Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Uppermost Part of the Water Feature (excerpts)

Celia Agamemnon laughed.

She stood naked, save for a necklace constructed with beads of her own frozen period blood, on top of an overturned skip; a pile of refuse stretched out below her, its metallic constituents catching the morning sunlight with the diamond black sparkle of freshly mined coal. Although she was no more than four feet above the ground, Agamemnon felt a sense of elevation reserved usually for the most audacious of sky pilots. Her body felt heavy with the potential of its descent, a descent pictured rapturously in her mind’s eye—not as the desperate tumble of a clumsy mountaineer, but the furious dive of a kamikaze bomber or a comet racing gravity to its own demise, its name cut with fire across the sky’s grey poker face. She dropped into a crouch and launched herself up into the void.

***

Agamemnon grabbed a pencil and began to sketch. Her companions stood transfixed as black lines accumulated on the white page, quickly knitting together to form a cohesive design. Such was the power of the transformative process unfolding before their very eyes—the conversion of isolated, abstract elements into a great wholeness—that the design itself almost seemed unimportant. It was, however, extremely brilliant. Agamemnon finished and hurled the pencil to the floor, where it broke into two exactly equal parts. “Bravo!” cried her audience as one. She did not smile—their approval was not important to her.

***

“See here, you’re creasing them, you fool,” said Milton Pistolwhip, as he reached forward and plucked the schematics from the clerk’s puny hands. He stepped over to a nearby table and unfurled the papers once more, then rolled them into a perfect cylinder, which he then sealed expertly with a blue elastic band.

“Gee, sir,” said the chastened young man, “you really know how to work those papers. Could you possibly show me some time?”

“If I ever have a chance,” grunted Pistolwhip, irritably. “But right now I have a public swimming pool to construct, if only the creeps at city hall will let me.”

"Are they still giving you trouble, Mr Pistolwhip?” enquired the clerk, in a solicitous, weasel-like tone.

Pistolwhip smiled. “Insects are no trouble, boy. Not for me.” His laughter echoed around the chamber, causing its surfaces and fittings to shake like frightened children. The clerk recoiled in terror, feeling as though this glimpse of his employer’s true power had robbed him of five years of his life. For once, he was right.

1 comment:

Roland said...

I'm trying to read in connections between these excerpts and what might be happening to you in London. Hurrah!