Chapter 47 – Battlefields
Indeed, the Killing Fields. War in all its outrage.
Men generally in this novel (as also shown in this chapter) are not ‘nice people’ (because it is narrated by a woman?) and are, at various times, stinky, chauvinist, plundering, cowardly. But also in this chapter they are rapists (getting a very nasty end as a result) and necrophiliacs (spared because they were only harming the dead!). But, regarding the necrophiliacs...
“An Essex goddess – she protects the living from the dead, and the dead from the living.”
“Then I’m sure Mortalia will take them – and good luck to her.”
Our main protagonists (Tuerqui and her party) re-tread early parts of the novel giving a sense of organicity (reality) to the fiction, eg;
Turning into a side street, I saw that the Laughing Phallus had suffered badly. It was the mere shell of a building, bricks encrusted with soot. The brothel sign had been removed from its pole and lay across the street, back broken, like a gigantic half-open penknife. The painted grin leered idiotically in our direction.
Even some base characters meet poignant (pitiful) deaths (particularly those who are women!):
Madame Surf rose to her feet. She showed no sign of running, but did walk slowly from her brothel, through a narrow gap between the buildings towards a green field at the end of the alley.
(please note typo in that quote!)
Tuerqui as narrator momentarily forsakes her own form of omniscience by uncharacteristically (if momentarily) withholding (for narrative suspense?) a significant victim of her own deathly action (which the reader will have to read this chapter to learn about).
The chapter ends with the war seemingly resolved if still painful, poignant...
A taste of blood filled my mouth, giving me the idea that I was about to vomit. To our left, a skylark burst into song as it ascended into the sun bright sky. A great weariness descended upon me – it seemed an age since I’d had a proper night’s sleep. In a field to our right, a foal gambolled with the exuberance of life’s first flush of delight.
deal with them;
“I’ve neither the time nor the patience to deal them,”
one of you:
And why’s one you wearing a mask?”
Word docs of the actual chapters are freely available to readers of this blog.
The links to all Chapter comments by me are here: http://weirdmonger.blogspot.com/2008/06/o