Thursday, 29 March 2012

Bonnie Tyler's Lament

07:30:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , , , , , , , , , , , , 3 comments

As some of you know, I am in the final year of the 'English: language, literature and creative writing' degree at Blackpool and Fylde College.  My final portfolio is due in tomorrow so you will forgive me if I'm up to my eyeballs in the tired slime of editing right now.  However, for your delectation, please find below the descriptive introduction to the first piece of storytelling which I attempted with David Riley in Summer 2011.  It's set in a forest in New Zealand and the story is called The Bird Woman and Hatupatu.

Sunlight tints the horizon and indigo fades against blushes of crimson, orange, delicate pink.  On the southerly twin of a pair of islands, the forest wakes gradually from its slumber.  The moss-green, owl-like Kakapo bird and the mammoth, grasshopper-like Weta retire to their slumber.  In their place, the gossiping Kaka parrots and the blue-throated kokako which climbs the trees to gain height only to glide back down again.  Its song – flute-like – is the most beautiful of the forest.  

The new morning’s light breaks through the crown of foliage, picks out the round, flat canopy of a tree fern, the vibrant scarlet of a flowering rata tree.  It finds pockets of violet pouch fungus and bright blue entoloma mushrooms, a thick carpet of moss, clumps of perching lilies clinging to branches and a twisted knotwork of supplejack vine connecting the trees in a haphazard tapestry.  

The music of the morning forest approaches a crescendo of courtship and debate.  The canopy pops with song as the sunlight coaxes a procession of activity.  A red feather descends through the chill air.  It comes to rest upon a  flat stone in the centre of a clearing.  It rests beside a mound of insects – spiders, worms, grubs, beetles – which writhe in states of partial dismemberment.  Crushed and broken, the insects squirm but cannot escape the platform.  

Sitting astride another stone, veiled by a knot of supplejack vine, a woman sits – silent, still.  She watches the insects with her glass-bead eyes.  About her shoulders, a cloak of glossy black feathers.  Beneath the cloak, a pair of strong, white feathered wings.  Her nails are long and sharp.  Her lips, if they are lips, point out of her face like a short, bronze beak.  The bird woman, Kurangaituku, sits, perfectly still, perfectly silent, and she watches the insects; she watches her bait.


Ashley R Lister said...


I'm sure I'm not alone on here in wishing you well for the submission of your final portfolio.

Wonderful writing (as always).


Wordrabbit said...

I agree with Ash on all counts regarding this post Vicky.

Go girl

Standard said...

Having seen the portfolio performed I can only say if it doesn't get a first (and then some) someone's drugged the ref!

Once again, great stuff. I would wish you luck but you don't need it, so I'll just say Godspeed to your typing fingers ma'am ;)