•September 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment


•September 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment


The best feeling in the world is when you steal something without malice and just for a laugh. I was shown something. A manuscript. About an old love of mine called Alexander. It was of his final days. Timpaux my lodger showed me. It was apparently given to him by one of the Rosemary boys. I read it. I recognized the words. I gazed at the story. It was mine. I had written it many years ago. When the world was fantastic and the flowers would bloom when I would smile. I read it and I threw it on the fire. I knew what I had to do. I went to the park with an old bag of mine full of grand old dresses that I used to wear. I went to the park it was very early in the morning and the men with the Hot Air Balloons were setting up getting ready for their dawn flights. I had my pistol. I merely walked up to one that was closest to leaving and told him to get out. I let rip on the gas. Let rip on a scream and I felt my sense of adventure grasp me for the first time in many years. I did not know where I would go. I did not know where the storm clouds would take me or if I would fly to close to the sun. But Saint Gideon had granted me wings and I was going to use them. I would leave this city. I would leave Lamoux. And reclaim my youth.


I have taken a friend beneath my arm. Bernard. He is a poet and from the Rue d’Bloome. We are to become sailors aboard the Turkish captain’s ship. Both of us leaving the shores of Lamoux for the Mediterranean. There is no telling what may happen to us but for the first time I am facing the future with my head high and unashamedly. Cam, the captain, merely wanted a copy of the manuscript outlining the story of Iskander which we managed to give to him and we set off on our new adventure into the future shortly. The future, not wasted, not hopeless, not alone. I am not sorry to leave Lamoux, the streets here are now owned by a new breed of lovers. The pavements are walked by a new breed of poets. I may return. When I am an old man. When I want to walk through the memories of my youth and pay homage to the city that inspired so many dreams and broke many more. Bernard the poet is itching to leave. He is forever chewing his pistachios and maybe one day he too will follow the trail of shells back toward Lamoux, back to the city of the Roman Lighthouse to hide a manuscript of poems in its Library or to listen to the summer symphonies once more. Yet now there is no point in thinking of such things. We are leaving. Riding the waves for foreign shores to linger in breezes in which we have never lingered before. We will make the new legends and have strangers write great manuscripts of us. Love makes great adventurers of us all.


Thank the Saint! My mother who had turned me over to my father in his church could never have foreseen the destiny that she has handed me. I was told by my Mother that a career in the church was more than any boy could ask. A career in the church was better than selling cigars in the Café Babel. I looked at her as she begged me never to begrudge her. I said farewell. I walked away from her my heart aching and my father Malugain standing there. It was he and I. As soon as my Mother left he grabbed me and demanded to know if I had any money. I told him not. He then grabbed me by the arm and marched me out the back of the church telling me I was not to go down the cellars and I was only allowed a foxhole of a room that stunk of illness and up on the bell tower. He then left me on the bell tower. Locking me up there. I looked over the edge down onto the streets of Lamoux and into the old cemetery. I was hoping Annette would be there dancing. She wasn’t it was a very quiet day in Lamoux. I prayed to the Saint for wings. I fell toward the stone floor and wept myself to sleep. I awoke to an amazing sight. The Church was clearly on fire with huge flames licking the sides and smoke coming up through the trapdoor the leads to the giant bell. I was trapped and could not contain my coughs with tears reeling down my face. The whole night was lit by the massive flames. I thought I heard screams down below the trapdoor and someone running up. It was my father. I locked the trapdoor from my side. He started swearing at me and ripping at the wood. I swore back at him. I then started looking around the edge of the wall. I would have to try and climb down. There was no way down. The smoke was making me sleepy and light headed. I felt something on my shoulder. At first I thought a wing had sprung. I turned around it was a rope. A hot air balloon was appearing through the smoke. I grabbed the rope and snaked my way up to the basket just as my father broke through the trapdoor. I looked at my savior. It was an old woman with a beautiful dress on and pearls around her neck. I asked her if she was Saint Gideon. She said no. She was Saint Estella. She asked me if I have ever wanted wings because I was about to learn to fly. Then she frowned and asked if I would like to be taken down. I looked at her and smiled and I shook my head. Finally my prayers have been answered. We floated over the church and over Lamoux and we heard the most astonishing noise as the bell fell from its tower and through the church to the ground marking the end of the church of Lamoux.


My love he is lost. We snuck into the great church. We found that bastard Malugain counting his gold pieces by the devil’s candlelight. A great fight ensued. My love he gripped Malugain’s head so tight that his eyeball actually popped from its socket. Yet Malugain was too strong. Too big. His will to live was too much. He just would not die. I crept up and stabbed that bastard right in the gut. He turned pulled out the blade and drove it into my love. He rolled on the floor and looked into space. So serenely. Malugain looked down at him. He smiled and told him that it was just another poor soul off the streets. I ran at him screaming but he merely drove his fist into my face and I fell on the floor. I came to. He was back at the table counting his gold as if nothing had happened. I stood up and found a big candlestick I quietly swung it over my head but rethought my actions. I quietly walked backwards out of the room and made my way up the stairs. I locked the door that lead out into the main chapel there was no way to go but up to the bell tower. I then doused the whole of the church in oil and threw a candle on it. I ran out of that church of hell laughing. The light that shone through the lead-light windows was a miracle unto itself and then I fled. Out the gate into the old cemetery, into the streets of Lamoux and before going to my home I went to the Café Taffe. I ate the biggest most delicious plate of spaghetti. I sat in silence for my love and had a glass of wine for him. I then made my way through the night to my home and sat by the fire. I finally fell asleep only waking when the sound of the bell finally fell and hit the ground with the most satisfying sound I have ever heard.


I finally found my dancer. Annette. Under strange circumstances. It appears I have become her guardian and the man from the church, the seventh son has decided he too must have her at any cost. We stayed the night at my house and he slept out in the old cemetery. This morning at dawn he started yelling. Begging her to come out and dance with him. That God was sending them a message I went out to my balcony and saw an amazing sight. The old church was in flames and a hot air balloon was hovering over the bell tower as a boy climbed to safety. The Seventh Son looked up at me and told me he was going to kill me. He was standing beneath an old elm looking at me with a strange intense look. I thought there was someone else moving through the cemetery but it appeared it was just him. I yelled down to him that Annette did not know him and did not want to talk to him. I could feel the heat from the church and hoped to the horizon of heaven that there was no one else inside. He told me they were meant for each other. That it was God’s will and that if I got in the way of God’s work he would make sure my throat was cut. I quickly got Annette and decided to take her to a friend of mine. The man was not in control of himself, standing in the heat of a burning church. Fires in Lamoux have been known to spread also. I would take her to The soap lady, Lorna, She has always been friendly to me and has often helped me in times of need. I thought maybe Annette could stay there while this seventh son reclaimed his senses. We escaped out the back but he must have heard us as he was soon following us. We ran though the streets and up the alleys. I was glad that we both knew the ins and outs of the physical map of Lamoux. We seemed to have lost him or at least gained some time. We ran down the Rue d’Bloome. Past the usual crowd who were all out on the street now pointing and staring up at the sky. Up at the glow where the flames of the church fire were licking and lighting the sky. We ran into the Café Babel. He must have lost us in the crowd. Gloriette was standing in the bar watching the sky. Crying. I told her what I had seen. She seemed to recover at once and smiled. And poured us both a drink. Telling us her son Garflough was always and will always be a survivor. We finished our drinks and grabbed a bottle of gin. We took it back stage and made a makeshift from an old curtain and costumes. We drank the gin and fell asleep. We awoke late morning to smashing glass, it was him again. Breaking the window panes in the door. We ran out the back but he saw us and he was soon following us once again. We ran down the street the Rosemary hitting our ankles as we ran. We ran through towards the Soap Lady’s house down by the River Inkon. I knocked on the door of the Soap Lady but there was no answer. Nor was there anytime. I turned around and he was coming at us. Knife drawn. Annette grabbed my hand and we ran down the road towards the Inkon’s bank. We got to the river and Annette turned. This man was walking towards us. She walked up to him and asked him his name it was Jean. She asked him if he would like her to dance. He didn’t seem shocked by this question at all, he merely said yes. Annette started to dance, started to twirl and kick her legs as she does so well. I moved around and crept behind him as he watched his mouth open. His excitement showing. I ran up and grabbed him he yelled and I pushed him straight into the fast flowing waters of the Inkon. He grabbled with the wind around him. Trying to get a hold of something but the waters took him further out and eventually down. Annette looked at me and smiled. And she kissed me. Then we looked up as the most beautiful scent over came the whole of the city. It was as if all the flowers had bloomed in that one instant. We couldn’t understand it. Yet with our kiss and with this smell that was getting stronger and stronger all of a sudden I felt as happy as I ever had and with another small kiss we walked arm in arm back towards the Rue d’Bloome where we would go for a large plate of Spaghetti to share and maybe I would sing a song for her to dance to.


I watched from my window. An amazing event unfolded. It was like watching the very instant that summer appeared in a wave of heat and greenery. The Moth, Augustus. He had been up since the early morning. Ever since the Bell from the church awoke the whole of Lamoux when it fell during the fire that has destroyed the church of Lamoux and apparently both of our Padres. Walking up and down the stairs, the Moth had been loading boxes of delicious smelling packages, wrapped in brown paper onto a cart that stood like a patient friend on the side of the street. I knew what was in the packages. I recognized the smell as soon as I heard him shuffling down the stairs. I knew where they were made. When they were made. Some I had not smelt in many, many years. I watched as he filled this cart full of my soap. He must have been collecting each bar. Since the first day he walked into my apartment when we were both in the palms of youth and bought that first bar. I watched with great interest. For myself, I have stopped making my soaps. I feel it is time to stop such things. The people of Lamoux are changing. And I want my rest. It seemed the Moth had finished loading his cart. It looked as though the wheels would break under so much soap. I wondered how much was there. I wondered what it was worth. All this time he would merely tell me his name for a bar. Yet he would never use it. He sat down and grabbed the horse’s reigns. He lit a cigarette and looked straight at me in the window. I ran down to him and his cart. On the street it was a beautiful day. Quiet. Bright. I looked up at him and asked him what he was doing. He told me he was going for a picnic by the river and would love me to join. He grabbed me by the hand and we drove his cart to the point in the Inkon River where it drops over a levy. The whole way we were silent lost in the delicious scent that we trailed behind us. We stopped at the levy. A narrow part of the river that is popular with fisherman and lovers as the falling of the water over the artificial wall causes a small waterfall. Augustus told me to sit by the cart as he unloaded it. He carried all of my soap and built a wall of it on the banks of the Inkon. He was heaving and groaning so I stood up and helped him. By the time we were finished it stood high and wide. He then looked at me and smiled. He ripped all the brown paper from the packages. In doing so the most extraordinary smell unleashed itself across the open air. We both breathed in. He looked at me and leant against the wall of soap. He heaved against it. The wall wavered yet it stood its ground. He looked up at it squinting against the sun. He ran at it. It rocked gently. He heaved again. I walked up and pushed at it. We watched as it leant forward. Time seemed to stand so silent and so still. The world froze. And it was then the wall of soap fell into the bubbling and frothing waters of the levy of the Inkon. He looked at me and smiled telling me that if that soap doesn’t wash Lamoux clean, nothing will. I laughed and went back to the cart to unpack the picnic as the most beautiful, grandest, fantastic mountain of froth and bubbles started to spread out across the river’s breadth. We sat on the bank in the sunshine watching it, breathing in the scent. Drinking champagne and laughing. He looked at me and he then said that his name was Caesar.

This is how I shall always remember Lamoux. Sitting by the river in the sunshine with love on the mind and the scent of flowers being blown on the breeze. Lamoux may change but the lovers never will. The lovers will keep the Lighthouse lit to guide in all the lost and weary. To brighten the nights on the Rue d’Bloome, To show the artists where to drink, the poets where to laugh and the lover’s where to love. Lamoux will always be Lamoux so long as there are the lovers. For good, for bad, forever.

•September 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

(I probably should say here that we own neither these images or the music. but they tie in pretty well.)


•September 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment


It seems I have succeeded in taking over my forerunners position. The people of Lamoux have more or less accepted that the previous Madam d’Bough had taught me all she knew and wished that I took over her position. These people don’t care as long as they have a superstition to believe in and someone to guide them through their days. Someone to help them with the tough decisions. Someone to confide in. I have become that person. I have already convinced the head of police to free my love. He walks from his cells today. Straight here. I have made more money in this one week than I would have in a whole year in my old life. At this rate i will be richer than my sister by the end of the month. My sister. The only one who tried to stop me. I will use my power to put a stop to her soap. I will force her to become a beggar. Broken and down-trodden. I will make her come to me and beg for my forgiveness. She does not know what is in store for her. and no amount of soap will save her.


The strangest of occurrences just occurred. I was in the church. Searching. From top to bottom. From bell tower to cellar for Jean. But he has gone. The imbecile has finally run into the streets. Gone to, no doubt, cause some sort of havoc in some poor souls life. Good riddance. I was suspicious that he was sending word to Padre Daniel about my comings and goings. I will simply find another to replace him. One who I can shape to be my own right hand man. A smart man. Not some fool like Jean. No sooner had i thought these thoughts when there was a figure at the end of the pews. I looked harder. It was the bar maid from the cafe on the Rue d’Bloome. The one who had my son. I looked at her. She looked at me. She said my name. I couldn’t remember hers. I simply asked where my son was. She, with the venom of a thousand snakes on her tongue, told me she could no longer care for him. She wanted money to send him to school. to give the boy an education. I laughed. This was not going to happen. But then I thought. The child could fill in Jeans role. I told the woman. In place of school, why not give him a life in the church? a place by Saint Gideon at all times? I told her I needed a new hand there at the church as the seventh son had disappeared. It could lead the boy to bigger and better things. She laughed. She said that role had to be filled by a seventh son. This was not mentioning that he would always be by my side. She cared too much for the boy to allow my poison to seep into his innocence. I told her I was in the church now. I had found God. been Redeemed. She looked at me. She knew me. She said she knew that there would be a cellar full of gold and treasures that I would have stolen. And she wanted some to send our boy to school. I considered killing her. then and there. Im sure she was thinking the same about me. Then the boy ran up. He was sitting on one of the pews and I hadn’t noticed him. he ran up to his mother and said that he believed in his father’s faith. he said he wanted to do this. His mother looked down. She knew it was perfect for the boy. If only it wasn’t me here. I told his mother that I would just tell everyone he is my seventh son. For all I know he probably is. His mother looked straight into my eyes. she told me that if I hurt his body or harmed his mind and most importantly if any love for vice should pass down from father to son. She would cut out my heart and shove it down my throat. I told her that was fine. I told her I would look after him like he was my own son. With this she hugged the boy. Gave me the evil eye and left the house of God.


I have left the gates of the church. Into Lamoux’s night I take my liberated feet. I first stopped at the old cemetery to run my hands over the stones and grass that my love would jump and lie on. I found a pink thread which I wrapped tight around my index finger. It grew red, thick and shuddered with the trapped blood. I played with the thread while I walked. Leaving the cemetery gates I found myself on the streets cobblestones that lead past the dark mans apartment. There was no guitar being strummed this night so I know he is not there. I think about what I will do to him. In the bible the Eunuchs are the musicians. I think the musicians in Lamoux should be also. I linger by his front door and think about setting his building alight. But I think first I will find my love. I walk down the streets. Through the lamp light. Beneath the giant Elm trees. I pass some sailors. I know I must be close to where the dancers and whores are. There is Rosemary growing from every crack and gap in the path. I turn a corner and face the last march of Gomorrah. The sight that meets me is something that even the devil would look twice at. There are Negresses naked from the waist up smiling and slinking along the street. There are men in makeup and bare feet. Some kissing. Some holding hands. There are children selling cigars. I think of my love. Slender. Tall. Gracefully turning. I draw courage from these images and move forward. I brush past the men in makeup. They make some remarks and giggle. I look around. There is loud music coming from all the cafes. It will take most of the night to find her. I look down and there on the ground is a flyer. it says Cafe Babel and it has a picture of my love on it. Dressed in a dress that looks like its made from diamonds. I stuff it into my pocket and look for the Cafe Babel. As I do so I see a man look at me and then race into a building. It is the Dark man. It is Cafe Babel. I run after him. I enter the cafe. the noise is deafening. People are everywhere. I look around. Up on the stage I see her. The most beautiful thing in the world. my angel. She is twirling and kicking. The people are all clapping and cheering. They are all watching her. my love. The music stops. She bows. I make my way to the stage. I will go backstage and take her from there. It is slow getting through the people. I watch her. The dark man approaches her. She smiles. he says something. they both look around and then she sees me. she grabs him by the arm and they run. I will follow. She doesn’t know how much she means to me.


I awoke behind bars and I stepped out into the evening sun a free man. Walking into the fresh air reignited all my senses. I could here the waves of the ocean in the distance. Smell the flowers and rotting leaves of the park. I could stand straight and feel my heart grow with the energy taken from thoughts of my love. I was making my way to her house on the river. Down past the Lighthouse to the rivers bank, past the library, through the orchard and up her steps. I knocked. A woman answered. She saw me and smiled. She said my name and said that she had been expecting me. I asked if Madam d’Bough was at home. She laughed and showed me to a room where the fire was glowing and wine was being mulled. I sat down. As did she. She told me that she was Madam d’Bough. That the last madam drowned in the river and asked her to take her role as the clairvoyant for Lamoux and my lover. I asked her how she drowned. She told me that no one knew. That some said it was murder, others said it was an accident, others suicide. Either way, she said, she was dead but only in body. In spirit she was very much real and sitting opposite me. She then told me how she went about having me released form prison. And how she and I would rid Lamoux of Malugain. As soon as she shared all of this any doubt I had fell away and I knew that this new Madam was just as good if not better than the last. I asked her when would be the ultimate time to do all this. She told me that we would have to couple first. I had no problem with this. I jumped at her and she become the new Madam d’Bough. My new love.


The Sailor came back. We were loading our ship full of goods. He asked us where we were going next. Back to the Mediterranean I told him. He asked if he and a friend could work for passage back to Turkey with us. I told him certainly. On the condition that he brings and gives me a copy of that manuscript. He seemed to think it wouldn’t be a problem. Although he told me it was in his bag at his friend’s rooms along with all his other possessions. I asked him why he wanted to leave Lamoux. He told me that he could no longer find the most beautiful thing that Lamoux once possessed. I told him that to experience beauty just once is a great thing. He just shook his head sadly and asked what day was departure. I told him. I told him not to be late as we wouldn’t wait. I told him not to forget the manuscript. This boy is too sad. It is Lamoux. It makes happy men and sad men of us all. There is no in between. And there is no telling what you will wake up. God help all those who choose to stay in the land of Lamoux.


•September 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment


I feel heavy with the weight of my son. I can not be responsible for his future. He is a child yet he is so quickly losing the tenderness of youth and becoming a man. He is not experiencing what children should. School, Friends his own age, playing in the street. He works in the cafe selling the cigars. His playmates are criminals, drunks and whores. He rarely smiles. I watch him. He is always looking wistfully to the skies. Night and day. Looking at the birds, the clouds, the stars, the balloons and the kites that all fly over our city. Lamoux always looks after its children. It always has. I have few choices. We could carry on as we are. Yet I know he will become one of the regulars of Cafe Babel. He will go from selling cigars to some other underhanded dealings. I need to send him to school. My boy needs to be educated. He needs to leave Lamoux for a while. See the world. I need to find money for this. I have little choice but to go to the church. To ask the father of my dear son. I will make that bastard pay for something. I will get something good from the evil that has risen from that man. I have to. Or else I fear the love of vice might carry down from father to son.


My heart it is beating in my chest with a roar louder than the ocean beneath a storm. I grabbed my poet tonight. I caught him on the Rue amongst the Rosemary and brought him home. I fed him some pistachios, bathed him and sat him by the fire. We drank wine and talked of different things. Mostly gossip the we had both heard. I asked him to read to me. I thought he would read his usual poems. Tonight it was something different. Tonight as I sat there with hallowed amazement reddening my face and fastening my heart. He read to me an account of a man. A sailor. One whom I have never met yet know very well. One whom once lived in this very house. It was the account of Alexander. The man who was once the lover of the landlady, Estella. She had told me much of their days together. She had told me the bare basics of his end. This was all she herself knew. The bare basics. Yet here was a boy from the Rue d’Bloome. A Rosemary boy. Reading an account in fine detail. Outlining the end of Alexander on board his ship the ‘Estella’. I asked him where he got this manuscript from. He informed me he spent the night with a sailor and was given it as a gift. I asked him if he knew where the sailor got it. He did not. He did say he was seeing the sailor again. They were keeping a very important appointment within the following days. While this boy was sleeping I typed the whole thing out on the lavender paper and hid the original. In the morning the copy and the boy were gone. I re-read the manuscript as I sat by the fire. Pistachio shells at my feet. I would show this to my land lady. I would see the spark within her eyes and within Lamoux re-ignite.


This city has lost its senses. My sister is now claiming to be the new Badam d’Bough. Something which she seems to be succeeding with also. I told her what I thought. I told her she was doing a thing that will slowly kill her soul. I told her she will eventually become nothing but a body in the Inkon. Just like the others before her. The Inkon calls all the criminals to its depths. Sometimes it calls the lovers. Sometimes it calls those whith nothing in their hearts but despair. Always it calls the criminals. It washes Lamoux clean. And here I am yelling at her. Crying at her. She merely laughs and tries telling me I am jealous. That I fear that she will be more popular than my soap. Where is this madness born? And here. Here is The Moth. Augustus. Telling me to go for walks with him. I agree and we walk to the Inkon’s bank. I sell him soap every week yet he has an extraordinary off-putting smell. We walk out into the daylight and I know it is the first time he has been out into the day for longer than either of us can care to remember. We walk down and we get talking and I, then, realise he loves me. This strange man whom everyone calls The Moth. Who tells me his name is Augustus on a weekly basis for a bar of soap is in love with me. I stand there on the banks of the river. There with this man who is telling me how much the city needs a good clean. And all I can do is smile. Lamoux has lots its senses. I fear this is just the beginning. And all I can do is smile.

•August 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment


•August 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment


I have not strummed the strings upon my guitar for days. I have not ran my fingers over the frets. nor have I leant over the dip in her waste and played the songs that so many in Lamoux have come to love. Instead I have been trying to find the dancer from the graves. I know she dances on the Rue d’Bloome. I have merely to walk into the correct cafe at the right time and I will have found her. The most beautiful girl in Lamoux. The girl who dances with the most grace. The girl who i must meet and have dance to my music. I will create chords for her. I will write songs of demolition and recovery. Of ugliness and natural beauty. I will forget my past and become hers. Our love will blow apart the shadows from the heart of Lamoux and a new morning will dawn over this city which is becoming blacker and blacker with the sin and soot of greed and lust.


I found myself in the Cafe Babel last night. Talking to one of the Rosemary boys. We got drunk and smoked cigars which he would buy from a small boy who kept passing with his box. I told him I had never been there as I was one for the Cafe Taffe. One for the handsome guitarist there. Last night he wasn’t there. This is what took me to the Cafe Babel. This is what took me to the arms of this Rosemary boy. We drank enough gin to open up and I told him the fate of my ship and my fellow sailors. I told him of the Turkish cargo vessel. He told me he would cheer me. He did all the while chewing on pistachio nuts. I had come from the cargo vessel straight to the Rue d’Bloome. I hadn’t even thought of finding lodgings for the night. Such was my need for the handsome guitarist. Thus I still had my bag. This rosemary decided he would let me lodge with him for the night. We walked the length of the road. Past the usual array of prisoners held by the night and their own needs and desires. We walked past the Rosemary bushes that grow from every crack and crevice. We walked past the old lamps. Our faces growing light and pale beneath each one and then the darkness would cascade atop them once more. We climbed into his apartment as he declared his love for all things written. It appeared he was a poet. I asked him to show me some. He went to a shelf which was full of lavender binders and pulled one off. he gave it to me and he started to undress me. I read the words as he kissed my body. I fell asleep.

I awoke. The Rosemary Boy was walking around his flat naked. Eating his pistachios and reading something. It was the manuscript the sailor gave me on ship. He had obviously been through my bag. No doubts my pocket also. I rolled over and went back to sleep.


My love she shouts. She wails. She pleads. She hosts a lady. Her sister I believe. Her soap with be scented with nought but her tears tonight. I can hear them. The crying of my angel. The laughter of her sister. A door is slammed and her sister leaves. I will go down to make sure all is well. I enter the stairwell. The smell of soap it hits me as it always does when walking down the stairs. I knock on her door. It is opened. I tell her that I do not mean to intrude. She smiles and asks if I have come to buy soap. I say no. I have come to ask if she is well. I come to ask if she will walk with me down by the Inkon. She smiles. She tells me I never leave the house until the lamps are lit. I tell her that her smile is the brightest lamp. She tells me she needs a walk. She follows me out to the landing and we walk down the stairs. The smell of her soap lingers out afterwards. I can smell it on her. A walking perfume. We walk out into the sunshine. I shield my eyes. It has been many years since I have been out in the day. She takes me by the arm and we make for the river. Our pace is slow. Our mouths are closed. We merely look around. both of us deep in the same thought. This city has changed so much since our youths. We reach the river bank. She looks into its murky water. She slowly tells me her sister has become the new Madam d’Bough. She turns to me. She asks me my real name. I tell her. Augustus. She looks back into the murky water smiling. I do the same. I tell her that the river Inkon needs a good clean. Lamoux needs a good clean. She looks at me and back into the water.


I can no longer dance upon the graves of the children of Lamoux. I can no longer wear my bare feet on the lawns of the old cemetery. Flattening the grass. Jumping from one Elm’s shadow to another. The shadow of the church haunts me. The eyes of the church haunt me. I am used to being watched. I know the guitarist would watch me as he strummed. I am watched every night here at the cafe. But the eyes in the church I know are not well. There is a boy there. The seventh son. He is the reason I have stopped visiting the church on St Gideon’s day. He is nothing but dangerous. A gangrenous wound upon the belly of Lamoux. He is the cup that has caught all the overflow from his master’s sin. Learning nought but unsteady vice. I can no longer go to the cemetery. I can no longer watch as the sun gets caught in the threads of my dress. I can no longer listen to the beautiful songs that I know a boy has written especially for me. This city is changing. It was once smiling with wine. Now it is unsteady. Now it means trouble.


My mother and I went to the park by the zoo this morning. Early. We have to walk through there to our apartment after the night shift at the cafe. We watched as the men were setting up their helium balloons. They filled them and slowly drifted up far over Lamoux. I was filled with curiosity as to what they would see. Would they see all the people looking up waving as I was. would they wave back? or would they be too distracted by the horizon and what it was going to bring. My mother sighed. She sighs a lot. I sighed. I was thinking what it would be like to be able to fly. To be able to look down on all the people who walk. To look down on all the stupid people in Lamoux. Who, like me, look up in jealous wonder. My mother looked at me. She asked if I would like to leave Lamoux? I looked back. I told her I would love nothing more. She asked if I would like to go to school and never sell another cigar again. I just smiled and nodded. I hear these questions sometimes. When my mother thinks I am depressed. She feels they cheer me up. Thinking about leaving Lamoux and going to a school. It couldn’t be further from the truth. They only make me more depressed. I know It will never happen. I grab her by the hand. We walk back to the apartment. And fall exhausted into our beds.


I worry. There has been nought in that old cemetery but the dead for days. nought but the shadows of clouds and a wind that has found its through all the streets of Lamoux and has ended its path there at the cemetery. My love. She has gone. That dark man has scared her off. The dark man has done something to her. I have to help her. I know what I have to do. I have to go into Lamoux. I have to leave the church grounds. I have to walk upon the paths of sin and find her, my love. I will make her mine. I will bring her back here and we will live together. I will kill Malugain and I will be the new padre. I will make her live in the cellar and make my bread. She will dance for me. Only for me. I have to go into Lamoux. I will walk every street until I find her. I will walk into every single cafe of sin until I find her. I will save that girl. That angel. I will be her redemption. And she will repay me with her body. with her love. with her dances. We will be the new saints of Lamoux.