I’ve always enjoyed a prologue… It’s like pre-dinner drinks with canapes, a taster of what’s to come. I particularly like those which hint at the ending – that’s the hook – now I want to know how we arrive at the climactic final pages…
So with this in mind, I’ve decided to do something brave by offering up the prologue to my story.
Skyfall of Feathers.
Someone I once blithely trusted told me that lying naked under a late August sun was like having a cosmic body kiss, like warm melted chocolate, as sweet as molasses.
I didn’t get it.
So she took my palm and stroked the velvet smooth flesh of the underarm with the tip of a small downy grey feather. It barely touched my skin, just a tickly whisper that hinted of goose bumps and want. She said lazing bare skinned under balmy rays was like receiving a sky fall of feathers that made your body limp and moist, and your breath fast with heat.
I still didn’t get it.
And I couldn’t think of anything worse.
The sun makes me feel captured, trampled upon, each limb held down by an army boot while a defiant torch is shone within a centimetre of each scared retracted pupil. I run from the sun. It makes me bury in darkness.
Maybe that, and my dad’s record collection, and the handful of boyfriends in would-be-headlining-Glastonbury bands, and my tower of vinyl, and the bacchanal summers of ’88 and ’89 – without the sun, holed away in clubs with ecstasy and bass – is why I became a DJ.
I don’t need the light to feel alive. All I need is the record groove, and my headphones, and the sweaty charge of an army of clubbers pulling shapes in an underground burrow, where the only illumination is the knife-like punctuation of a strobe and the inhaled tips of cigarettes and spliffs, to make the blood pump hard, over the limit, through every cell of my body.
Acid house is my sky fall of feathers. It’s my cosmic body kiss.
But right now, as I’m spread limp, horizontal, nose and left cheek pressed against cold, unyielding floor, I’m praying for light. I can just make out the angled contours of record shelves and the Juno 106 asleep on its stand. I think I can see the headphone lead dangling like life saving rope over the mixer. I inhale dust and fag ash which dries the nasal membranes and drives saliva away from my mouth. My throat responds with hacking and the anticipation of vomit. My fingers search blind making contact with pointed, jagged shards of what feels like plastic. One, sharp as a shark’s tooth, lodges itself with painful bite under a finger nail.
Then the realisation. The panic.
My records – which ones? How many? – lay broken.
Then I feel it, the searing pain in my right ankle like it’s skewered on a pitchfork.
And then I hear it, the moans, the gasping above my head.
And then… and then the absurd image of the man in the chair….
Any feedback is most appreciated…