Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nature Walk - Short Story

(picture removed because it was shit)

It was ten to six and David Attenborough was coaxing the frigit birds over the atlantic, pacific, baltic or something.

'Did you see yer father today' air from her black lungs.

This stumps me. The phylosophical implications of such a statement are beguiling and many. I am overwhelmed. I don't answer.

'I was away today I said already'

'Did you see yer father'

Well I thought I made myself perfectly clear. Of course, I didn't. It's like playing a game of chess, with the other person playing tennis. Nothing can come of it. Shouting silence at each other into the bare eternity. I have to leave myself behind for a moment.

'Nah, I didn't...'

'How is there so many there?'

She has of course fogotten the question she just asked me and changed the subject with a new question.

'How is there so many there'

The frigits are amassed and the zoom is fully flexed, filling the screen with white grey feathers and black dot eyes. All is silent for Attenboroughs calm entries.

'How is there so many of anything' I finally say.

She never knows how to answer these ones. I close my eyes make it all black and leave for a while. If only there was a lens on us then it would all be fine. This scene would have been left behind long ago and instead the focus would be on the drama of the penguins. Not the static of the humans. We are too good at this and i need to leave. To the bat cave!

As if he psychicaly intercepted my thoughts from the shed, the dog is situated in front of the glass, salivating and oblivious. Salivating and enlightened. Look at you. My boyhood wish to be a cartoon dog carrying a bindle, running away from home peaks its' head.

'Out, out!'

The only two words he understands. Big head on him. It's fucking freezing I tell him as I open the door. He doesn't seem bothered. Afix the leash, and we are off. We leave David and the wildlife in sitting room and head outside.

I usually take David Attenborough to the immediate right when we go for a walk. Thats also the dogs name. Sir David Attenborough. This time we go left and twoards the river bank. The sun is setting fast through the haze of piss rain. And I'm enjoying the darkness. It's that kind of suburban dark. Where everything looks like the lads at Warner spent loads on the lighting effects. My feet are already wet but my shoes are so tight I don't really mind.
We walk for several minutes along the river and come to the T junction at the trees. I let him urinate and flood the estate. The homeopathic rain and piss puddle dribbles to my toes. I look up to see the last bus sail past, anchors raised. Instead of following the street lights twoards the main road we take the dark tar path by the trees. I am fairly positive I have never been down this road and since I can't remember anything else about the day so far I welcome the offshoot. All aboard the SS Attenborough.

The path gets progressivly dimmer save the glimmer of the city pink. Davids coat is slick now and my layers are damp. I turn around and can no longer see the T junction or lights behind us. David looks up at me as if to say 'Who cares?'. As we move on I start to notice that the black mirror water has rissen. Sir Davids' legs are submerged and I'm up to my ankles. We must be on low ground, in a valley. I finger the coins in my pocket as I look for a penny. The bronze cap, is dim in my hand. I flick it into the mirror in the distance and watch the ripples race twoards me. Small and indistinct at first then wide and sparse, gaining momentum. The first hump like a miniturised hawian high tide dissapears beneath my hand. The leesh snaps. I look to David. He is now swimming in the murky. He looks back at me as if to say 'I told you I could swim'. If a dog could look smug this was a smug looking dog. He bobbed away from me twoards a tree about twenty feet ahead.

'Come back you idiot!'

I'm wading at this point trying in vain to match his stride. I can see where the trunk meets the mirror there is a hole. One of those holes they usually fill in with cement to kill the tree. David swims into the hole and the darkness covers him. My legs are cumbersome and slow motion in the blackness. I reach into the hole with one hand on the trunk propping my frame. I only feel wet bark and the roof of the crevas. I look down at my hand to see the soaking half leash and throw it in the water.

'David! Where are you?' All is silent for my bark.


I can hear his reverb yelp. The rain tap dances my eyes shut and spasming as I look up the trunk.

'How did you get up there?'

David stands atop the wirey ash tree, victorious. His remaining leash fluttering like a cape in the gael.

'How the shit did you get up there? Jesus fuck!'

He is panting with a big smiley head on him. He sits down and surveys the land.

'David! Down Here! Come Down! Down you cunt!'

He turns around and grabs something in his mouth. The water is rising to my chest. With a flick of his head he lobs me a rope. Its soaking and full of knots.

'What? Do you want me to climb up?'

Finding a foothole at the top of the roots i start to pull myself skywards. The rain lashing and blanketing all now. The bark is wet and untrustworthy but my shoes do most of the work. Davids' ominous glare getting ever closer. The splash makes rivers between his eyes and down his ears. He flicks his paw and I'm up. There's barely enough space for the two of us. He doesn't seem bothered.

'Fuckin' hell David'

I rub his skull and look around. The estate is somewhere else now. David knows this as well as I do. A mass gutteral howl in the distance makes our ears prick. A football stadium worth of bodies are venting at the moon. Syncranised and fierce. The rumble rattles me to my core. It's an amazing sound and it disapates as fast as it came. We share eyes and turn back to the sky. The pink from the city flickers and halts. The majesty of the night makes itself known and I think of that bit in the lion king when the clouds become Simbas' father. I should have told her 'Yeah I saw my father in the clouds today'.

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