Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Frightening Landscape

Published before - but where? Magazine lost.

The tree branches were limned against the sky ... at first appearing as zigzags of black lightning then, as the air grew warm, like rivulets of India ink. It was evidently uncertain whether the sun had just set or was about to rise. There was no sense of time. And gradually the air grew a whitened edge or margin ... a migraine of shimmering light, except there was nobody around to suffer such an ailment as migraine or anything else ... whilst the air itself smelt of sickness. Through these ribbons of dawn ... yes the sun was surely rising ... there appeared the loping, humping shapes and, if there were anyone watching this landscape evolve before their very eyes, they would also have heard the bleating noises of these creatures great and small. Pitiful sounds, yet fraught with menace and mystery. Yet there can be no mystery without a conscious mind testing its own ability to fathom it. The mystery ... as well as the menace ... was the landscape becoming brighter, clearer, yet more menacing, more mysterious. The earlier darkness had seemed to insulate itself ... releasing no thought of danger and fright from its cloying embrace. Night had almost been comforting with its propensity to become a shroud. Night had indeed concealed night. Now, with the screaming orange rim of sun peeping above the horizon, the branches of the trees had become ... not zigzags of black lightning, not rivulets of India ink ... but flesh-coloured limbs, praying, begging, that night might hasten its own return to conceal such creatures from each other.

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