"The Road to London"
A (dark) romance novel.
EXTACT: pp.117-119, Chapter entitled Flight and Light
I felt Michael lift me by the hand. I felt my friends’ eyes on us, I was proud. The Moon on us like a celestial spotlight, we rose like swans to meet the light. I felt my Mum, my Dad, Pat, the youth and their parents, the grey souls, the world, I felt their eyes on us, and I was proud. ‘Let’s run,’ he said, ‘let’s run.’ We turned to the silver light, ‘Go!’ Run, run. Run like the wind, run. Run to the end of the land, run to the sea, run to meet the rainbow, where it kisses the horizon. Run with the clouds, run, run to the sky. Yes, run!’ Hand in hand, we ran. Faster and faster to the top of the hill. Hearts beating faster, our faces drowned in the Moon. Like swans we rose, David and Daniel watching us. We ran, we ran. We ran past the glistening stage, ran past our friends, ran past our lives. Hand in hand, our steps quickened, the wind behind us, we ran to the west, where the land meets the sky, we ran into the light and yes: I could fly!
Where the land meets the sky, where the wind breathes warmer, closer to the stars, on the summit, I could see it all. Hand in hand, we saw the glittering fountain down to the left, and its million bright inhabitants. David and Daniel, like stars looking up to us, the vast marquee alive with youths and music spread behind them. The grey city moaned breathlessly to the right, asphyxiating dreams. Trees behind us spoke to the wind, the light of the night fell down on us, sky meeting land, light meeting darkness. Ahead of us, in the warm breeze, only light. We fell on the ground. The grass was soft. Drowned in the summer light, we hugged. I heaved. His hand in mine, I felt Michael’s foot rub my leg. From the back of the universe a spark crossed his eyes and drowned in my heart. His face was pale, his hair dark. Time stopped. The world watched. In the light of the Moon, his lips parted, mine answered. I yielded. Wind and wave, sky and land, it was all light. Our heads closed; we kissed.
Thunder strikes; the grey city shakes. Scolding the grey metropolis, thunder strikes, low, remote like a lost lament. Thunder strikes; the fierce wind sweeps the long grey avenues that lead nowhere, scraping the walls, chasing the smog into the ground. Thunder strikes; the land cowers. Steady, monotonous, the gale pillages the pavements, upsets the grey asphalt, knocks on the doors of the grey blocks. Thunder strikes; grey factories and office blocks shrink and hide. Hail, like fire from hell, blasts the grey towers, rain pelts the grey cars. The grey city lies supine, moaning breathlessly in the endless night. Thunder strikes; its fingers scratch the windows of the grey prisons, seeking a way in. Panes shatter, shutters scatter, tiles fly. Thunder strikes; like a crying child, the grey metropolis cowers and recoils. Silence. Thunder strikes; dark covering darkness. Its void boom echoing among the grey souls, shivering against grey walls and under the beds, awaiting the end. Thunder strikes, then lightning. Reaping the sky apart, like heavenly fire, for a moment, the grey city lies naked, defenceless in the light. For a moment, thunder is silent, the sky waits, the universe is still. Thunder and lightning, the universe opens and pours its rage onto to dormant giant. Thunder: the warning. Then lightning. Aeons of darkness break, a single light lashes the land. Amongst the million grey souls, lightning strikes. Lightning strikes, the city awakes. From nightmare to nightmare the grey souls raise their heads in silence. Thunder strikes, then lightning: cutting the endless night, light falls on a dream.
It was a great night in the club, my Dear. We danced all night. The music was light. The lights were bright. It was a great night.
We went to the little sauna afterwards. You were drunk; you’d ripped your trousers. You went to a cabin to sleep, my Dear, you were drunk. I waited for you, all night, like dawn. I saw you rise in the morning, like light kissing the sky. You smiled, I followed. I could see you, my Dear, behind me, like a swan, behind me. I could see you in the mirror, you were wearing my cap. You grabbed my hair and lifted my head, so I could see you behind me. Wave, wind, land and sky: just light. I heaved, like ocean to the call of the Moon. I rose, mounted and fell, rose, mounted and fell: fulfilled. I lost my will, my thoughts, myself in you. Like magma slowly pouring from a volcano, your heat embraced me, took me, commanded me to yield, disclose my senses like rose to dew. My lips parted, moist, expectant, supplicant and grateful. Grateful, they accepted you, filling me with your salt, swelling like a wave inside me, stroking me within like ocean wind and, becoming me, crushed me, possessed me, replaced me. Grateful, I thanked you in my sighs. Like lightning you struck; I filled with light. Free, free from my conscience, free to my senses, free to you, I heaved. No more my own. No more. Yours, my Dear, yours. ‘I want a big mirror in your room,’ you said. I’ll always say yes to you. Always.
You locked the cabin afterwards. ‘I was drunk last night,’ you said, ‘I was drunk.’ Your eyes sunk; I knew then. ‘I was drunk, you know.’ Blue, blue and again blue: the sky and the ocean crossed your eyes and sunk in my heart. The Sun was rising. You said you loved the boy: I learnt then. You said you loved the boy. Like light pouring from the back of the universe, your words struck me: thunder. ‘I never really love,’ I said, ‘just crushes now and then.’ I lied my Dear, I lied. I didn’t know then, but I know now: I lied.