Three stragglers, sleepless after a party, on top of a mountain in mid Wales. They see a shape in the sky. They come down off the mountain. The ‘vision’, if that’s what it was, remains with them, in unutterable ways, and offers them ways and methods of living which they try, with increasing desperation, to follow. Eventually they’ll have to go back up the mountain…
The novel is called Broken Ghost, and this is an extract.
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A finish me Twix on-a bridge, the old stone one, like, where, surprise sur-fuckin-prise, it’s not blowin-a gale; gunner be a nice day, this. A look over-a side an up the river to the other bridge an see a few blokes on it in white overalls an two of em in hard-hats. A watch these two sit in ese sling things, ese kind-a harnesses that ey tie around themselves, an en ey climb over-a railings an swing down underneath-a bridge. Like monkeys or somethin. No, spiders, great big horrible fuckin spiders under-a bridge in eyr webs. What is it that lives under bridges? Trolls, that’s it. That’s what aye are – trolls. Waitin for-a Billy Goats Gruff.
A backtrack a bit on meself, go down Green Gardens an onto Glanrafon Terrace. Trefechan, this. Land-a Turks, ey used to call it, accordin to me taid, bless im; all-a people lived yur useta get called Turks by-a people over-a bridge, probly cos ey all useta wear rags wrapped round eyr heads cos ey all worked in-a limekilns an smelters that aren’t yur anymore. Protect emselves from-a sparks, like. Or maybe cos Turks – A mean, people from Turkey, like – set up a community yur, once, off-a ships, when iss useta be a workin port. No more, tho. Still plenty-a Turks, oh aye; oo else would yew get yewer kebabs from? Useta be a poor area, ese houses along-a edge of-a river, ese terraces; now every cunt wants-a live by-a water so ese av all shot up in price. Cost-a fuckin fortune now, ey do. Second homes, some of em; empty for most of-a year. Same for-a flats over in-a harbour. Ow’s a poor cunt like me meant to buy a house in a town where he was born? Fetch me my fuckin petrol bomb, mun.Buy the issue or subscribe here
Niall Griffiths lives in mid Wales. He has written seven novels and many shorter pieces and an eighth novel, Broken Ghost, is forthcoming from Jonathan Cape.
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