Michael FitzGerald
June 2016 Commended

Falkland Island Walk

by Michael FitzGerald

The Turkey Vulture bobs about the moor here. He has a head like a red nightmare and he doesn’t care, he’s not looking for friends. He would rather you were dead. You are just calories to him. We both thought he’d found a dead crow on the track but it was a broken umbrella. I’m moving over the land like him, dropping a bit, rising a bit, it goes on this way. Landmarks can be a solitary post, a plank or similar, often sticking up, other times lying down. Closer to a settlement the bits get bigger, sheets and slabs appear, then holes in the peat, full of black water, like tar, then big sandwiches of matter such as a piece of roof. The wind makes the heather buzz. Everything is built on stilts, nothing will embrace the ground. It’s all hovering, still deciding whether it wants to take root or not. Loops of movement begin. A dog goes in and out, in and out. Hens pop in and out. Sounds pass on the wind like fleeing ghosts. A man comes out then in, out then in, like the hen but slower. You wouldn’t notice these cycles unless you observed them over time, which I did. The wind goes in and out, the sun, the moon, the day, the week, the hen, the dog, the man.

About the Author

Michael FitzGerald

I am delighted that my writing has been commended. I wrote this piece after spending a winter surveying the remoter parts of The Falkland Islands to create a Historic Building Register. I’ve recently got into flash fiction as an exciting bridge between prose and poetry – I like both the freedom and the ambiguity of it. A single idea or whim can turn into a piece quite quickly, and the editing requires a ruthless discipline where only the essential can remain....not unlike the subject of the piece.
Thanks everyone.

Artist: www.studiofitzgerald.com
Architect: www.mfitzgerald.co.uk
Facebook: @michaelfitzgeraldartist
Instagram: @studiofitzgerald

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