Tuesday night was The Flying Monkeys Story Night, with a Halloween/Samhain theme. I wrote a short dark tale about the sea and told it on the night, and sang the two most fitting songs I could think of (Nick Cave’s ‘Red Right Hand’ and the classic ‘Gloomy Sunday’ – both worked much better on the ukulele than I expected, as I thought they might sound ridiculous when I tried it).
I’m really enjoying starting to write and tell stories as well as singing.
Here are videos of the story and the songs, recorded in the much less atmospheric setting of my front room (story night went full candle).
The text of the story is below the videos.
[story text updated with recent edits, August 2017]
The Silvery Sea
A sunset is a lovely thing
It makes me wear a great big grin
As all the colours burst through the sky
Reality is wearing thin
Twilight follows and shadows grow
The lights in the sky are turned down low
As darkness comes you must hold on
To everything you think you know.
A man sat on the sea wall, eating fish and chips as the sun went down. The sky began to fill with a multitude of vivid colours.
Occasionally seagulls swooped low over the man’s head, but he ignored them, silently eating, lost in his own thoughts.
He watched the sun sinking lower, and the colours growing, reflected off bands of silky, wispy, clouds stretching across the sky in a last blaze of colour. As the colours spread, boundaries between worlds thinned. Different realities began quietly and insidiously to seep into each other.
The man finished his fish and chips just as the sun finally slipped behind the horizon. As he looked out in the fading twilight, the sea seemed to take on a slick, silvery skin – thick, heavy and oily.
This mercurial sea rolled in and leapt at the rocks and concrete, above which the man was perched.
The crashing of the breaking waves and the menacing sucking sound as the water was pulled back down through the rocks swirled up and around the man, seeming all at once to be outside him and within him, physical and ethereal.
He felt borne into the air by it, although he remained rooted to the spot.
His focus was drawn fully to the rolling sea, darker and edgier as the light faded and the shadows spread, tendrils of darkness growing into each other.
The sea called to him. It entered his mind and drew long thin threads of it out into the darkening silvery waters.
Now the sea had him in its power, though still he sat on the wall, oblivious. His head filled with the sound and the sight and the smell and the spirit of the sea.
It was so inviting.
To just slide into its waters and be part of it.
He was entranced.
The man pushed off with his hands and dropped to the base of the wall, the waters lapping around his feet. He walked confidently over the rocks, stepping down them into the sea, not feeling the cold or the wet – not thinking as the waters came up to his waist, his chest, his neck.
He stepped off the last rock, pulled onwards by the sea, by the long threads it drew from his mind, and plunged into the water.
As he sank below the surface and was drawn down, deeper and deeper, he was erased from the world he left behind. Just as the sea had drawn the man’s mind out in threads, so it did with his past reality – reaching out and finding all his connections to the world, unravelling them, gathering them together, pulling them back and dragging them down with him into the depths.
No record of him, no memory of him, no trace of him remained.
Except – above the sea wall – one greasy fish and chip wrapper fluttered around in the breeze…
The sea rolls on over the deep
Reality begins to creep.
So beware as you stare from the waters side,
Its silvery threads may want your soul to keep