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05 July 2022

Movement in Nature

This week’s session of Crow’s Nest was online and began with
the prompt to describe our previous week as a kind of eyewear. Responses
included new prescription glasses (you know when your depth perception is off
and you have to readjust), sunglasses, and glasses to see the world in a new

Next, we came up with a few liminal or ‘in-between’ spaces
each and shared them with the group. These were:

Entrance to a cave


Train station



Hotel corridor



Attic hatch

Stairs of a water slide



Middle of a roundabout



On hold on the phone

We were asked to write a first-person account of a character
stuck in one of these in-between spaces, who is unable to get to the next

Next, we were prompted to invite a new element of danger
into our writing, and as inspiration, to take a look at the movement of animals
in nature
, especially their escapes or defences – how deer move through the
wild, cheetahs run, or goldfish dart away from a threat.

An extension got us to bring in an element of companionship
- a friend or friendly force for our character to meet, asking how this
companion alleviates or interacts with the situation so far.

Here was Conrad’s writing:

The sun's light waned behind them, fading from a light blue
to a deep fried orange. The wind pushed them on the back and allowed what loose
clothing that there was on them to flutter around them. The light was not
enough to illuminate much further than a few metres into the rocky half-circle
that sagged ahead of them. They sat down and waited for the others to arrive,
they couldn't do much in there without them and besides, they did not have the
ability to go in on their own.

They sat in that position for a good few minutes and noticed
as each five the sun would have moved clearly under the horizon by just a bit.
The air began to run cold as the sun ran away, leaving them even more alone
than they were before. They sat in the cold, waiting until they felt something
on the left side of their face, coming from inside the cave. It was soft but
harsh, scratching on their skin as it rolled over it smoothly, to the point of
the uncanny. Their head snapped round like a toy on a spring and saw nothing
but the darkness within.

Then there was a voice.

They recognised it, though it was quiet and far away, and
sort of half stood, as tall as the sloped entrance of the cave would allow
them. They walked in slowly with their back to the ceiling and they stepped
forward to try and see their face.

Then something odd struck them.

The cave was pitch black. No light whatsoever. They wondered
how Their friend had gone in so deep with nothing to light their path.

But they ignored their little thought and dismissed it
thinking that such an experienced cave delver had probably something up their
sleeve to allow them to go deep with nothing but their eyes, hands and feet.

They stepped in further and found their back to be allowed
to straighten and their spine to stand upright. The air began to run thinner in
here, sharper too. As they felt around to get their bearings they heard the
voice again, louder and clearer now, louder and more urgent, louder and afraid.

They began to run. Thudding steps pounded as they felt
themself rush forward and hear the voice louder and louder and louder.

They ran further and further until they came to a dead end.
A rock rolled behind them and sat there.

They were trapped.

They felt something again.

On their back this time.

Then a grip.

The back of their neck.

Their heart pumped.

Their mind raced.

Their lungs filled.

Their world went dark.

Years ago they had gone there, young and new to life,
basking in the joys of new exploration in their one and only childhood. The
darkness of the cave gave them cause for hesitation but that did not scare them
off. They ran, shoulder first, deep toward the cave and took random directions
until they found something or got bored.

Several minutes passed as they looked around them and
realised at once.

They were lost.

They looked around and called out for help and they heard
soft footsteps rattling into the small cavern they had found themselves into. A
hand reached down and took them out and a tall man stood there looking with a
face, a face they could not remember, looked back and crouched down.

“You shouldn’t be here”, The voice was harsh and raspy like
it was speaking with the tongue of a snake. “Don't come back here” a smile
spread across his face

“Or I’ll get you and turn your world black”

Crow’s Nest returns for the final session of term next week.


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