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13 Features Corker New The

Sean Bent adapts Tim Buckley’s classic song into a twisted narrative of bittersweet realisation.

A faint call, soft as a whisper, awoke Fruscian from another troubled slumber. He resigned himself to another day of hard labour. A sigh escaped his lips and he reached for his damp cloth with eyes still clenched. He felt no hint of the fibres. There was only the rough and splinter- ing wood of the cabin floor. Fighting to stop himself from sighing, Fruscian gingerly opened his eyes at last.

His vision was greeted by dark-

ness initially. He sat up and al- lowed his eyes to adjust. The sight that greeted him caused his heart to strike a fast rhythm. The tossing and turning forms of his colleagues were nowhere to be seen. The furniture and scattered items were all gone. He looked down and saw he still had his own night clothes and bedspread. The voice that woke him before

spoke again and this time he could distinctly hear his own name being whispered. He knew the voice as he had day-dreamed of its owner for many hours. A pale light began to shine through the door’s lock and the space be- tween it and the doorframe. The light increased in its intensity and began to bathe the room in white.

He thought this must be a

dream; only that could explain these supernatural events. Becom- ing unsure of himself, he reasoned that this place may have substance. Gravity and the earth held him at a single point in space and his body was alive with sensation. He de- cided that the only way to come to any valid conclusion was to find out what lay waiting. Feeling like a new born babe, puzzled by what lay before him; the soldier stood up and took his first step. He walked to the narrow door with the air of a boy guided by his curiosity but slowed by his fear of the conse- quences.

When it was open, the light stopped and was replaced by a greater spectacle. Above him, or- ange clouds lay dreaming in an en- chanted slumber against a backdrop of deep pink. Streaks of gold were wrought through it. Fr- uscian took another step and stopped at the sound of his foot meeting creaking wood. He stood upon the deck of a massive ship. Two masts supported canvases that danced a waltz to an immaterial wind. The surrounding sea was a shimmering blue, as though echo- ing the sky on a summer’s day. At the horizon line, sky and ocean met and embraced in a cascade of wa- terfalls. It was interrupted only by a settling sun.

Valdronia Forest Daniel “I’m no Poe” Lynch

A portentously malevolent night casts its eye over her, she glides her silver stride. Remorseless air, bitter cold, holds the people to ransom, the only payment blood. An an- cient owl, wiser for its silence and solitude, stands to guard upon a blackened tree, branches reach out for the sky with tortured glee. She stops to examine the peculiar forest fiend; a knot in its centre seemed

to scream. But it housed only a raven, nothing more, she did not flinch, she had seen worse before. Her movement never ceased then for curiosity sake, this forest was better for not being awake. Or so one would think. Before her on the path stood a well groomed man who was either smoking or breath- ing. Both it would appear as her presence drew near. Rubbing his hands, a gaunt figure he standing said, “Dear it is late, and quiet here.

A Song to the Siren Astonishment was dashed away by

inquisitiveness as he spotted a black speck emerging from the shining orb. Its image was growing at a steady rate as the ship thun- dered on towards it. The voice kissed his ears again and somehow the soldier knew it had come from that point. Its speaker began to sing. Her melody could only be matched by the elegance Fruscian knew she possessed. “Here I am, Sail to me. “ She sang again and again. He ran to the head of the ship as an agonising desire burned through- out his body. He could do nothing but clench the rail with shaking hands and call out to her in coun- terpoint. “My foolish boat is slowed. It waits to solve the rid- dles that the tides have set before it before passing between them. It knows not that it must sprout wings and learn to fly. Only then will it be a wonder fit to greet you.” The point grew to display a flat-

tened rock with a woman standing in the centre. She wore a dress of scarlet which trailed into a spiral around her. It slowly pulsated as though it contained all the life force of the world. Her hair was shades of amber and her pale skin a sheet of precious silk. The isle came within jumping distance and the crusader could see the colour of her eyes. They seemed to glow like heated emeralds and were just as fascinating in their geometry. When the ship came to a stop and

touched the rock lightly, she ceased her singing. For a moment they gazed at each other with desire. Then her expression took on a look of sadness and regret. A single tear flowed from her eye and fell upon her dress. Another came from its sister but left a streak of blood. She opened her rosebud mouth again and howled a guttural din. All around them, the sky and ocean began to lash at one another with terrible spite. Two titans speared each other with columns of air and water, giving birth to ravaging cy- clones. The ship was pierced from beneath by thin shears of rock that sliced all the way up to the deck. Fruscian was flung from the vessel into a sea stained with the ruby blood of the sky. He clung to a piece of floating wood in a desper- ate bid to survive this war of na- ture. Fearfully, he looked up at the one he still longed for. The lovely features had turned to rotting flesh. Her mouth twisted in hatred and dribbled a foul acid. Her eyes were two black and de- caying planets. The dress was a portal to a netherworld, whose bar- riers were the outline of the gar- ment. Depicted were screaming and contorting forms, nightmarish in their malformed construction.

They writhed and squirmed be- neath chains unseen and sobbed pitifully for mercy from an agony unknown. “Touch me not, sailor.” She screeched in a harpy’s song. “For you have made me as I am. A widow for loneliness and fetid self-

September 28th 2010

Do you not debate, chancing courage of fear?” She: “Fear? What of, is it the owl you refer? Or perhaps the darkness in which un- known incidences occurs?” There emitted a laugh unnatural there, asylums would shudder to hear. And this laugh so shrill, so potent still hung about echoes like an un- welcome quest. It foreshadowed an intention, it aspired to kill and be- fore its resonance left, it fulfilled its will. What a terrible life fate can have in store. She did not flinch, she had done worse before.

loathing you see before you. “ The wounded man worked up the strength to utter a call. “Cherished gifts have been kicked aside and left to disinte- grate at nature’s fickle leisure. A dream this most certainly is. Only in a dream could I have be- held something so wonderful again. Yet, a terrible dream it is, for it contains all the ugliness of real- ity. I sailed to you from the shores of the past. Those currents I know well and have sailed with too much ease. I sail them with a foolish desire. But I won’t lie stranded and surrounded by these breakers again tonight. I cannot live and let death be my bride. This fair rock has been weath- ered with time. I must leave it and construct a ship anew from the wreckage of the one that brought me here. My odyssey will continue and you shall be a chapter, but not its conclusion. You, who drew me to your isle, will sing your melody to new conquests. I will journey to the fair creatures of other waters.” She looked on as Fruscian began swimming east but did nothing to stop him. His image became ever smaller and night became ever darker. The wounds of sky and ocean slowly healed and har- mony was restored. When the next day dawned and she could see the east, the soldier had gone from view. She knew he must have met a new sun as it rose. After some time, her star fell from the sky and met her in the west.

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