The Listening Mirror – Resting in Aspic

I woke up in a daze. It was a strange sensation. It never had happened to me before, but they said it was a family curse. For the past 10 generations, the last son, the “Benjamin” of the family, would start daywalking, aimlessly, without realising it. There wasn’t an specific age when this would happen, it would just be an unfortunate incident that would repeat itself until death.

Grandma said it was the stress of living in a big city, mother said it was our lack of religious values. I thought it was poppycock. Until today. Today, I find myself in this strange forest. I can see a small town no more than 2 clicks away. On the other side, I can see a hill, green on all sides except one bit in the front.

The first question is: am I dead? If so, am I ‘Outside heaven’? I want to walk towards the town and get some help, but I feel I must go towards the mountain.

The walk is peaceful, the day is quiet; not a rambler on sight, not even a car. Just the sounds of nature and its natural harmonics, creating a sort of ambient drone that reassured me. My walk leads me to a pool. The old, musty sign is on the ground and I pick it up. It says ‘The Leechpool’. An uneasy feeling invades me and I want to run away from the place. I do, but slowly, as if something made me want to stay for longer, maybe forever.

It’s not nightfall, but the slight warmth from the Sun is now gone and overcast skies and distant rumbles make me want to find a place to be safe, a small haven from an incoming storm. Just as I go into an old, decayed church, a massive rain plummets from the sky. The smell of wet dirt, how I enjoyed it as a child? There’s something about those sounds that rain creates, like a white noise that envelops, like ‘The Organist’ of the old church I used to go with my family deftly played. The rain intensifies, it reverberates and I try shouting, my voice coming out all squeaky, like kids screaming while playing football. Then my voice is lost and the rain has become a proper storm.

This church. It reminds me of the church I used to go as a child. They all look the same, don’t they? I didn’t like church, but I remember liking playing with the other kids afterwards. We had this game called ‘Falling Under’ that we used to play near the creeks. The sounds of nature and water drowned our childhood voices and those memories replay in my head, in tones of yellow and gold. I find a very old piano, half rotten and collapsed, but a few keys still work. I play them as the rain starts to recede.

As I walk out of the abandoned church, I look at the forest where I am. Should I go to the mountain or should I go to the town? I’m not well and shouldn’t place myself into more danger than my condition already has put me into. It happened to my uncle, who, like me, was the “Benjamin”. He left one day, with a blank stare and ‘Without saying goodbye’. I miss him dearly and I wouldn’t want said fate for myself.

I walk into a pub and talk with the landlord. He first thinks I’m a pisshead, but then he remembers hearing about this condition, in a television show, of all places! “They called it the ‘Venice Boxhead’ syndrome, m’lord” he says while a couple of magpies stare at us from outside. “They also said there was something about ringing ears and thinking of sounds that are not there anymore”. I ask if they mentioned mournful pianos and he nodded. I put my face between my hands and he starts dialling on the phone.

He calls for the local doctor and reminds him to beware of the ‘Wet Roads’. I hope I will be okay. It’s bad luck to be dealt a condition like this and you sometimes fear that there is some ulterior, otherworldly influence affecting you, messing you with your memories, making you imagine these droning sounds and those distant sounds of children. The landlord gives me a free drink and nods, saying it’s on the house. I sip it slowly and wonder what the future holds for me…

Words: Sam

PS: Really enjoyed this album. Creepy atmospheres, great drones and cinematic feel to it.

Listening Mirror Facebook. Bandcamp. Soundcloud.

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