The Voice That Searched My Memories: extracts from The Floating Harbour

Download the whole novel, for free, as a PDF here: The Floating Harbour


     I cannot freeze or fight or fly; I can’t refuse to go.
     Pockets
              PPPRRRHHHKKKKRRRRR
                   of scorching air and a sky that glazes over with the true and torrid terror of the screaming colour of the surface of the stars:

Conjure up the square within your mind.
Generate its trees, its grass,
line it ‘round with Georgian buildings.
Paint it with a starsome sky, whose aura’s
merging with the spreading glow of lamplight.

Now riddle it with chaos:
muddied fury lit by mob-borne flame.

     Crashing cries have havoc wreaked ‘round wrought-iron grass and stone in glass-smashed rubbled ruin burning churning earth up fighting leaving bloodied muddied clubbed consciousless figures under foot and boot and heel hell-levelled fences posts post-waveofbrawlingmass caught marked by seething screaming heaving howling harriers whom flame’s surrounding sending inandoutof buildings along pathways over each eighth-segment lightning bolts that tear through all but tallest toughest trees and man on horse on plinth within the safer central circle seeking which I run past fall and crawl up running slip now knocked down nearly crushed and kept there fighting forward faster falter finding faster footing for the final fettered grappling loosed few paces half on grass and half on pathway purging everything a voice stills all but it and I.
     Two syllables eradicate all else, just for a moment. And in the age within that moment, echoing their heartbeat pattern, they are all I truly ever longed to hear.
     One beat, up/down; a call, a cry, a question. The voice that searched my memories utters a different word.
     I don’t know if you can hear it through the riots.

 

Image credit – Bristol Museum

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