Fiction: Love Letter to Canal Flying

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 10 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered.  As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It is a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels to me like arranging a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern.

Part of my blog challenge this month is to boost the content of this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which will stand alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my book design.

Canal Pic

Canal Flying

On the long summer evenings she loved to fly over the canal just as dusk was descending. It was an exercise in extraneous ego for she could see her magnificent reflection flying over the still water, a mirror to her glorious form, backlit by the clouds and vaulted blue sky above; woven into the waving water weeds and the journeys of teeming silent fish, below. It was a stirring sight as she flew boundlessly over endless miles, honing her senses as she listened beyond her ears to feel the rustle of reeds, ducks calling and sheep bleating their bedtime prayers.

She would consciously work all her senses – to go beyond them. Inhaling the smell of damp summer plants and slowly flowing canal ways; endeavouring to hear beyond the wind – blowing its soft swathes through fields of rippling, growing wheat; with wingless creatures scurrying through, under and around; aware of her above, where humankind ignored her.

She smiled as she flew on and followed the sleepy gentle lines and curves of the canals; the water drawing her along it and soothing her in gorgeous tandem with the easy constant rhythm of her wings.

Below her in innocent farms, cottages and narrow boats, somnambulant occupants watched TV and went about their end of the day business; ignoring her beating wings – sighing and sloughing over their heads in the descending darkness. Deliberately she would tease their senses by sweeping and flapping loudly, playing the wind and the mind and the contradictory silence of the countryside.

She loved this time alone and so week night flights ensured that there were less drunken loud people sitting out in canal side pub beer gardens; yapping and smoking their tarred freedom away, cutting into her sweet night fantastical flights with their discordant chatter.

Yet also from below, these solid land marked hostelry buildings offered her loud beacons of light, to navigate her certain way back home.

She avoided the roads, yet still, even along the quietest country lanes, motor vehicles would whizz inconstantly by; and so she was flying over the roofs of busy unknowing passengers, driving loudly and blindly below with full beams on, navigating through country lanes and over bridges, where unbeknownst, she steered high above, softly laughing at their modern, mechanical ways.

With dusk the bats would come out to feast and play, circling and crying whilst she confused their echo location positioning, as they sensed and sized up the gargantuan flying companion sharing their night world. ‘Squee, squee!’ they cried as she swept on by, bringing her out of her meditative reverie – measured till now by the simple soft beat of her beautiful wings.

Drawn by the sunset – she headed back home with the dropping light of day. Then the moon would take over, insinuated now into the sky above her head, having waxed and waned through a succession of watery nights – from new, to crescent and progressing back to a luscious full ball – with each lunar shape changing through and marking those sweet days of summer flight.

~ Sandra Peachey

PS: This blog post is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, what ever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites any where in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

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