Parallel project #4

Thinking again about magical realism, I’m reminded of a short story of which this is the opening paragraph:

“The sea had embroidery at its edges. It cast a frill of pretty ruffles over the pebbles and sank like fine silk in between them before the giant in the deep ocean turned over in his sleep and drew it back.” Not Blue Not Fresh Not Ever Free (unpublished short story)

It brings to the people on the land whatever they want; different kinds of items on different tides – clothes one time, furniture another. Beyond that, their world is normal and essentially recognisable, if a little sideways.

Later, things begin to go slightly awry:

“Disposing of the dead girl meant nothing was amiss again. “The babies will be coming soon,” she said, and stalked off with a straight back that said she had more important things to do than worry about walls of ice, rips in the sky, and ice cubes with inconvenient dead people in them.” op cit.

Then there’s the one about scene-shifters being responsible for everything humans think they know about the universe:

“Of course there were awkward moments, usually down to a couple of individuals spending too much time in their heads and not enough in grovelling ignorance. We like ignorance because it keeps everything tidy and ticking over nicely. But now they’re loose and meddling with everything, pulling up the floorboards, unravelling the fabric of it all, and shifting the furniture to hoover up dust and stuff for their experiments.” A Very Particular View. unpublished short story.

And another about fish in the sky:

“Whether it was the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning, or something else entirely turned out to be immaterial. After a short interlude during which astronomers reported a slight increase in background radiation and sunsets appeared rather more purple than usual, the sky turned green and filled up with fish.” Spectacular Flights of Whales. Coastlines: stories and poems from West Sussex Writers. 2017, Rumian Publishing.  

This story concerns the reversal of gravity:

“Not long afterwards, bigger items like bikes and deliveries of wine in twelve bottle cases began disappearing straight upwards, and stuff that hadn’t moved before because it was indoors, started bumping up against people’s ceilings like birthday helium balloons.” Puddles Like Pillows. Lascaux Anthology 2014.

All of these events are framed in the stories within very ordinary settings and can be so in paintings – a seafront, the bottom of a wardrobe, a city- or landscape – because they all rely on the mundane and its disruption by the extraordinary. This feels possible, and as they’re all mine, there’s no copyright issue.

Of course, this may all change and I may use the ideas and write something very different to accompany the images.

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