I’ve been going to school for the last few years. I love it. This year, in particular, was great. Every Monday morning I would eagerly make the jaunt from Uxbridge to Peterborough for English class 3850Y- Creative Writing. We studied and practiced creative non-fiction, playwriting and children’s writing but my very favourite was flat out creative fiction.
Today, I want to share an assignment submission. It entailed choosing an author you admire and copying his/her style. I found a gem by Dylan Thomas and set to work ‘copying’ it. The idea was to match the style and tone of his work while making it your own. I’m proud of it, so I share it with you now. Just one note though; this is an older form of writing and is more akin to a work of art than an amusement. I’m curious to know your feelings or thoughts. Enjoy.
Somewhat Later One Evening
(Imitating Dylan Thomas’ ‘Quite Early One Morning’)
By David Jones
Somewhat later one evening in crisp autumnal Uxbridge, after the hurdy-gurdy of commerce had halted and the black-bag detritus was cast to the curbside, I quit my dwelling to pass unnoticed through the village whilst savouring my meerschaum. The darkness had becalmed the town as if the black Spirit had presented itself and the population cowered in their quilted mattresses praying to be passed over. One of the limited lights defying the blackness was the yellowed window splash from the woebegone tavern still peppered with pallid, pissed patrons praying to their drink for an end. On the sidewalk, the fall chill congealed this sad saloon’s sorrow within the amber squares vomited by its windows.
The hazy harvest moon lit the village from the self-righteous silver spike of the Anglican Church, to the depressing façade of the Music Hall, to the besmirched grey warehouse squatting at the town’s edge – not all at once – but rather in a spread of tableaux separated by shadows of the nightfall. Here the worn public school, stairways now empty of tumultuous children, blank blackboards craving chalk. Over there, the judicious green roof of Town Hall, sturdy as the glacial decisions beneath it, non-committal as a Tuesday and as vague as hoarfrost. There, the Baptist church, huddled sanctimoniously at the roadside, its welcoming web of judgement snaring the unwary to the damnation within.
The village was not yet asleep. Clandestine cats crept along fence lines, under bushes, through gardens and across paths enforcing their rule of midnight. Dogs barked warnings at the moon, bats flicked haphazardly through yards, gorging on clouds of torment.
The village was not yet asleep. I stalked the streets as a reaper moving from shadow to shade, missing nothing, seeking a most deserving client. The holy few deep in sainted sleep and the sinless sprouts thereof were beyond my interest. My design was upon the surreptitious sinners, who, safe within their dim lit rooms or immoral beds, abandoned their daylight disguises. The magistrate, judge of everyman’s sobriety, exercising singular insobriety, among his voiceless volumes. The constable, protector of the populace and pointer of the prosecuting finger, violating his family’s respect before their very hearth. The pious wedded woman entwined with her espoused lover ignoring the face of crucified judgement hanging over them.
I tramped past unashamed, undraped windows displaying the likes of merchant Richard Manson splayed in his overstuffed chair, engulfed in the blue pornographic glow from across the room. The steady rasp surging from the dormer of postmaster Caleb Knox as he sorted and slotted, stamped and cancelled his somnambulant passage through exotic dance dreams of foreign affairs. The village was not yet asleep but I had reached the summit of the village’s vista and I began the downward trek home. Patches of light expired one by one. The dark velvet blanket was claiming its reward. The self-righteous spike of the Anglican Church stood a steady sentry. The village was asleep.
Yours in the Zone
© 2015 David Jones