I awoke one morning with the usual perplexity of mind which accompanies the return of consciousness, an entropic mood of decay, systems running down to disorder and finally a numbing sameness, as my thoughts, which a deep and apparently dreamless sleep had dissolved, began again to resume crystalline forms, the strange events of the foregoing day presented themselves anew to my wondering consciousness.

“It is a very strange place, but I scarcely know how to convey the impression it made upon me. It will all sound so simple and ordinary. There is nothing but disordered pines and shaggy moss-covered boulders. The stream running slowly, and more slooooowwly, forms a stagnant pool there of some considerable extent, from which some sickly-looking trees seem to fling themselves backwards, as if unwilling to approach it, a dead willow leans above the pool, tangling its wan skeletal reflection with the green scum that mottles the pond.”

Cracked, broken, shattered the walls threatened to come crashing down. Fragmentation, corrosion, decomposition, disintegration, rock creep debris, mud-flow sliding to avalanche everywhere in evidence. The grey sky seems to swallow up the trees as fractures and faults spill forth rotting debris. It is a drowned region, heavy with rot and an infinity of surfaces spread in every direction, a chaos of conglomerates attempting to engulf us.

Then, as an eliding light slurs down to mossy wet oblivion and dishevelled figures stumble around like tranquillised Antelope a scurf of detritus invades this lost forest – a rim of plastic, styrofoam, nylon thrown up by ominous tidal surges, deeper in there is only brown green dank, a catastrophe of blown-down pine’s, a post-apocalyptic vacancy filled with twittering, cawing and a distant booming rumble. It is bigger on the inside this place, big enough to swallow up these tiny figures and everything they represent. They gather in a glade cum swamp and divest themselves of their clothing, their bits and bobs and unencumbered they move into the interior, pale beacons illuminating the gathering dark.

Jim Colquhoun

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