I could do with a cave right about now. Some where cool and dark, not too humid, not too dry. Somewhere I can hide from the oppressive and malign rays of the Day Star. A place where I can pass the worst of high summer in something approaching comfort. By now you will all be well aware that I talk a lot about the weather and that I cannot abide the heat. But it reached a new level the other week as I sweated through my shirt and my trousers until I was unpleasantly damp in all the wrong places. I yearn for winds both sharp and cold; for air crisp and clear; for the ability to wear one of my many nice coats or many good jumpers. On the upside we’ve had some cracking thunderstorms. Which is nice. Now on to the fiction.
Tag Archives: July
Do you hear that sound? That high-pitched whine just at the edge of hearing? The wail whose source you just can’t quite find, every time you try to focus your hearing onto it, the sound just slides away to somewhere else. It’s the sound that’s making your dogs ears bleed and your cutlery melt. That sound is me. It is an exquisite requiem rendered in panic, anxiety and failure. For you see, I forgot to write the blogpost for the beginning of July’s Pictonaut Challenge. Now it’s gone 7pm, the post should have slithered onto the internet seven hours ago. But it couldn’t, because it did not exist. I should have written it last night but I got distracted. I could make my excuses, there was a THUNDERDOME, some faeries, boots which were made for thinking. But so much of it is a strange and incomprehensible blur of which I can only grasp loose and vivid shards. And so I am lost in a thick soup of panic as I frantically hammer away at my keyboard, desperately trying to finish this blogpsot before anyone notices that it’s missing. that soupy, black panic pulls me further into its fathomless depths, it swallows me, I cannot find The Way Out.
British summer. In most situations those two words paired together form one of the most ridiculous oxymorons of the western world. The isles of Britannia don’t do summer. They do prolonged periods of seasonal disappointment interspersed at rare and fleeting intervals with what can only be described as a acts of meteorological cock-teasing. A summer in Britain is about rain, moaning about the rain and clomping through fields in big green wellies. By traditional standards it is not about temperatures that make the deserts of North Africa look positively chill by comparison. Last Monday, as the heat wave crested into its second week temperatures hit 33.5°C. Sun has come to Britain. The first heat wave since 2006. The hottest I remember it being in perhaps a decade. A summer that could even give the Summer of ’76 a run for its money.
I am melting…
As you read this I should hopefully be in a state resembling some sort of regenerative coma, a slightly more mainstream and fundamentally less cool version of the Odin Sleep. For I will have only just returned from my holidays. Finally returning to my seat of power after wild adventures in Devon and Nottinghamshire. I will be a drained and empty husk, my vital life essences depleted after so long away from the dark and eldritch energies that coarse through my lair. I expect to be so utterly incapable of cognitive processing or even basic motor control, that this post is being written ahead of time. Thus I come to you, through the mist of time, from June 8th. In what I can only described as a very shoddy approximation to a real time machine.
But June is over, June is gone. Now is July. It is the month when the summer holidays started when you were back at school. Six weeks that seemed to stretch on into infinity. Six weeks of perfect sunshine, days unblemished by rain. Of days in the garden, or down at the beach. Or in my case, crunching your way through Final Fantasy 8 and then pretending you’d been out playing football all day when your dad came home. But let us not dwell on nostalgia, for nostalgia is a drug. A highly addictive drug that makes both heroin and crack cocaine seem just “moreish” or “scrummy” by comparison. This is just hyperbolic though. Don’t do drugs. Unless they’re the sort prescribed to you by a legitimate and registered member of the human medical profession.
Rambling aside, time for the Pictonaut Challenge. This month it’s Sand Sea.
So here we are at the end of July and as the heat wave that’s been assailing Britain comes towards its end so does July’s Pictonaut Challenge. You’d think that 10 months in I’d have gotten the hang of this short story lark. You’d think I’d be cracking this out in the space of an afternoon the day after the month’s challenge starts. You’d think I’d then spend the rest of the month in casual relaxation while spending odd hours here and there honing the text to a razor-sharp point. You would however, be quite fantastically wrong. I’m writing this blog post on the evening of the 30th of July, it’s 8:43 pm and July’s wordascope remains incomplete. I didn’t even start writing it until Saturday evening. I am a terrible sham of a man, a fraud and a man of lies and deceit. But at the end of the day nothing focuses the mind more than blind panic.
Today is July 1st 2012 and I am a bit of a mess. I had envisaged a day of wild productivity, of getting things done, of cleaning pans and hoovering floors, of writing reams upon reams of really good words. Such a grand plan was obviously doomed to fail, but today it failed before it even began. My alarm went off at just after 8am this morning, my response to this was to turn it off and roll over for what I initially planned to be for a short and brief five minutes but what rapidly spiralled upwards to a frankly decadent three hours. Those three hours were gloriously restful, but also fantastically surreal. I lived through a terrifyingly vivid science fiction odyssey first fleeing from an oppressive father by disguising myself as a leper. Then I found myself bounding across roads and fields with a faithful dog and massive spring-loaded jumping boots. I broke into a the VIP Hilton terminal of a futuristic interstellar train station, and paid a couple of million credits for a ticket out beyond the Oort cloud to deep, deep space to my destiny as a military trained space assassin. That whole bizarre experience was probably worth the three hours of my life it consumed, even if it is now fading into the realm of forgotten ideas, whole chunks of the experience rendered grey and fuzzy. Up until last night I still hadn’t decided what picture to pick from the mystical Pictonaut stockpile, but after this morning’s whirlwind adventure I decided. It had to be sci-fi.