Pulpit Rock published

Maybe dreaming, time uncertain—Laylah

The Rock is there; it’s always there, it always will be.

Uncle says, ‘Look up there’ and we follow his pointing finger, bone thin, looking up at the Rock whitewashed by full moon. Cream and grey where the crevices are and with more than enough light for the full face of the cliff to look pink. I know from science that it’s the alkali feldspar in the rocks around here, but Dehlia always tells me it is dried blood washed by rain from the rock. She whispers it again to me now.

Uncle is chanting. It’s a drone, a mumble of older, other vocals, and the smoke from the gum leaves he waves through the fire’s low flames drift in veils past our faces, me and my cousins, Dehlia’s and Clarrie’s. I’m not sure but it looks like the Rock’s craggy face is dissolving. Misting, and other figures scramble about it, crying out and falling.

Figures leap from the face, men on horses driving them. Bodies roll down the hill, sliding and skittering in showers of stones and sticks and Uncle is there. He stops a body with his foot and then he looks up at me. At me, alone. No body at his feet, just Uncle and me in a quiet grey place, like fog.

But I am not me and Uncle is not Uncle. He—whoever he is—looks at me—whoever I am— and I try to understand what his look is saying. And then, like wind before a storm, his voice rushes into my head and reverberates over and over. Just one word.


Just published; https://www.amazon.com.au/B0BP9CJB8J/

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