07 January 2024
Read James McCreet's rewrite of the extract workshopped in UtM, WM January 2024
Travelling back to see a time and place of such historical significance was a wonder even to contemplate. The scents, sights and sounds – the praise and the millennia of prayer . . . It was almost too much to conceive.
I was in an ancient street with cobbles underfoot and ragged stone walls pocked with time’s passage, with war and weather. The air was cool. The wind caressed me with such delicate grace, lifting strands of my hair. The night sky seemed thick with crystal-dust constellations despite the brilliance of the moon.
And yet I could feel my heart pounding. I was sweating as if in anticipation of some imminent change. My vision darkened and I thought I saw meteors streaking the heavens, their tails crisscrossing. The street seemed to contract about me and a light began to glow.
I couldn’t see its source. It was everywhere at once, growing in intensity until the night had transformed into the white brilliance of day. Brighter. Too bright. Were there shapes in the glare? A figure? Wings? I couldn’t focus for the startling incandescence.
Then it was gone.
Darkness returned. I opened my eyes tentatively to see moonlight silvering the lace-like edges of passing clouds: a vision of celestial and earthly beauty.