Digital Ischemia



Filed under: Glen Tosied — Tags: , , , , , , , — Teepwriter @ 13:06

They shuffle synchronously, similarly engraining their palm and knees, thinking and withholding non-constructive remarks. When Blink eventually makes contact, to Venom his boney pawing feels like a stalactite lashing. Just one reason to halt. Another is that coincidentally three pebbles confirm this as her previous extent; the precipice of the unknown.
With just enough height to lounge, she arranges him to face her. Why not let him go? Considering the two of them are something now.
“What’s on your mind?”
“You were going to show me something at Battle Bridge. It was impressive to see, but it lacked something for not being shown.”
Venom swallows, preparing to confess. But he has more complaint.
“You didn’t show.”
“I’m sorry.”
“I don’t care! There was a fucking cataclysm happening; I’m not holding a grudge. I just want to know–”
“I planned to collect you on the way north; then Sticks turned up, and my contingency time ran out.”
“No, I mean: why?”
“Someone to save…”
“Oddly I don’t dispute the saving business, although this isn’t the liberation I imagined, and fair dos on the lassie, but I know what that’s really–”
Venom shushes him urgently.
“Surely you can tell me now about the bri–”
She clamps his lips. Not in a lascivious way. “Listen!”


Venom’s breathless murmur is inaudible, but Blink detects her nostrils flexing. He sniffs: pastry. He smiles ruefully. Deprivation has apparently lead him to sensory artifacting.
Venom’s hand quivers toward the candle, becomes paralysed with indecision. Too late. A foghorn blasts ahead. In it Blink recognises the signature of a human voice. Venom catches his sharp lung-fill, drowns his rasp with her own croak of greeting.
The clatter of mutual echo-location escalates as they scrabble forward, diminishing their separation from the oncoming presence. The end of the tunnel lights up as its bung pulls away: a be-maned ogre.

Within a discus cavern, bathed in a soothing lantern, Venom and Blink exchange interrogatives and summarised recent experience with a delighted, tweed-encrusted behemoth. His estate, Glen Tosied, includes considerable underground features including mazes of tunnels and caves through the rock. This is unexpected and unprecedented in this part of Scotland. His programme of sequential exploration has brought him to Venom’s well zone. There is a small surviving community a few miles away. They should meet up and perhaps join up…

Blink finds himself damp with sweat, squeezed out by tension, as if his body has only now realised the crisis. Venom was rather taken with Cake’s rough jollity while Blink fidgeted like an insect. As she follows him home, she feels a rush of failure for feeling relief at sharing her burden. She parts her lips to seek his reassurance. She imagines his condescension. Silly.

Like a schoolgirl with a birthday surprise, Venom fizzes all over Merrill and Derg, oblivious to their indifference and suspicion, respectively.
“Did you sleep well?”
Merrill has less tact than Derg. “No.”
“Me neither. All the excitement.” Blink casts Venom a glance of disbelief. She blushes, makes several false starts on her announcement and fails to provide any key facts like a form of address.

With a glorious suspicion, Derg entices Merrill below. It’s like dragging a hedgehog through a rose bush. His patient effusion fails to register as she continues, irrationally, to charge him for her distress. She wants him to accept responsibility then fix everything. She needs this to stop. This unbearable– A recognisable boom…

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