• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 10

Gouge in the Oak Door

You seem to think you know enough, set design and location brief.
But you don’t know past shuttered 16th century windows,
crow step gables and cobbled wynds. Did you hear the pan tile slide, disintegrate like pink sherbet at my feet, high storm, last spring?
You seem to think this is a once upon a time. A lick of paint will pitch us into a blockbuster life? Slip and slide on December ice, layered on higgled-piggedly cobbles. You weren’t there when a car slid full pelt from the Abbey, down Back Causeway, whacking every parked one like the dodgems. Modern times, the Post Office closed, a bus once an hour.
You won’t discover our community garden, its fankle of dried leaves, the muddled splash of faded petals, the cream-white nettle sting crowded by bees?
Have you heard the watering cans gurgle, the village blether, understated kindnesses? Have you googled ‘plague graves’ or ‘coffin walk’? Eavesdropped on Devilla’s secrets? Sat on its lichen-smudged stones, names erased to a fade, washed by centuries of gales?
You’ve had no word of Reverend Bishop’s slant-angled funeral procession, nor walked to derelict stacks on Preston Island, tasted the faint after-trace of furnace smoke, men’s guttural holler, machine-metal clang?
You claim imagination. Research Carnegie’s leaving at the jetty. He left his heart here.