This is one of my favourite moments in Pearls. I’m working away at it, hope to have the first 50 pages edited by tomorrow for a competition. Warning : scene contains excessive,  lengthy description due to the narrator’s consumption of class a hallucinogens.


We dinnae find picnic tables and a car park, but we dae find a big forest clearin at the end ov a dirt track.  We dinnae hav tae look far fur firewood so we’ve soon got a wee blaze gaun in the centre ov the clearin.  Above us the stars are bright, although the edges ov the sky are tinged yellow on maist sides.  There’s a lot ov towns and cities aroun here, and that’s their sodium glare.  We take out the Acid bottle and carefully tear off two bits ov blotter paper frae yin o the sheets.  On the bonnet ov the car, while Ami is busy constructing a joint from a very dry but otherwise well preserved bit ov bud, Ah very carefully put jist yin tiny drop ov the acid on each ov the wee tabs.  It might be pish, dilutit tae water aw maist, but Ah know there’s enough ov a chance ov it bein quite the opposite that Ah want tae be careful.  Ah don’t really fancy havin a freak out in the middle ov a forest in a totally foreign country.  Let’s no even think about bein on the run frae the polis on top ov that.    Ma teenage experimentation did teach me somethin efter aw.  We take the tabs, Ami lights the spliff and Ah open the bottle ov whisky, and then we sit on the bonnet ov the car tae wait, watchin the fire burn and the stars shine.  The fire fascinates me, fire aways dis.  Ah love the way the flames are  curlin aroun the bits ov wood as they burn them, almost like liquid flowin in reverse.  Ah move oer and squat down beside the wee fire tae watch them closer efter a wee while, clutchin mah bottle ov whiskey but forgettin about it.  Ah hear Ami rumblin aroun in the boot ov the car, and then the radio comes on again, White Rabbit playin softly.  A great song for the come up.  Ami comes swannin roun the car wi the headdress on her head and mair scarves wrapped aroun her shoulders and airms.  She’s found flowers frae somewhere, dried roses and carnations, and wound them through the heid dress.  In the light ov the fire the raven black feathers ov the heid dress gleam and steal mah attention frae the flames.  Ah’m startin tae get that light, bubbly feelin inside, and there’s an extra layer ov sparkle descendin on the night.  Ah might burst out laughin any minute, in sheer relief tae be alive and intact tae see such a beautiful night.  Ah start singin along wi Grace Slick, fallin down the rabbit hole wi Alice even as Ah’m comin up.  Ami starts spinnin aroun, makin the heid dress flare out and the scarves trail.  The moon, as near as damn it tae fu, peaks o’er the top ov the trees and there’s silver threads and tassels, and silver bangles on Ami’s wrists; they flash and sparkle like the stars above us  in the moonlight.  Ah’m still singin, beltin out the words in a loose free way Ah havnae achieved in years.  The twinklin stars above start to fall like silver snow frae the sky.  We baith start laughin, spinnin aroun under the rain ov silver and trying to catch them on our tongues like we did wi flakes ov snow as weans. That’s when Ah realise Ah am totally trippin mah tits off.  The apocalyptic flourish at the end ov White Rabbit rings out through the night an frae mah lungs. 
Time changes, it stops flowin in a straight line frae minute to minute and jumps about so Ah get flashes ov things we are dain out here under the stars.  We’re dancin and singing roun the fire; we’re lyin on our backs on the bonnet ov the Porsche starin at the stars; we’re flopped inside drinkin and smokin and talkin animatedly about everythin; we’re pokin the dyin flames ov the fire and watchin the sparks fly up like little fiery imps escapin out intae the world tae dae mischief; we’re walkin through the trees, layin our hands on the trunks and feelin the life rush through them; we’re crouchin in the shadows ov the trees watchin the patterns on the cars paintwork move and swirl and animate while the car breaths gently in the night; we’re lying on the bonnet again, watchin feathered pink clouds stretch out through a silverin sky as the sun begins to come up; we’re crashin out inside the car, noddin, as the birds in the trees begin tae really sing for the mornin. 
Ah feel like utter shite when Ah wake up, an when Ah see whit’s left ov the whisky, (nuthin), the tequila, (also nuthin), and the rum, (a wee bit at the bottom ov the bottle), Ah realise why.  The day is well gone awready, Ah’ve been sleepin sprawled on the very cramped back seat while Ami has wound back the passenger seat and curled up on that as best as she can.  That’s another reason Ah feel terrible.  Aw ma limbs are stiff and aching frae lying curled up in this position, and ma spine feels twisted out ov shape.  Ah have tae crawl intae the driver seat tae get out and stretch, and this is a painful process made worse by Ami swearin at me an hittin me as Ah squeeze by her.  She’s still maistly sleepin  and has nae idea whit’s goin on.  Ah practically fall out ov the car, stumbling into the afternoon light with mah hands oer mah een.  Mah hair is aw oer the place, bleached blond waves that are  irritatingly bright in the sunshine.  With aw the bangles Ah seem to have accumulatit, and the scarves, the waistcoat, ma black skinny fit jeans and high heeled boots Ah know Ah look like a casualty frae a Glam rock band efter gig pairty, and Ah sure as fuck feel like wan.  As if on cue, the radio comes oan and Motley Crue’s “Girls,Girls,Girls” rudely awakens Ami frae her slumber.  She escapes the car as fast as her sore limbs and hangover will let her, slammin the door and cursing the car for wakin her up.  She’s still wearing the heiddress, and wi the long grey felt coat she usually wears she looks more hippy than glam.  She’s pullin off the casualty look as good as me though.  She staggers oer tae where Ah’m stanin, tryin to light a cigarette wi a shaky hand while still shieldin mah een frae the sunlight.

  1. […] hopefully very soon!). Today, I had to take stock of where I’m going because I had to write a cover letter for my book, Pearls On The Road.  It’s about selling yourself,  of course. The writer is as […]


  2. […] hopefully very soon!). Today, I had to take stock of where I’m going because I had to write a cover letter for my book, Pearls On The Road.  It’s about selling yourself,  of course. The writer is as […]


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