• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 08

Horizontal Angel

The light is borrowed here; filtered through grime-streaked windows casting an amber glow upon a cornucopia of trinkets and furniture. Playing with light was one of her favourite hobbies – the art of adjusting lamp shades and replacing bulbs. She knew how to chase away a shadow to ensure focus was directed to a painting that demonstrated her keen eye or how to barter with the shade to mask a mark that she didn’t want the onlooker to observe. A dent in the wall in the shape of her skull, the browning stain on the floor the size of a womb.

Her home was both a fortress and a sanctuary. A place she could allow her personalities to roam, interior flotsam – directionless and wise. These caricatures of regressed lives, fantastical and autobiographical scented each room with her former adventures – a ballroom in Josselin, a promenade in Cornwall. Most importantly, her whiskered friends would guide these memories, tugging at them like fairground balloons from room to room. How she adored her furry companions. The wakeful purr as she’d drift in and out of disjointed memories.

The tea she drank was beginning to take hold. ‘Mr Fiddlesticks, forgive me,’ she whispers as the light becomes iridescent. She holds her frail fingers up to the spectrum, allowing the colours to pass though her skin. His face emerges, ‘Albert,’ she sighs. Three decades dissolve like the organic material she’d carefully stirred into her tea an hour or so ago. As the colours merge and bend throughout the room, her body is lifted until her nose lightly touches the ceiling. A horizontal angel ascended within the home she’d built for all these years and from this excavated vantage point she watches with eyes freshly grown at the rear of her head. The swirling fragments of the versions she’d inhabited in the time she’d lived here waltz


Horizontal Angel

and revolve around her beloved furnishings and pets. From where she lay, they resemble tiny possessed dolls - delicate and afraid, feeling their way to freedom.