A Novel Extract: Riddled with Senses

This is a little bit from my novel which is currently weaving its way through the printers. It’s written mostly from the point of view of a Hazel, a bitter seventeen year old, here writing in her diary right before her life gets thrown upside-down. It’s a little different to how I write now, more intense, more cynical, more lyrical I think.

Finally we tumbled wearily into Ditchley Park where we are slouching the morning with relief, isolated in nature where pedestrians daren’t tread. Outside the fence we can see them hurry and fluster from one dull detail to the next, huffing and rasping, out of focus at the edges of our movie.

We stretch out the hours sinking into the grass. Cant makes a small crop circle in the grass, walking his fingers in a spiral, pretending to be a little alien impressing the ants. We talk in rhymes, feel out of time, easy, tricking the light and dancing the dust, sleazy, slightly stoned and wheezy.

“This is how life should be,” declares Cant and I know he’s right, of course it should, no shouting, no hither and thither, no distress. We wonder why our tragic species ever strayed from the park, why leave the place we truly belong in order to create a world of confusion? Is that really evolution? Why do we need forms, bar codes and barriers? Why spend all that time building things only to smash them up to make space for new things? Why bitch and bicker? Why catch trains or buy stamps or wear stilettos?

“If people just thought to ask us, we could sort all this mess out,” says Cant thoughtfully chewing on a daisy, “but people never think.”

“If someone set up cameras and a news network in the park, then we could share our newfound understanding with the world,” I add.

We fill in the gaps to our New Theory of Where Man Went Wrong, plotting his tragic journey from park to street; his simple beginnings surrounded by grass, with easy access to the public toilets and the mobile cafe selling hot drinks and dogs to the complexities of corners and escalators; from happy, upright species to hunched, wary carcasses.

“The biggest nail in the coffin was when we started building banks,” declares Cant.

We’re thinking of selling our thesis to a science graduate, they’re all fucked on drugs anyway, they’d never realise it was bollocks and we could make a fortune.

When lunch comes around we walk back to school slowly and sadly, vowing one day to return to the park and bring others, to show them the way life should be. Back in the melting and solidifying streets, we pick up our pace, our thoughts quickening, becoming brittle, our spines in a stoop, our brows in a furrow. We become townies once again.



13 thoughts on “A Novel Extract: Riddled with Senses

  1. Very different to what i’m used to reading from you! (but definitely still enjoyable). The park thoughts are quite similar to what i feel whenever i go camping. You realise how much of the mod cons you just don’t need or even miss. But then when you get home again, you do morph back into a townie, and forget all about the previous camping sentiments, as though it were just a dream. ( just me? Maybe i have a very loud inner cynical-17 yr-old!).
    I’m curious about the thesis mention…i’m keen to know what it’s about. Would read more, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m really chuffed you like it. I’ll put some more up soon. 🙂
      And yes, camping is a joy quickly forgotten when you return to central heating (or aircon) and indoor toilets.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, good good! Looking forward to it. I’m still so excited for you that it’s being published.
        Oh my gosh, yes, the inside toilets. And showers. I suppose it’s pretty awesome that we get a chance to experience -and by contrast, appreciate- both realities 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice! Reminiscent of a scene from *A Scanner Darkly* by Philip K. Dick, in which his very stoned main characters sit around in their own little world just bullshitting and trying to figure out how many gears are on a bike.

    It’s quite poignant to see your characters revert to their ‘old’, world-weary selves after leaving the park. A moment of freedom in a world of responsibility. Good luck with the printing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for stopping by and liking my post. It means a lot. I read this post, and it quickly reminded me how people forget to take a step back from their daily routines for some introspection.

    Good writing, here.

    Liked by 1 person

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