Many Have, Many Will

Hurrying along in her clumsy manner, she shakes her head free of ridiculous thoughts as the raised voices of the market traders ring out behind her. The voices of the nearby drunks claw at her shoulders, but the quicker she moves, the less she feels them until they dissolve into the mist along with everything else. The building that houses the art studios is anonymous. You could pass right by it and be unaware of the magic that resides within, as many have, and many will. At first, it’s almost invisible, and she’s only sure of its presence by muscle memory alone. Approaching it with longer and longer strides, it soon rises up from out of the mist like a giant wave similar to the wave in that painting—The Great Wave of Kanagawa. From inside, she hears nothing. There are no signs of life. She knows it’s a lie, though. Reaching out her arms, the pink fingers on her hands touch the stone walls. They’re cold and damp and tremble slightly from the rumble of traffic that passes on the main road behind it. With both hands spread like wings, she pushes her face forward until her nose rests against the mossy concrete. Breathing in as deeply as her smoke-ravaged lungs allow, the musty smell that greets her evokes scenes from Victorian England. First comes the Elephant Man wearing a sack over his head, chased along a cobbled road by a band of jeering delinquents, and then appears Jack the Ripper slitting open the belly of some whore in Mitre Square. Focusing as hard as she can, she glimpses droplets of blood dancing against the bony moon in the sky above their heads, and even though the moment is long gone, the beat of her heart aligns itself with the beat of Jack’s and that of the dying whore’s, and the thrill and fear of death is enough to make her salivate.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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