Parts I and II of ‘Cow and Calf’ now up on The State of the Arts website

Posted: June 18, 2014 in AJ Kirby Short Fiction, Other Writing by AJ Kirby

c and c 1

Parts 1 and 2 of the serialisiation of my speculative short story Cow and Calf are now available to read on The State of the Arts website. (Part 3 follows next week, and Part 4 the week after – then, like Dickens, the whole shebang will be published in one collectible volume).

You can read Part 1 here.

And you can read Part 2 here.

And here’s an excerpt:

“Up on moors. Afternoon, but might as well be evening. Gloaming and misty. Siling with rain. Makes a noise like nails clawing at a door on my windcheater. Underfoot, grass is sodden and pathways squelching. Heather beaten down and looks like interior organs.

I’m tramping with my head down watching my boots. They’re red but look like black blood in semi-dark. Bag slapping against my leg. It is a bag for life. Inside it is death.

Path takes me up to Cow and Calf. Also known as Hangingstone Rocks. Two monoliths – or should that be duoliths? – of millstone grit hunkered down at top of hill like they’ve been expecting rain. Cow and Calf overlooking Ben Rhydding and Ilkley. But when I look back can’t see nowt but woolly air and spears of rain slicing through it. So don’t look back.

Never bloody have done.

Hard to catch my breath and when I gulp it is like a fist of millstone grit stuck in my throat, but I press on as incline gets steeper. Sloppiness of path makes back of my legs burn and I slip a couple times but steady does it and happen I reach top.

On top, wind starts up and you can feel ghosts of folk shivering. Folk have carved their names and dates into rock here as though it is a grave. Some go right back to eighteenth century. Writing like calligraphy. Some more recent and writing is barely legible. Can’t see nowt of them now though. Can see whispers of lights on in villages, but none of detail.”


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