BCH Pick Of The Week
It was Tuesday morning and I couldn’t sleep again so I rode to the park, the rim of my front wheel scraping on the pavement. I supposed I should inflate it but then, I’d be gone soon. The sky was bereft, a muddy grey of erstwhile stars. In a concrete mansion a couple were fighting or making love, but these are only small differences. The nature strips were flush with flowers or weeds, but these were only words. A streetlight was having a fever dream, its little burn waking on and off. It would do the same come the collapse of day and had so for years; no one could bother to fix it.
Now it was lawn and the rim had bitten its way through cheap rubber, gathering and losing fingers of grass. I made wheelies in the soft dirt, spinning my body in figure eights till inevitably I fell. The earth was gentle, and I could hear the hum of chute-building worms. There was thunder in the distance or maybe it was a truck. I wiped a little blood from my knees, it smelled like summer.
I decided to climb a tree so I could see the mountains. Toward the borderline of the park were haggard pines, carved with the names of long-gone lovers. Their branches were frail but if I balanced my weight perhaps I could reach the top without falling. I took off my slippers, but then there was a bear.
We had all heard of her and had seen the carnage of pets she left when rubbish bins failed to sustain her. On the first Sunday of spring the men gathered their shotguns and a hunt was held. Often someone young would claim they’d spotted and shot her, but I could see that her bulk was unscathed. She had to die for the bounty to be won, but it had been so many years that we’d forgotten how much it was for. For the sake of the festival, it was forbidden to attempt a kill at any other time of the year. We built our community around organised death.
She stood on her hind legs, and her stomach was a great swathe of ribs and flesh. I didn’t know if I should stand tall or play dead. She swayed from paw to paw, making low noises that were growls or greetings. I decided to stand. Perhaps it was the wrong choice, or she had already decided.
The blow caught the side of my face and then I’m not sure. There were crunching noises, leaves or bones. There was the wet smell of dawn or perhaps it was teeth. My body was rolled and heavy, a wreck of useless muscles against the enormity of space. I thought I saw my parents but they were holidaying at the ocean.
I woke to a scrape. My limbs were there. My scalp clung obstinately to my head, I still needed a haircut. In the first sun I could see the mountains, and in the distance, the dull scrape of rim on dirt as she rode my bike back into the forest.
*sometimes writing about why we like the music we do doesn’t suffice. This week the dark and beautiful web of Flouxetine Morning from Now Wakes The Sea motivated something a little different. Listen and see where it takes you. Huntress x