Posted tagged ‘the Lynx effect’

The Beaten Track

February 18, 2013

Against impossible odds, the following story won an award. See here for details

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The cacophony of passing strangers was wearing me down. Their random snippets of speech jarring my ears as they stride past me. The random fragments of their stories that will be forever unknown to me, unfinished Schubert conversations

“Tomasz Wrzesiński wins Gold for Britain,” howls the newspaper vendor.

Living in an over-populated urban metropolis means that when outdoors there are very few moments for quiet reflection. The bustle of crowds and the usual noises emanating from a big city environment are contributory factors to the dearth of good pastoral poets in this neighbourhood. The only one that made an impact in the literary scene was B. Keeper but he was the exception.

Deep in the heart of the city I jostle with consumers, commuters and window shoppers. I walk and eat my lunchtime snack of sausage rolls using my elbows to keep passers-by at a distance. Continuing my squash through the pell-mell I come to an unexplored part of the town. The people were thinning out and turning a corner I noticed there was nobody about and the houses were vacant. I carried on my merry way to the uninhabited barren land.

My walk came to a stop when I dead-ended myself in a cul-de-sac. One large dilapidated building caught my eye. Standing like a sentinel over a overgrown garden, it was an enticing decayed house of antiquity. I approached the front door. There was a small rectangular indentation where the nameplate used to be. The owners long since gone taking their identification with them. Par for the course for my day.

Then I see a children’s tricycle lying on its side on the grass. I’d guess it belonged to a child of nine or ten years of age going by the size of the bike. Although in a poor condition it still looked drivable. Glancing round and seeing that the neighbourhood was empty I did what any red-bloodied male what would do when there’s a bike handy- have a go on it.

I picked it up and checked that the pedals were working. I turned them round like the crank on an old cine camera and yes, the pedals were road worthy. It was now time to give it a test drive. Carrying the locomotive out of the garden I park it on the concrete road.

I clamber on to the cycle with the dexterity of a giraffe on a quad bike; my knees bean sprouted past the handlebars while my bottom spilled over the sides of the saddle. After a few false starts I built up a juddering rhythm. You never forget to ride a bike and my set of wheels were in motion.

Soon I was doing rounds of the garden paths and breaking my lap record time after time. To ward off boredom I decided to try out some new moves. I let go of the handle bars and straightened my back. I shouted to myself “Look! No hands!” as I pedalled furiously along the broken pathway. This caused me to take my eye off the undergrowth and I didn’t see the boulder until it was too late. The whole world and its dog came crashing down.

The air was glazed. It felt like I was in the clouds, floating, floating although I knew I was on the ground trapped by a tricycle. I began to regain consciousness and could hear a sweet voice cry out “come here, come here”. From the ether an ethereal arm reached out to help. On the extremity of this arm was the most beautiful hand I had ever seen. Milky white and seemingly devoid of wrinkles on the finger joints. Farther up the unblemished arm was a flowing garment of gossamer. Farther up from that I could not see yet there was a radiance pulsing from the beyond.

“Come here, come here.” I could swear blind I was hearing two different voices in a melodic duet. Then another arm, just as beautiful as the other, appeared on my other side. This was the most delicate manicured hand in the universe. Two dazzling damsels were wanting to ease my distress. The “come here, come here” mantra was hypnotising me. Then a third arm hovered over me, then a fourth and a fifth; it was like a computer virus. Lovely, magical hands were popping up all over my head. My sky was filled with the soft hands of an angelic horde. This multitude of beings was what I was trying to get away from. Now I’m back to square one.