Sunday 3 February 2013

Terse, Cogent, Salient: Linda Vickers

Running Wild

Bare legs, waxed and Bali-brown, pound the path. The ruined roundabout and forgotten flowerbeds whizz by unnoticed. The sky is darkling. Mara vaults the steps to the dilapidated bandstand.
“Damn.” She clutches a stitch. “Jay!” Mara paces, panting into the hands-free. “I took a wrong turn. Into the very park, as it happens.”
Way back at the entrance gates, the first lamp flickers in the gathering gloom.
“I’m decided. This district deserves a Mall. Shopping connects. Walks in wild flower meadows are pointless. I can rely on you to help the Council pale their principals?”
One by every one, the lamps light themselves along the path towards her, staunch sentries against the march of darkness. Beyond the security of their sodium glow, the grass lies breathing, ever-vigilant for vital sustenance - even fast food.
“No, I won’t go back on myself. I’ll shortcut across the pasture ahead. Home in thirty.” A pause. “We’ll discuss the Planning Application, okay? Let’s see if I can’t compromise those eco-principles of yours.”
Chuckling, Mara leaps from the bandstand. The turf gasps, then yields and caresses her footfall. “Damn, it’s a mire.”
The cold-tongued earth sucks greedily at her ankles. Frenzied blades of grass slash her skin, changing brown to red, felling her to her knees and hands.
Get up, Mara! Her inner voice is impotent. A septic tsunami of grass and glaur swells and rises up, towering above her, then crashes down, drowning her screams forever beneath the famished sod.

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Linda Vickers lives and writes in South Wales in Penarth, a Victorian seaside town with a pier and plenty of suburban intrigue.

1 comment:

  1. I could have told you that jogging lark is no good for you....