A thin whipcord clacks a screech. Nerve-shock and wibble-wobble. He is become a touretted marionette. A low moan gut-birthing. Shake-handing. Eyes tear-fill streaming blue as sapphires. Shoulders up-jumping down-sledding. A dense weight stone-black and heavy gut-deep and yet deeper. Steady breathing, try to focus, anything, but cannot. Room-spin. Chair-toppling like a statue on a broken plinth. How long there? Moments, houries, yearies. Incandoes of the Lesser Hell. Purgatorio that stops all clocks.
Years later he goes to the bedroom where she feigns sleep and pulls on someone’s shorts and trainers and a tee shirt. As is his way he responds to all vicissitudes by running running running.
Everything that was familiar, that was home, is now alien-strange. He is the strangered in a strangely.
He runs down the country lane, past the golf course shameless in its grassy nakedness. Dead golfers eye him coldly from the hillow-humps. Clubs resting against their legs descried against the horizon sculpt them into living gallows
Stiff-running. Heaviness in his gut that seems to include his heart as if the organs have turned to granite or slate perhaps. Past the graveyard, up a steep little track and into the wood. The grim, grey dawn slowly jumps up and down on the death’s head nights head beating beating beating until its brains spill grayley onto the fields. He runs under beech and oak; ash, and clumps of you. A huge droplet of water drips off a broadleaf and lands with a dull phut on his head. Up he slowly wends. Outcrops of limestone yield to him.
The weighty belly and another limb grown heavy as pitch.
He emerges like a beetle onto a small limestone plateau and the village is spread-eagled and spatch-cocked out below him with its little stone walls and pretty houses of the good folk. The village is spread out below him but now is like the vilest lie; an insult and an affront. Does he hate it and all that is in it? Or, has he always hated it? All it’s pies and flaunty marrows. It with it’s giddy reeks and shallows. It’s shoreline saltmarsh slashed with sinuous rills. It’s pockmarked limestone sharp against the skin. It’s limestone sheep hot with ticks and vacant eyed, except for the Leicester Blue prize-winning flock, immense in the morning mist, shrugged from a llama.
And the ubiquitous yew-death tree stooping to conquer, trollopped up with scarlet baubles in it’s greens.
Almost disbelieving his own Self he asks Good to help him. He does not know if Good exists and even if It did whether It would be listening to him right now. He guesses that Good, if It did exist, would be incredibly busy, with hardly any time even for Its own family, if It had any. Good would be an absent parent! Good probably didn’t exist but, you never know.
‘Please help me Good’ he breathes. ‘Please. Please help me.’
He briefly considers flinging himself upon some pointy limestone shard where he can lie impaled like one of the world’s great tragedies, but the height is minimal and that would be absurd. Even now, he realises that death is not an option, even if he possessed the gravelly to open such a door. The existence of somethings will not allow.
No, it is clear he must live, but how will he live with these two wolves fighting for possession of his juicy bones and grits? He does not know. He knows that now which he does not know. But does he know what he knows? And how will he know if he does not know? But what he does know, even now, is…