and they will react with swift vengeance, should one step be misplaced.
Construction of the tower of the first sentinel began just five years after the city was sacked and captured. Renamed Lacroix, it became the capital of the new republic of Cedon, but the mixed cultures of the city warred on, and no amount of official force was able to keep the peace, or spot each atrocity the disparate gangs of rebels plotted.
The first tower took ten years to be completed. It was supposed to be a marvellous tribute, a monument to this great new city of the future, but the authorities had immense difficulty just keeping the great tower from being bombed.
It was then that the Sentinel was placed atop. An all-seeing eye, watching over the city and able to pinpoint crime or any sign of unrest and neutralise with immediacy.
All that was needed was a human head to fill the cavity inside the great statue, real eyes to see and a brain to decide on reactions to potential aggressions.
The city’s founder became the first Sentinel of Lacroix, and his head maintains control over his city long after his body is dust. Officially, the records state that the decision to reside in the Sentinel was decided upon his death bed. However, folklore passed down through generations of townspeople tells that he, Mackenzie, a man of just fifty years, actually asked for the honour of crowning the Sentinel, despite being in full health. He asked for his brain to be removed from his fully functioning body and placed inside a statue for all eternity, so that he may see and perhaps know everything.
Mackenzie’s almost instant success in silencing the disquiet in Lacroix meant the building of tower two was not long to start.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

My lady's chamber

I saw my lady looking out today from her bedroom window, a rare glimpse of her auburn hair in the morning sun.
I dream of walking with her in the gardens, holding hands and laughing at the Herms that stand guard over the threshold. I wonder long about why she spends all day now in siesta. Did I see her unclothed behind the shutter there?
I long to climb, to enter her chambers, stealing in through the moonlight, creeping past her sleeping maid and creaking open her cedar door. I wonder what she’d do, when I woke her. Would she recognise my face from her dreams, or from those merest of glances exchanged as I pass by her gate twice each day?
For now I’ll watch, just watch, for sometimes touching a dream is akin to sullying a fresh spring with a drop of blood.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Evening stroll

I’ve taken to walking along the front most evenings now. It’s calm in those unique fractured moments, at the end of the day.
There are always other people around. No matter how cold or how little sunlight there is, people are making the most of the day.
I see other people walking dogs. I started taking Millie with me, every day, but Anne had always walked her enough in the day. It seemed strange to Millie that she be allowed out so often, I suppose, so I stopped bringing her. She’s quite literally a creature of habit, like her mother.
I’m not habitual in many things. That’s why I could get away with this evening walking; Anne is never surprised by anything I do anymore.
So I’m looking out onto the beach or maybe the sea, and then I tend to grow tired of nature and I’ll turn around and look at the cars whizzing up the coast road, or I’ll stare straight down the long path that runs along the seafront. This promenade of life; I can see everything I want to see here. Everything I want to be, everything I want to possess, everything I haven’t got.
No wonder I always arrive home in a worse mood than when I left.

Monday, 18 August 2008


He stopped and looked up at the sky. For the first time in a long time he noticed the entangling of cables above him.
Wires connected the street lights and the traffic lights. Above these, the phone lines split off puncturing the sides of surrounding buildings, and through it all ran the cables bringing power to the trams. Altogether, it created a perfectly scattered cacophony of lines. Wires begat wires begat wires.
As he sat, engaged by this intersection of energy for the first time since he first came to the city, he could almost see a gigantic metallic spider spindling across and down from the building opposite to ensnare an unfortunate bus in its web.
He was awakened from his reverie by impatient honks and shouts from other motorists. He let his foot slip from the clutch quickly, shunted forward and stopped in the middle of the junction.
The lights changed again and he tried to start the car as the honking and shouting grew louder. Panic, panic and the sound of an engine labouring, juddering, flooding. He was stuck fast and he looked up, anxiously, in case the spider was coming for him.