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Authors: James Treadwell


BOOK: Anarchy
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As in strange lands a traveller walking slow,

In doubt and great perplexity,

A little before moon-rise hears the low

Moan of an unknown sea;

And knows not if it be thunder, or a sound

Of rocks thrown down, or one deep cry

Of great wild beasts; then thinketh, “I have found

A new land, but I die.”



Three Dialogues



“ . . .”

Speak. Speak

“. . . sp . . .”


“. . . ah . . .”

Answer me. Be voiced. Be mouthed

“Be . . .”

I am speech. I I am mouth and breath. I I I am consonant and vowel. Speak


I am I am I am the irresistible word. I make a mouth out of your shadow of a mouth and a name out of your shadow of a name. Answer me


Remember me. I am undeniable. I am here


I speak the sun and light ascends. I speak the arrow and plague falls. I am the lyre and the laurel and the long road. I I I am here. Where I stand is an island in these dark waters. I make a place

“I'm not . . . I'm not.”

You are. I am inescapable. I am the absence of choice

“Let me go.”

There is nowhere else to go. I am every road. I am every beginning and every end. I am prophecy. I am desire and I am consummation. I am the bright eye of the heavens. I am the light that falls everywhere

“Not here. It's so dark.”

I am without contradiction. Remember. You fled me once


You fled light. You fled the sun. You hid yourself


You fled with my seed. You sought the dark. You sought to escape my eye. Say whether I found you

“That was . . .”


“When I was . . . I was.”

Say what happened. Speak

“That was before.”

I am then and now. I I I am above and below. I pour golden breath in your mouth. My seed is truth. Say it

“You found me.”

I found you

“You fell on me.”

I fell on you. I planted my golden seed in you

“Let me go.”

My seed has grown

“No. Oh no.”


“Not that. Not him.”

My seed has grown and become prophecy. Truth walks the world above

“Let me forget. Please.”

I forbid it. I I I banish forgetting. I have been forgotten and now and now now there will be no more oblivion

“Let me . . . not speak.”

You begged me. You refused me. Remember. I am implacable. Remember. Say what happened

“I was . . .”


“I went . . .”

You came east to a place that belonged to me. You refused to forget. You slept among oak trees and the sun rose and turned them golden and I was the gold I was the grove I was the sun and the seed

“Ah. No.”

And I was the light that fell on you and the light you fled from and I was the beginning of the long road you took and though you hid from me I was also the end

“No. Agony.”

And I was the seed that took root in you and I was the pain of its growing and I was the bitter music of its birth

“No. I want silence.”

And I am the plague that burst in blood from your womb and I am the mouth you suckled and I I I I am the word that mouth must speak

“It's so dark. I'm so alone.”

I am the blood and the burnt offering and the smoke from the hidden fire. I am the writing on the sibylline leaves. I am everything no longer forgotten. I am the message you could not speak before you died. I have a thousand names and every one of them is true. I give you back your name and your voice

“No one can hear me.”

I am the voice in darkness. I am the words written in the sky by the wings of birds. I I I I am oracle

“No more. Finished.”

I I am the road you trod. I am not finished. I have no horizon

“Let me go. Let me be forgotten.”

I deny it. Remember


I am the light that always returns. I am the sun the sun the sun

“My son. I remember. Our son.”


ut you promised.”

“I know.”

“You promised!”

“I know. I'm sorry.”

“You said you'd stay forever. I remember you saying it.”

“I will. I'll come back.”

“That's not the same. Forever means not going away at all.”

“I thought so too. But maybe it doesn't.”

“What do you mean, ‘maybe'? You can't go. You can't. I'll have no one left.”

“I've talked to Owen.”


“He'll come as often as he can.”

“We hardly see him for days!”

“He'll keep an eye on you.”

“What about the rest of the time? After Christmas he didn't come for I don't know how long.”

“And there's Holly. And Grey Mouser.”

“Don't be stupid. I want you here. You said!”

“I'm sorry.”

“Stop saying that! I don't care if you're sorry or not.”

“If there was anything else I could do, I would. I mean it. But I have to go.”

“That's a stupid thing to say. If there was anything else you could do. You could go on here with me like we've been doing.”

“If only I could . . .”

“No! Don't touch me.”

“Fair enough.”

“You promised you'd always be here!”

“Listen. I'm promising now. All right? I'll come back. Once I've done what I have to do I'll come back. As soon as I can.”

“All right. When?”

“I don't know.”


“I'm sorry. I'd say if I did but I don't. It doesn't matter. However long it is it'll be over one day. You'll be here and I'll come back.”

“Where are you going?”

“I'm going to take this back, first.”

“What's in there?”

“You probably don't want to see it. It's that mask. I don't like the idea of leaving it in the house with you. Anyway, it belongs to someone else, a friend. So I'll take it back to her. Then I have to go . . .”


“Find something.”


“I'll show you when I've found it.”

“What is it?”

“Something that belongs to me. I'll show you. When I get back.”

“Why? Why do you have to find anything? We've got everything we need here. We've managed so far. Weeks.”

“It's . . . I can't explain. It's important. A thing, something I should have taken before, but I didn't know. It's my fault. And now it's gone.”


“Marina. I'm s— This isn't helping. Asking lots of questions. Nothing I say's going to make this easier. I'll do what I need to do and come back to you as quickly as I can. That's all it comes down to. But you might have to wait awhile.”

“I'll come with you.”

“You can't.”

“Yes I can. We'll go together.”

“You have to stay here. It's not safe for you.”

“I'm almost as old as you.”

“This is a nightmare. . . . The longer we talk the worse it gets. I don't even want to say good-bye, that would be like I'm not coming back, and I am. I promise. Okay? I promise. Will you wait? I might have a long way to go.”

“Where are you going?”

“Quite far. Don't think about it. I'll come back, just think about that.”


“Better if I don't.”

“You can't go just like this. You can't just walk out. Close the door.”

“There's no other way I can go.”

“You can't do this to me.”

“I hate— I'll think of you every step of the way. Okay? Will you think of me every day?”

“Every day? Days? You're going for days?”

“Yes, it'll be days.”

“How many?”

“Don't count them. Whatever you do. Once I get back it won't matter how long we had to wait.”

“Stop. Please stop. You haven't explained anything.”

“I can't. It's too— There's no choice. I'm getting it over with. The next time I go through this door I'll be back for good. I promise. Okay. Till then. . . . Okay? Till then. I—”


“Till then.”


“Wait. Don't—

“Don't . . .”



 . . .

“I said, Hi.”

 . . .

“Jennifer, right?”

 . . .

“You like Jennifer? Or Jen, or . . .”

 . . .

“Can you look at me, please?”

 . . .

“Okay. We have a long day tomorrow. So I'm going to try and keep this polite. Easier for both of us that way. Hey, there you go. Thank you. Hi. I'm Officer Maculloch. I'm going to be taking you over to George on the ferry tomorrow. Everyone calls me Goose.”

 . . .

“Don't ask why.”

 . . .

“Not that you're going to ask. . . . I guess it doesn't matter too much what you call me if you're not going to say anything, eh?”

 . . .


 . . .

“Jeez. Okay. So, listen, I'm sorry about the cell. It's just for today. Place over in George is a proper facility. It's supposed to be pretty nice. You know. Beds.”

 . . .


 . . .

“Like the things you sleep in.”

 . . .

“Jeez. Okay, you can stop looking at me now.”

 . . .

“You know what? I'm not too much of a talker either. So I guess we'll get along fine tomorrow, eh?”

 . . .

“You ever been on that ferry before? No? I'm calling that a no. Goes all the way up to Prince Rupe. It's a pretty long ride. They don't let you stay in the car. Safety regulation. So I'm supposed to cuff you. That's the protocol.”

 . . .

“So, like, if you need the bathroom. Or you get hungry. Think about it. It might help if you say something.”

 . . .

“You understand me, Jennifer?”

 . . .

“I read about you, you know.”

 . . .

“In the papers. You were kind of famous for a while there.”

 . . .

“I read you sing.”

 . . .

“When you think nobody's looking. That facility down in Nanaimo, they have CCTV in the rooms. Kinda creepy, huh? But they do. Apparently. I read there's CCTV that shows you got up every night and did a little dance and they could see your mouth moving.”

 . . .

“Is that right?”

 . . .

“Guess you can't believe everything in the papers, huh.”

 . . .

“Okay. Forget it. I'm escorting you tomorrow, that's it, we're done. All I'm saying is, I know you can open your mouth if you want to. So if you want me to help you out. You know. Makes things a bit easier for tomorrow.”

 . . .

“I'm not going to cuff you anyway.”

 . . .

“Stupid regulation. I don't need cuffs to keep you straight.”

 . . .

“I may look nice but I'm mean as dirt.”

 . . .


 . . .

“Jeez. This is going to be— All right. So, anyway, hi. Just introducing myself. I'll be in and out this afternoon. Officer Paul'll take over this evening. He's got the apartment here.”

 . . .

“Next door. Like, right through that wall down the end there. So, you know. Nearby. Just in case.”

 . . .

“If you care.”

 . . .

“You don't care at all, do you, huh?”

 . . .

“Okay. I did my best. Sorry it's not more comfortable. I'd say shout if there's something I can get you, but I guess that's not going to happen.”

 . . .

“Yeah. Joke.”

 . . .

“By the way, I know you didn't do it.”

 . . .

“Doesn't take a genius. I followed the story. Pretty obvious your mom was, you know.”

 . . .

“You know, making it up. Whatever.”

 . . .

“Whatever. It didn't work out too bad for you in the end. That facility in George is pretty swish. Not so much fun in winter up there, but you already missed most of that, so, okay.”

 . . .

“Well, I guess if all those experts couldn't get a hello out of you, I'm not going to. You know what? You and me'll do okay tomorrow. I always kind of like not having to chat too much, eh? Okay. I'm going to get a coffee. Going to walk down to Traders, the stuff Jonas has in here makes me ill.”

 . . .

“Just a few minutes down there and back. You know Traders.”

 . . .

“So I'll lock you back in here, I guess. Nice to meet you.”

 . . .

“Okay. See you.”

 . . .

 . . .

 . . .

 . . .

 . . .

 . . .

 . . .

 . . .

 . . .

“Jeez, what's that . . .


“Smells like he left yesterday's catch in here. . . . Jonas, you here? . . .

“God, I might throw up. Coming from back here somewh—



“What the—

BOOK: Anarchy
10.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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