When Time Slows Down

California Dreamin'

California Dreamin’

There is a smell like botanic gardens, and ash. I relax back on the sofa as the smoke rises, drifting up and filling the room. I breathe in, rolling c-shaped curls through my mouth before pulling them down into my lungs. I breathe out, muttering the incantation, and they untwine, laid flat, then spin back into shape as they float away. There must be music as well, of course, because that gives the spell its power. I use the same songs as we used together. Most of them were held in me before we happened, and even the ones she introduced are as much mine as hers now.

I consider Zeppelin, climbing a golden staircase that spirals up to the progression of the guitar. The recorders’ hum flows with me, a buoyancy gently pushing me on. Gradually faster, looking out to the green fields below, where the piper plays and the May Queen walks half between spring and summer. Faster still, guitar chords driving me forward as my shadow curves down the stairs. The solo, and I’m flying, leaving the last gold step and running through the air. As it slows I drift down, still lazily walking, then land crouched on the sweet smelling grass.

Or Springsteen singing ‘Jungleland’. The violin raising a jazz city: the buildings blue and black cubes with yellow square windows. Rain patters in time with the piano, while the streetlight reflections are fire underfoot and on the roofs of cars. The saxophone roars, blowing the detail away into blazing colours. They fade, leaving their neon touches in the outline of a street. A last crescendo, the city in glorious Technicolor, before it wisps away on the night time wind.

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Rab Ferguson

About Rab Ferguson

Rab Ferguson is a York based writer, working across forms including fiction, poetry and script. He is employed within Creative Engagement at the York Theatre Royal and as a support worker with York PA and Support. He has previously been published both online and in print in journals including Pastiche Magazine, Indigo Rising UK, The City Fox and Beyond the Walls. For updates on his writing, follow his twitter https://twitter.com/RabTales



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