8 The statue of black sugar

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8   The statue of black sugar

Inside her I see thoughts, memories and feelings, as with Marc. But because she is already a dear friend and he was not, looking into her is both odder and more natural than looking into him. How beautiful she is! What a cool, analytical nature I'm seeing, yet with such passion behind the cool. And what warmth I feel towards that black star-shaped point of insecurity at the centre of her.

But I'm in here to demonstrate my abilities to her, not just to nose around. I'm here to lead her and me on a compulsory Alaia-based equivalent of Marc's random ballroom scene. Let's say two memories and a fantasy ... so first I select a shard of memory from your teens, Alaia, there in the bar where you prance on the podium, your hair electric blue. My viewpoint hangs in the air above your audience, invisible to you. You move like a lithe brown spider or a fierce slinky alien, flipping left to right, a cool dragon-child—and I'm sad I didn't know you then.

Secondly, there you are just two weeks ago. A much quieter picture; but what a fly young woman with your cool eyes and long sleek hair, wearing headphones, coiled up downstairs in front of those gauzy white curtains, which are here swaying in a slight breeze. As you scribble in your journal, I hear your voice sounding in your head: "The woman at the window ... that's me. Out there, four storeys down and one block over, people pass down the wet black of Essex Street, in cars, on journeys of their own, every one hidden in the dark between a white light and a red light. The thought that I'll never know who they are, or what it's like for them when they're alone, would once have sounded a clap of wonder, sorrow and excitement in me. Now, I have a calmer sense that our separate existences, tucked in between white and red car-lights, are simply how things are. Maybe I'm just discovering new beauties in isolation. If only life were easier." You lay down your journal and stare into the distance, thus setting off your sleek profile against the gauzy white curtains just so, without quite knowing this...

Then thirdly comes a fantasy of yours, evoking how you will be at a time very far in the future, when you'll have become a statue in an empty forest clearing somewhere—a statue fashioned out of smooth sugar coloured pure black, and wearing mirrored sunglasses. Your slender carved hands hold a scarlet rose, with a grip that looks limp but is unbreakable. Violence at demonic voltage, hard as a light-bulb, is coiled in this statue. From underneath the black flames of hair at your neck hangs an icicle of blood. But now I'm startled to recognise my very own disembodied viewpoint come hovering into the clearing, within this established fantasy of yours, and home in upon your statue in order to check on my own reflection in your mirrored glasses! I wasn't expecting to bump into myself here. Your statue fantasy-self smiles and emanates, as if on heat, a smell of musk. You can't coil around the hovering Jaymi viewpoint, because it is just a viewpoint and you are just sugar; yet it seems that you want to. Suddenly your lips move, whispering the strangest fire-and-brimstone language, and it's almost as if this fantasy self-image of yours is making a kind of love with me as it speaks: "A black comet streaks along the dust lanes of the Milky Way," your statue-self says. "Sunquakes boom through space, like the songs of whales through oceans. The great Basilisk cuts planets on its plate, where the blue of flaming methane licks. When life awoke in dark matter, neither the galactic hiss nor the endless background flux of waves stopped to mark its waking; nor did the liquid electric effluxion and resonance of airwaves three stars above us split the night in any great surprise. Giant discs have risen near the ocean horizon; towns have fallen into dust and been enfolded into mountains; and Violence, Religion, Injustice and Death, like the tides of the seas, have inundated the shadowfields: yet still we are not noticed by the Bloodstar, that sphere of pulsing scarlet fluid hanging at the centre-point of all black space... Well, so be it." You fall quiet and still again. In mixed joy and sadness, the Jaymi viewpoint slithers from the clearing's light and slips away in forest, as your statue gaze follows it, ambiguous and hungry.



For some nice reviews and interviews about The Imagination Thief, in The Guardian and elsewhere, see http://www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-imagination-thief-reviews-media/

For a quick synopsis of it, see http://www.rohanquine.com/home-the-imagination-thief-novel/synopsis-and-characters-list-the-imagination-thief/

For the 12 Films in The Imagination Thief, see http://www.rohanquine.com/video-books-films/12-films/

For the Audio-book version and the Video-book version of each of its 120 mini-chapters, see http://www.rohanquine.com/home-the-imagination-thief-novel/audiobook-tumblr-wattpad/

For links to the retailers, see http://www.rohanquine.com/buy/the-imagination-thief-novel-ebook/ and http://www.rohanquine.com/buy/the-imagination-thief-novel-paperback/

And for its Amazon pages, see http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Imagination-Thief/dp/0992754909 and http://www.amazon.com/The-Imagination-Thief/dp/0992754909

The Imagination Thief is about a web of secrets, triggered by the stealing and copying of people's imaginations and memories. It's about the magic that can be conjured up by images of people, in imagination or on film; the split between beauty and happiness in the world; and the allure of various kinds of power. It celebrates some of the most extreme possibilities of human imagination, personality and language, exploring the darkest and brightest flavours of beauty living in our minds.

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