Digital Ischemia


Off Road

Filed under: Glen Tosied — Teepwriter @ 16:57

A pair of dainty legs and a pair of enormous eyes, with some patterned frock in between, prances across the road ahead of him.  She notices his approach and freezes, like a deer, indeed, and in those same swollen milliseconds during which the human imagines he has an easy chance to act, Blink conjures the whole vista.

The endless, single-track road, with apparently neither source nor destination, but surprisingly good quality tarmac, runs all the way to nowhere.  It’s not quite straight and not quite flat so that you can’t see far either way, but you have no sense of turning or of the slight incline that takes more power than you expect.

On either side of this axis, two hemispheres of moorland world are painted in a faded palette and textured to appear invitingly soft rather than impenetrably spiky and boggy with all the surprise hidden gullies and the heather that is harder work than snowdrifts.

All this around the distanceless, directionless road he has time to consider until inevitably she giggles self-consciously and falters into a confident, wide-legged stance.  His careless T-shirt and combats, over-grown hair, tall, V-shaped frame and slight lack of tone that testify to twenty years of hunched typing make no impression on her.
“Hello, man.”
Blink approaches, raising his hand.
“Hello, I’m Nicky.”
“Sticks,” she reflexes, thrusting splayed hands at him with one thumb folded.  “Nine.  Where are you from?”
“Finnerbeg.  Do you live here?”
“Just in the school holidays; Aunty Venom can’t cope with me all the time.”

Stumped for another age-appropriate question, Blink watches Sticks for a moment.  She takes her cue and glances at the direction she sprang from, recalling the rest of her world.  She scampers off the road, across the verge, up the banking.  She pauses, yanking her arm in encouragement.
“Come on.  Come and see Aunty Venom.”
Sufficiently intrigued, and welcoming the diversion from the unfathomable road without distance or direction, Blink adjusts his course to follow Sticks over the moor.

Blink struggles to keep Sticks in view ahead of him as the moor undulates with exhausting gentleness.  His oxygen-deprived brain wanders to part two of the deer analogy: after those few swollen milliseconds of hubris, the deer always gracefully revolves and effortlessly trots away, leaving the observing human to come to terms with his abject inability to even decide on a course of action.  The deer was never within his reach.

One of those surprise gullies: the more so for his brain being sapped of oxygen, after a short but unexpectedly draining trudge, and just when his eyes are lulled into roll after roll of moor, suddenly divulges a dilapidated hut, half-buried in folds of soil.

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