Tuesday, 15 October 2019

New Project 2019-20

It's been a while and my excuse is that I had some editing and revising to do in order to bring some earlier books up to the same standards as my latest. 'Book of Plebs' being the most noteworthy.
Anyway, my new project has just begun but I thought I'd share the Draft Prologue with you. The reason for that is because I was obliged to do some global warming research and to be honest, I was a little unsettled by what I found. Hopefully, we can all do as much as we can as soon as we can. This book was not originally supposed to get this dark but like all my work
‘Weather-People’ use a bewildering array of technologies to decide what number they should stick on a storm to forewarn us and they seldom get it wrong. Media being what it is, we’ll get that number somehow. But what if the storm arrives unannounced because of general disagreement about what makes a bad storm bad?
In that unlikely event, we’ll probably just batten down the hatches to get through it and hopefully help others do the same. When the dust settles we may lodge a complaint or an insurance claim or both but in order to do that, we’re going to need that number.
The thing is, we can estimate a storm’s strength for ourselves by comparing the contrasting stillness of the calm that invariably follows. We then assign the perceived variation using a scale of 1 for moderate to 5 for deafening.
Big numbers with more red than orange warnings were bandied about for years before the first churning clouds roiled over the horizon to make night of our days. By then however, crying wolf was a booming business and only seeing was believing because basically, the number was off the scale.
That brought out the adrenaline junkies who wanted to catch selfies with the sea-surges but who caught silent screams instead. Banshee wailing went airborne, adding dozens more decibels to a din that dragged already screeching winds down to street level with the accumulated weight of our woes.
To this day, shorter, sharper variants of the same enduring sound sometimes shatter the stillness to remind us, with the death of yet another, that we are sentenced to never forget our folly. Nothing in the human experience will ever compare with the eerie emptiness of the silence that ultimately prevailed.
A wise man once told me that qualities like generosity, cruelty and even wisdom itself can be measured by the time it takes to forget someone’s name. To that, I propose the three additional attributes of arrogance, greed and stupidity because the fallout from the climate change storm is forever etched into our chastened human psyche.
When we first met, I honestly thought he was brain damaged, especially when he chose to banter on about vocabulary. As it transpired, Oisin was once a teacher and in an effort to prove his usefulness to me in surviving new world disorders, he insisted on sharing archaic definitions of ‘Bleak’. I was so surprised by such obvious desperation that I was obliged to listen. But when I realised just how weak that word once was, I knew he was far more than he appeared to be.
With a toothless cackle, he claimed to remember when ‘Bleak’ was once as useless as a mumbled apology, his words not mine. Apparently, there was a time when it could describe abstract discomforts and was nullified with a sympathetic frown or an imitation shiver. ‘Bleak’ was merely an aid to polite conversation in an age when people exchanged plastic cards or brightly coloured paper for ready made meals … served hot.
‘Bleak’s’ power is now inversely proportional to the silence that embraces the world and her decimated assets. ‘Bleak’ has rapidly evolved and now genuinely chills to the bone while also stinking of stagnant death, especially in winter. 

The ‘Festive Season’ marked with Thanksgiving or Christmas and hope for new beginnings is re-consigned to the dream-time for safe-keeping. Winter is stalking season and when there isn’t enough to go around, everyone needs to keep a personal stash of something somewhere. So, you either stalk or you get stalked or like the legions of dearly departed, you get extinct.