Sunday, August 17, 2008

When Lonely Gambols Tire

We control this part of the forest, where the stream flows under the stone bridge. In the foreground, grass and leaves, spiky stalks and white buds. Out of focus slightly, crossing the bridge, us in tunics, petticoats and bonnets, big Victorian dresses. We conjure up, for sure, fairies and a whiff of the occult. Ghosts.

Back at the house, in the pantry, a shelf of cooking apples wrapped tight in lace doilies. A hand breaks the darkness, reaching in, selecting one of the apples and pulling it from the row. Clues include: sugar sprinkles on the sleeve, flour dust on the back of the hand. A female hand: the cook, probably.

It gets darker in the forest, colder. As the light fades a girl in a short brown dress, deep red hair, bobbed and shoulder length, a large yellow belt around her waist – with square silver buckle – knee-high black leather boots. A picture of this: Jean Shrimpton. She holds keys and is in search of something. A foreground frog leaps into the stream as her high heels pass. The sun sinks lower. We hear her breath, her rapid panic.

A gate at the bottom of a huge garden, mainly lawn but bushes and trees. A policeman stepping off his bicycle. The house, distance, is suitably backlit by the emerging moon. Overall blue with appropriate silhouettes. And music.

Two of us at the piano touching out a mournful, though surprisingly lively, tune. Two others elsewhere: by the fireplace, seated and reading - on the sofa, lying down and facing the ceiling. A knock at the door stirs us. Tension. Palpable.

Creak of door and slight hallucinate. At the same moment a rattle at the window. On one side a hand reaching around the door, reaching for the light switch. On the other a hand tapping at the window. Ghosts. As we said: a whiff of the occult. The lights fall. Darkness and screams.

By morning light there are cobwebs undulating on windowsills. The sun, yellow and frosty, somehow sinister. At the bottom corner a flash of glare, star like, as a shadow passes quickly on its way. The room empty. Almost empty. But we’re all still in there, all of us. By her yellow belt, by her neck, swinging gently, undulating like breeze driven cobwebs, the Shrimpton girl, though we cannot see her face. Boots, of course, and as far as the buckle cutting into her throat. At the bottom of the garden, visible by the gate, the policeman’s bicycle. Crumbs of apple pie thrown about the table. Crumbs on our lips.

And the hands at doors and windows? Ghosts. A whiff of the occult.


Blogger shannon said...

A creepy filmic scene, I particularly like the phrase 'a hand breaks the darkness'. Less so the death of the redhead!

10:59 AM  

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