Long listed for the WRITE ABOUT WALKING AND LISTENING competition run in July & August 2021
Up from the Tillingbourne on Christmas day -- up the lanes and along the sandy, frosty paths and from underneath the pines we come to the edge -- where the soil falls away below our feet, disappearing beneath farmland and towns, and miles to the south surfaces again, topping the downs like a skin stretched across a carcase of stone. We listen. The silence goes back hundreds of years. Here, the weather is not kind, it erodes the walls of the iron age fort, the water in the chalk pan is frozen an inch thick. Here, heather, bramble and pine survive within a narrow range of probabilities, their leaves are edged with ice, and new snow dust the backs of the muntjac deer. We breathe the silence and it comes out hanging in the air -- we become aware the light is failing and begin our descent, our backs whitening. And I know that even though the frost defines the form of the leaves, it does not define the form of your hand, that the shape it makes with mine is more substantial than chalk and skin. The Tillingbourne rises in the Surrey hills nine miles east of Guildford.
Itching to write something yourself? Submit a piece to our Shorelines project, and invite your friends to read it aloud, for a chance to win a prize. Join one of our creative writing workshops or keep up to date with all our competitions by signing up to our curated newsletter here.
Read more from the Long List of stories submitted to the WRITE ABOUT WALKING & LISTENING competition. Listen to winning authors read their work at a showcase event on Sunday 26 September 2021 book here.
Buy WALKING – the limited edition illustrated chapbook anthology of 15 poems and stories inspired by walking and listening €4.50 + p&p
All proceeds go to support future Sound Walk Septembers