Digital Ischemia

28/07/2019

Neohaguich 7/11

Neohaguich series starts at part 1/11

Calluna stomps through the slushy village.  She benefits from its quiet abandon, but distrusts it.  Lights in the hall beckon her curiosity.  She rattles at the foyer door.  Suddenly it gives way, crashing off the wall, squealing horribly and echoing viciously all around everything.  Only after several moments do her ears regain sensitivity and detect ethereal strains.

The choir is ranked in shades of black.  With every flutter of page turns, they stir a patch of white leaves, silently rippling beneath their breeze.  The audience of two ladies of plumptitude and one Alf of flaccitude are motionless, oblivious to Calluna’s thoughtless entrance.  All suspended in rime.  Or, in Alf’s case, grime.  She trudges out of the hall, grimacing disapproval of the sublime artistic expression.  Mere diversion.

Absolutely no-one in the environs is suitable aid in the quest to exhume Jardine.  Calluna must see to it herself, accompanied only by her insistent circulating thoughts.  The rapidly de-icing loch-pond-toxic-marsh reveals only a pair of ancient sandals, partly colonised by rapidly evolving slime snails.  Not Jardine’s anyway.  He prefers a full-body wader.  Even in six centimetres of liquid.  They could be the remnants of some foolhardy hiker.  More remnants.  Or, more likely, one who crossed Farmer Udderfiddle, or simply crossed his land, wearing offensive clothing, and had to be summarily punished.

Calluna reaches carefully with a stick and prods the sandals until they remain upright, wedged in the sludge like pitiful remains of the foundation of a very small crannog.  Foundation nonetheless.  Then there is the oblong loch itself: the toxicity of too rigid a framework.  Utter rot, of various calibre.  These thoughts circulate like a herd of bees.

The water’s surface blurs, the ground shudders: other feet are afloat.  Madame du Lac shimmers into view and sails up to the positioned artefacts.  Apparently she considers them an offering or a summoning or somesuch clumsy human ritual.  Calluna feels ashamed that her noble intention to rescue Jardine has descended into childish guddling.  Can she get away with labelling it ‘found item art’?  Who lost them?  Did the Stranger ever…?  No, if he had ever ‘sported’ such footwear, he wouldn’t have clawed gracelessly through the bankside technica and forfeited a phalanx before… disappearing so finally into the churn.  What ever happened to all that picnic?

Another giant step vibrates through solid and liquid.  Of course: the lady and the giant; the ideal balance of relationship.  Something like that. Mistress Moist extends an arm dripping with weed dripping with putrefaction, and points wanly toward Springs Creek.  A comforting jolt out of that rut.  Calluna is happy to take a hint in the direction she wants to go anyway, and moves respectfully away, wondering if Her Highness of the Haar is just an apparition of toxic vapour raised by the quaint mining quakes.  More diversion.

Here is Calluna at last, hovering beside Springs Creek, attention downstream.  She hears the linn endlessly churning; voiding and replenishing in perfect balance.  Animate and endothermic, but not alive, like its grisly sediment.  She can walk all around it, but eventually she will have to know: what lies beneath; what lives behind the curtain.  She steps in.

As she wades along the creek’s course, her feet quickly numb.  This seems the best way, if one is going to lose a limb, or something worse.

“What would be worse?”

She ignores him and his insightful questioning.  She knows that he knows that she knows she means him.  Somehow.  Lost.  

Calluna wonders at the wisdom of following the flow, and its inevitable plunge over the precipice, but truly this whole convoluted façade needs sorting and resolving.  Thinking of resolve, she resolves to just keep moving, no hesitation, no pause and definitely no discussion.

“Fair dos,” acknowledges the Stranger in her head.  “I’m sure Jardine will return the favour.”

Drat.  She never did locate that local pollution data officer.  How ironic: drowned in a land-scale vat of toxicity.  Hopefully that will count as ‘bad’ quality for the monitoring report.  But no!  That could have ramifications for Springs Creek!  Which she continues to mildly discolour with her filthy paws.

Aunty Gail cheers encouragement to Calluna from the bank.  She perches on a rock with the baleful eye of Damon glowing in the folds of her blouse.  She has the box of letters in her lap.  She lifts the lid just enough for a sample of hechlers to reach out with their tiny filaments and prise her fingers off till the lid shuts again.  She has the box, then. Perhaps the wooden letter blocks have now been passed on, donated, left to lie wet-warped in a defrostings puddle.  The thought was there.  Somewhere.

At the last moment before the water’s momentum carries Calluna over the falls’ brink, she notices a tiny sapling, rooted in a rock fissure, right on the precipice.  This will shortly explain what she passes next: a rock worn into two smooth indentations.

continues at part 8

1 Comment »

  1. […] …continues at part 7 […]

    Pingback by Neohaguich 6/11 | Digital Ischemia — 29/07/2019 @ 08:46


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