Alban Low's 'silvery princess' is making a run for it down Skinner Street, and today we have a poem and a short story inspired by his sculpture.
Now it is all over
the land reclaims itself.
Pavements crack with willow herb,
buddleia buckles roads.
Trees walk unmolested
roots bruised by twisted steel;
their fingers brush bare windows
in abandoned malls. Machines
lie dead in ruined towers
scattered beyond resurrection.
Wait. A twitch, a flicker...
muscles of twisted metal
flex to find a leg, a foot;
a pincered crest, high
on slender neck, locates
its silver body. Wingless,
it hatches from the wreck.
The dragon did not mean to frighten the child. Ashamed, now of the slapping sound of her large feet, she had done her best to place each footstep carefully so that the noise would not add to the boy's alarm. She knew she had overstepped a boundary by being on the table in the first place; she had, after all been warned. "But look" she had protested. "Every part of me shines with a lustrous glint. My feet are charming and witty, my jaws are strong and useful and did you ever SEE such beautiful carving as is on my tail? Elegant...regal. Why, I am a silvery princess and I shall do as I please!"
Those wiser and more knowledgeable shook their heads and muttered amongst themselves 'She is a hybrid thing. Has she never heard the story of Frankenstein's creature?'
But the proud little dragon chose not to hear them.
Which is why she set off from her comfortable home in the Man-Drawer and ventured onto the table in the big world.
The boy had only entered the room to find an apple. He wasn't surprised to see the Man-drawer open since his mother was a sloven and his father an air-head, but he WAS surprised to see the shiny little dragon hop from the edge of the drawer onto the pile of wooden place-mats amongst the chaotic mess of the big round table. He watched as she took a few tentative, foot-slappy steps.
The boy's eyes widened. He drew his head back and took a great in-breath.
The word "Muuuuuuummmyy" hovered in his throat with loud potential. But he never let it out.
For, sensing the scream, the dragon stretched her long neck into the chipped enamel mug that served as a sugar bowl and grasped a chunk of the brown, raw, sweet crystal into her mouth. She tipped her head sideways in what she hoped was a charming manner and curving her long neck upwards, offered the boy the rock-sugar treat. The boy snapped his mouth shut and, looking round to ensure he wasn't about to be reprimanded, he gently took the sugar crystal from the dragon's jaws and popped it into his mouth with a smile. He gently tapped a conspiratorial finger on the dragon's head and carefully returned her to the Man-drawer. Before he eased the drawer shut, the dragon and the boy exchanged a wink. They would meet again.
Alban Low is involved in many creative projects. These include album artwork, publishing chapbooks, making films, maps, conceptual exhibitions, live performance and good old drawing. He is artist-in-residence at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University and St George's University of London. Low spends his evenings in the jazz clubs of London where he captures the exhilaration of live performances in his sketchbook. On Wednesday evenings he sketches the performers on the radio show A World in London at Resonance FM. This year he is working on a walking project about London Musicians from the 1920s-1940s. In 2018 he spent a week at grove with Kevin Acott where they published two chapbooks. http://albanlow.com Twitter & Instagram @albanart
Lynda Turbet observes the world from North Norfolk and tries make sense of it all through writing.
Lynn Whitehead started life as an actor/musician and worked all over the country for years. Later she side stepped into theatre-education working with the National Theatre, New Wolsey and Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds running youth theatre groups and working with community groups. She fell in love with storytelling and likes to collect and tell traditional stories from all round the world. She has an MA in playwriting. Twitter @LynnyWhitehead Instagram @lynnwhitehead96