The mill lodge’s surface was thick black with oil and filth of yesteryear. Its abuser, a red brick cotton mill, long ago demolished to make way for grey towers that loomed over the weir and its patch work of gangly, anorexic trees. Contemporary detritus had found a watery grave courtesy of the human inhabitants of the towers, steel trolleys and crisp packets sinking and floating respectively in a bleak abyss that had forgotten all life that it once incubated. All except one. One seemingly constant force that had been the mill pond’s resident since before even the mill’s birth. A simpler time when the waterway followed ancient ley lines to a greater lake long since desiccated; leaving it trapped in this shallow prison for four hundred years. Continue reading
When I close my eyes I see the killing tree.
It rises from the ground the colour of ash; its sap a crimson wash. My eyes are transfixed upon its leafless branches, sharpened to hooks. A dying breeze soothes the hate within its heart momentarily, cooling the flames of hell that dwell within. Yet its malevolence is ever constant; totems of white flesh skewered upon its being. Some lie crumpled and still while others writhe as worms do before being cast into the sea. The pain of this image is profound and it wakes me from my wet slumber on the leafy forest floor. I am close now to finding my prey, having been on foot for three days. My quarry is a murderer, unleashed from the comforts of sanity. A man whose motives are as distant as the stars above me. A man whose friendship I once knew.
Jacob dreamed vividly of his childhood. It was of his Grandfather and himself, aged eleven, standing silent by the river Ant; one of the many arteries of Norfolk. He looked up at the chiselled features of his elder, seeing the spectre of a lifetime’s experience in his wrinkled face as he cast a fishing line out into the motionless waters. Weary, jaundiced eyes never switching their focus from the task at hand. Time was an abstract here, waxing and waning at its own leisure with little consequence, yet despite this Jacob felt that he had been with his Grandfather for an hour or more and in that hour no conversation had passed their lips, no ponderings or exchanges, just an occasional abrupt instruction here and there. Blunt teaching that had led him to become the skilled angler he was today, having received awards for his expertise, albeit in local tournaments only. The silence between them had continued to grow before his Grandfather spoke and even then it was uncertain whether it was to Jacob or the wilderness at large, a supplication to the old gods who lay buried in the reeds. The words came low and monotonous, holding immeasurable sway to a child’s imagination and holding dominance over all other sound.