Crush: Was that a steam whistle?…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s architectural term is ‘Pulvin’ – In Byzantine architecture, a dosseret above the capital supporting the arch above.
Damn! Now I’ve got to look up dosseret! – The French term for an additional high block or slab set on top of an abacus and placed between it and the spandrel of the arch above.
No, bugger it!… I’m  not looking up abacus and spandrel too, you’ll have to be satisfied with pulvin and dosseret… This could go on for ever!…

Yet another ‘story’ in the post from Veronica Crush, writer from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League, now living in New York with tall tree surgeon and heir to a multimillion dollar fortune, Monty Tick:

Cornell Ragg waited on the grass under the dripping trees and watched the small battery-powered model of the RMS Lusitania circle in the middle of the pond. Balls of rain fell and dimpled the water, occasionally producing a clear dome-plop as they landed. He realised that the ship wasn’t circling, it was gradually spiraling outwards and would at some point come close to the shore. There was still no one in sight in the park and Ragg guessed that he would soon be able to reach out and grab the item which was just visible sticking up out of her foremost funnel.
Charles Packet leaned across the top of the car and focussed his binoculars on the distant waving wheat field. He stood upright suddenly; the noon sun had made the black roof of the car hot as toast. There was pain buzzing the skin of his naked elbows. The wheat carried on waving and Packet, elbows now resting on a folded copy of the Financial Times continued surveillance. The aerial birdsong was abruptly stopped mid-tweet by a booming horn-blow – a large model of the RMS Olympic was steaming into view, a lovely bow wave parting the trembling ears. Packet dropped a hand from his glasses and touched the bulge in his trouser pocket for reassurance that the item was still nestling there.
Caroline Tumble reached up and fingered a slim brown hardback copy of The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith on the top shelf. She glanced around the sunlit mahogany mezzanine; everyone had noses well into their volumes. Someone in white shirtsleeves suddenly sat up, stretched, yawned and leisurely wiped his spectacles on his tie and then returned to his crouched studies. Tumble carefully pulled the book from its nest and opened it as if about to read something. There was the item, as expected, upright against the back of the shelving. She looked furtively around once more, quickly picked it out, and slipped it into a cloth bag in her brown basket. The light from the high windows dimmed as the large round yellow painted funnel of a steamer passed up the street outside.
Nancy Ann Nyce looked out of the porthole at the depressing ever-churning dirty cold sea; the sky featured a moving rectilinear slab of grey, it was grinding horizontally along the horizon, blown by the bastard biting wind. The ship’s steam whistle sounded a deep mournful note and simultaneously there was a rat-tat-tat at the cabin door. Nyce opened the door a crack; a steward stood legs apart swaying in the corridor. He gave her a gummy smile, nodded, and handed her a small brown paper packet with an item in it. She snatched it from him and slammed the door. Clutching it unopened in her dainty hand she went back to the porthole to watch some more sea…

Veronica Crush. 2015.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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